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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter XLIV: 315-311

In our journey through the history of the Atlanta/Calgary Flames, today we encounter goaltender Joni Ortio, defenseman Darryl Shannon, and centers Craig MacDonald, Andreas Johansson, and Blair Betts.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

315. Joni Ortio

Ortio, a 6’1", 185 lb. goaltender from Turku, Finland. Born on April 16th, 1991, the Flames selected him in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft with the 171st overall pick. It’s looking more and more like a bargain.

Ortio joined the Abbotsford Heat for one game in 2010-11, and allowed six goals in a loss. The following season would see him post a 1-4-0 record with Abbotsford and a 3-6-3 mark with TPS-Turku in Finland.

2012-13 would see Ortio put up a 23-20-9 record with Helsinki, with a .917 save percentage and a 2.42 goals against average. Last year, he went 3-1-0 for the Alaska Aces in the ECHL with a ridiculous 1.01 GAA and a .944 save percentage. He also went 27-8-0 with the Heat.

Ortio made his NHL debut with Calgary on February 27th, stopping 22-of-24 shots but earning a loss to the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0. In his next appearance, he got his first big-league win by turning aside 30-of-31 Senators shots in a 4-1 victory over Ottawa. He appeared in nine contests for the Flames, racking up a 4-4-0 record and a team leading 2.51 goals against average.

All-Time Statline: Nine games, 4-4-0, 193 shots faced, 172 saves, 2.51 goals against average, .891 save percentage, 0.62 point shares.

314. Craig MacDonald

MacDonald is a 6’1", 202 lb. center from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Born on April 7th, 1977, he played two seasons of collegiate hockey with Harvard starting in 1995-96. He totaled 13 goals and 20 assists in 66 contests. The Hartford Whalers selected him in the fourth round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft with the 88th pick off the board.

In 1997-98, MacDonald lit the lamp 18 times with 29 helpers for Team Canada, playing in 62 contests with the club.

Before joining Calgary as a free agent during the 2005 offseason, MacDonald played with the New Haven Beast (62 games, 17 goals, 31 assists, 77 PiM), the Carolina Hurricanes (58 games, two goals, four assists, 20 PiM), the Cincinnati Cyclones (160 games, 32 goals, 52 assists, 180 PiM), the Lowell Lock Monsters (162 games, 36 goals, 60 assists, 203 PiM), the San Antonio Rampage (two games, four PiM), the Florida Panthers (34 games, three assists, 25 PiM), and the Boston Bruins (18 games, three assists, eight PiM).

MacDonald played with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights through the majority of the 2005-06 season, scoring eight goals with 19 assists and 57 penalty minutes in 37 games. For the Flames, he played in 25 contests and scored three times on 27 shots, with a pair of assists, eight penalty minutes, and a plus-5 rating while playing 10:16 per game. He left the same way he came, via free agency after the season.

Following his time in Calgary’s organization, MacDonald played with the Norfolk Admirals (57 games, 18 goals, 33 assists, 53 PiM), the Chicago Blackhawks (25 games, three goals, two assists, 14 PiM), the Tampa Bay Lightning (65 games, two goals, nine assists, 16 PiM), the Syracuse Crunch (70 games, 15 goals, 25 assists, 71 PiM), the Columbus Blue Jackets (eight games, one goal, one assist), the DEG Metro Stars (56 games, 19 goals, 23 assists, 76 PiM), and the Mannheim Eagles (130 games, 19 goals, 77 assists, 203 PiM). He is currently a free agent.

All-Time Statline: 25 games, three goals, two assists, plus-5 rating, eight penalty minutes, 0.64 point shares.

313. Blair Betts

Betts, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, is a 6’3", 210 lb. center. Born on February 16th, 1980, he played four seasons of Junior Hockey in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars starting in 1996-97. He scored 91 goals and 116 assists in 215 games. The Flames selected him in the second round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft with the 33rd overall pick.

2000-01 would see Betts join the Saint John Flames for 75 games, and score 13 goals with 15 assists. The following season, he played in 67 games for Saint John, with 20 goals and 29 assists. Calgary called him up for his first NHL look in April, 2002. He scored the game winning goal in a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in his first appearance on April 4th. He averaged 7:05 per game, appearing in the lineup for the Flames’ last six games. He scored just that one goal on four shots, with a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes.

In 2002-03, Betts played in 19 games for Saint John, totaling six goals and seven assists. The Flames called him up on March 18th, and would see him tab an assist that night in a win over the Los Angeles Kings, 4-1. In his next game, on March 22nd, he scored Calgary’s only goal in a 1-1 tie with the Nashville Predators. He took 16 shots on goal, scoring once and adding three assists and a plus-3 rating in 11:33 per game.

Betts was sidelined by injury for most of the 2003-04 season. He didn’t make any minor league appearances, and appeared in only 20 games for the Flames. He accounted for all the offense in a 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on the 14th of March. It was his only goal of the campaign on 21 shots, to go along with two assists, 10 penalty minutes, and a minus-1 rating in 12:46 per game.

The Flames traded him to the New York Rangers on March 6th, 2004 with Jamie McLennan and Greg Moore for Chris Simon and a seventh round pick (Matt Schneider).

Betts played four seasons for the Rangers (304 games, 25 goals, 15 assists, minus-23 rating, 84 PiM), followed by two with the Philadelphia Flyers (138 games, 13 goals, 17 assists, plus-4 rating, 22 PiM). He retired after sitting out the entire 2011-12 season.

All-Time Statline: 35 games, three goals, five assists, plus-1 rating, 12 penalty minutes, 0.65 point shares.

312. Darryl Shannon

Born on June 21st, 1968, Shannon was a 6’2", 208 lb. defenseman from Barrie, Ontario.  He scored six goals with 21 assists in 57 games for the Windsor Compuware Spitfires in the OHL in 1985-86, and followed it with five goals and six assists in 16 playoff matches. The Toronto Maple Leafs chose him afterward, in the second round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, 36th overall.

Shannon played two more seasons with the Spitfires (124 games, 39 goals, 97 assists, 199 PiM) before turning professional. He played with the Newmarket Saints (155 games, 11 goals, 53 assists, 146 PiM), the Toronto Maple Leafs (98 games, three goals, 13 assists, 52 PiM), the St. John Maple Leafs (seven games, one goal, one assist, four PiM), the Winnipeg Jets (108 games, seven goals, 20 assists, 138 PiM), the Moncton Hawks (37 games, one goal, 10 assists, 62 PiM), the Buffalo Sabres (255 games, 12 goals, 56 assists, 240 PiM), and the Atlanta Thrashers (49 games, five goals, 13 assists, 65 PiM).

The Atlanta Thrashers traded Shannon with Jason Botterill to the Flames for Hnat Domenichelli and Dmitri Vlasenkov on February 11th, 2000. He played 23:33 per night with the Flames over 27 games to close out the season, scoring a goal on 46 shots along with eight helpers, a minus-13 rating and 22 penalty minutes. On March 7th, he earned two assists in an 8-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. His only goal of the season helped Calgary finish in a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings on March 22nd.

After his time in Calgary, Shannon made appearances with the Quebec Citadelles (four games, one assist, four PiM), the Montreal Canadiens (seven goals, one assist, six PiM), the Krefeld Penguins (90 games, four goals, 27 assists, 105 PiM), and the Berlin Polar Bears (48 games, six goals, seven assists, 26 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 27 games, one goal, eight assists, minus-13 rating, 22 penalty minutes, 0.66 point shares.

311. Andreas Johansson

Johansson, born May 19th, 1973, was a 6’2", 209 lb. center from Falun, Sweden. The New York Islanders spent a seventh round pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft on him, with the 136th overall selection. After being chosen, he played four seasons in Sweden with Farjestads BK Karlstad, appearing in 124 games and totaling 19 goals with 24 assists.

Before his time in Calgary, Johansson played with the Islanders (18 games, two goals, three assists), the Worcester IceCats (29 games, five goals, five assists, 32 PiM), the Utah Grizzlies (22 games, four goals, 13 assists, 28 PiM), the Cleveland Lumberjacks (10 games, two goals, four assists, 42 PiM), the Pittsburgh Penguins (77 games, seven goals, 17 assists, 40 PiM), the Ottawa Senators (69 games, 21 goals, 16 assists, 34 PiM), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (12 games, two goals, three assists, eight PiM).

The Bolts traded Johansson to the Flames for Nils Ekman and a fourth round pick (Vladimir Gorbunov) on November 13th, 1999. He played in 28 contests for the Flames, skating an average of 13:33 per game and totaling three goals on 47 shots with seven assists, a minus-3 rating and 14 penalty minutes. On November 30th, he scored a goal and an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. His best showing of the season was March 1st, no question. He totaled a goal and three assists as the Flames wiped the floor with Pittsburgh, 8-2.

Johansson later played with Bern (Swiss, 40 games, 15 goals, 29 assists, 94 PiM), the New York Rangers (70 games, 14 goals, 10 assists, 46 PiM), the Nashville Predators (103 games, 32 goals, 32 assists, 48 PiM), the Milwaukee Admirals (one game, two PiM), Geneve Servette (Swiss, 74 games, 22 goals, 43 assists, 149 PiM), his old club in Karlstad (19 games, two goals, 11 assists, 20 PiM), St. Peterburg SKA (49 games, 14 goals, 21 assists, 70 PiM) and Leksands IF (Sweden, one game).

All-Time Statline: 28 games, three goals, seven assists, minus-3 rating, 14 penalty minutes, 0.66 point shares.