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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter LXXVIII: 156-153

In today's story, we relive the contributions of Flames defenseman Kris Russell, former center Stephane Yelle, and former right wingers Ron Stern and Marty McInnis.


156. Ron Stern

Stern, a 6', 200 lb. right winger from Ste-Agathe, Quebec, was born on January 11th, 1967. He was chosen in the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft in 1986 by the Vancouver Canucks, 70th overall.

Stern got his start in the QMJHL with the Longueuil Chevaliers, scoring 77 goals and 86 assists with a robust 759 penalty minutes in 193 games, starting in 1984-85. After his selection, and another season with the Chevaliers, he joined Vancouver for 15 games (zero points, 52 PiM), but spent most of the year with the IHL’s Flint Spirits (55 games, 14 goals, 19 assists, 294 penalty minutes.

Most of the next three seasons would see Stern bounce up and down the Canucks organization, as he played nearly equal time with the Milwaukee Admirals (78 games, 29 goals, 34 assists, 526 PiM), and Vancouver (82 games, five goals, six assists, 428 PiM). The Canucks traded him to the Flames on March 5th, 1991 with Kevan Guy for Dana Murzyn.

Stern scored a goal on 15 shots with three assists for the Flames in 13 games to close out the season, with 69 penalty minutes and an even rating. He scored his first goal with the Flames on March 18th, also tabbing an assist in a 4-3 decision over the Winnipeg Jets. He would also score a goal and three assists in seven postseason games, in a series loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

In 1991-92, Stern appeared in 72 games, and scored a career high and team eighth-best 13 goals (on 96 shots) with another career high in penalty minutes, with a team high and NHL fourth-most 338. He added nine assists and an even rating. He ended up with five multi-point efforts on the season, including a two-goal, one-assist performance on December 17th, in a 7-4 win against the Jets. He put up his first hat trick on February 19th, including the game winner in a 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins.

1992-93 would see Stern earn his second career hat trick, on February 10th, against the San Jose Sharks in a 13-1 shellacking of the second year club. It was one of four multi-point games on the season. He played in 70 contests, ranking 10th on the club with 10 goals on 82 shots, with 15 assists, a plus-4 rating, and a team second 207 penalty minutes (Craig Berube had 209).

Stern logged career highs with a team ninth 20 assists and 29 points (also ninth on the team) in 1993-94, scoring nine goals on 105 shots, a plus-6 rating, and a team leading 243 penalty minutes in 71 games. He tabbed four multi-point games over the season, including an assist and the overtime game winning goal in a 5-4 win over the Jets on December 18th.

In 1994-95, Stern appeared in 39 games over the lockout shortened season, He had a team sixth best nine goals on 69 shots with four assists, a plus-4 rating, and a team leading 163 penalty minutes. He got another hat trick on March 12th in a 4-4 tie with the Dallas Stars.

1995-96 would see Stern score 10 goals on 64 shots with five assists, a plus-2 rating, and a team sixth 111 penalty minutes in 52 games played. On April 4th, he netted the game winner in a 4-3 decision over the Canucks.

1996-97 would be Stern’s last season with Calgary. He played in a career high and team fifth best 79 games. He scored seven times on 98 shots with 10 assists, a team second 157 penalty minutes, and a minus-4 rating. On March 12th, he scored twice, including the shorthanded game winner in a 3-2 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche.

After missing the 1997-98 season due to knee surgery, Stern signed with the San Jose Sharks as a free agent. In two seasons , he totaled 11 goals and 14 assists over 145 games, with 309 penalty minutes to his credit. He announced his retirement following the 1999-00 season.

All-Time Statline: 396 games, 59 goals, 66 assists, plus-12 rating, 1288 penalty minutes, 5.06 point shares.

155. Kris Russell

Russell, a Caroline, Alberta native, was born on May 2nd, 1987. A 5'10", 173 lb. defenseman, he was a third round selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 67th overall.

Russell got his start with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, playing four seasons with the junior club and totaling 76 goals and 120 assists in 241 contests. He made his NHL debut without the benefit of spending any time in the minor leagues in 2007-08, and spent most of five seasons with the Blue Jackets (288 games, 18 goals, 61 assists). He also made appearances with TPS Turku (Finland, 15 games, two goals, 12 assists) and the St. Louis Blues (76 games, five goals, 11 assists).

Russell was traded from St. Louis to Calgary just as the 2013 offseason got underway. He ranked third amongst the club’s blue liners by averaging 23:08 on the ice per game. He scored seven goals on 109 shots with 22 assists, a minus-11 rating, and a gentlemanly 15 penalty minutes. He earned a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on October 26th, by scoring a goal with an assist and a fight in a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. On January 24th, he earned two assists in a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators. He had a goal and two assists on March 21st, as the Flames came up short against the Predators, 6-5. He is signed with the Flames through 2015-16.

All-Time Statline: 68 games, seven goals, 22 assists, minus-11 rating, 15 penalty minutes, 5.15 point shares.

154. Stephane Yelle

Yelle was a 6', 182 lb. center from Ottawa, Ontario. Born on May 9th, 1974, he was an eighth round selection of the New Jersey Devils in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, 186th overall after one season with the Oshawa Generals.

Yelle played a total of three seasons in Oshawa, scoring 71 goals with 133 assists in 187 games. He played 40 games of AHL level hockey in 1994-95 with the Cornwall Aces, scoring 18 goals with 15 helpers.

Yelle graduated to the Avalanche the following season, and ended up playing 505 games over seven complete seasons with the club. He totaled 54 goals and 89 assists while playing in the Mile-High city. On October 1st, 2002, the Avs traded him to the Flames with Chris Drury for Derek Morris, Jeff Shantz, and Dean McAmmond.

2002-03 would see Yelle as the only Flames player to appear in every game. He tied for fifth on the club with 10 goals, scored on 121 shots along with 15 assists, a minus-10 rating and 50 penalty minutes in a career high 18:06 per game. He put up his only multi-point game of the campaign on October 24th, tabbing two assists in a 3-3 tie with the Dallas Stars.

In 2003-04, Yelle scored four times on 76 shots with 13 assists, a plus-1 rating and 24 penalty minutes in 15:48 per contest. On October 11th, he scored a goal and added an assist in a  3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. He scored three goals and three assist in 23 postseason contests for the eventual Western Conference Champions. When the 2004-05 season never came to pass, he elected to take the season off.

Yelle returned to action with the rest of the NHL in 2005-06, scoring four times on 93 games, along with 14 helpers, a plus-10 rating, and 48 penalty minutes while playing 14:27 per game. On April 5th, he earned an assist and scored the game winning goal in a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

2006-07 would see Yelle score 10 times on only 55 shots, with 14 assists, a plus-5 rating, and 32 penalty minutes in 14:37 per appearance. He played 56 games for Calgary. On October 7th, he scored the tying goal with eight seconds left in the first, then later assisted on the game winner with under a minute left in the second period of a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers. He earned four points in his last two games of the season, with two helpers in a 3-2 loss to the Oilers on April 7th then a goal and an assist the next night in a 6-3 loss to the Avalanche.

In 2007-08, Yelle played 74 games for the Flames, averaging just 11:57 per game. He scored only three goals on 62 shots, with a minus-4 rating and 20 minutes in the penalty box. He figured into all the offense on January 22nd, scoring once and assisting on the game winner in a  2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild.

Yelle signed with the Boston Bruins during the offseason (77 games, seven goals, 11 assists), later making appearances with the Carolina Hurricanes (59 games, four goals, three assists) and the Avs (11 games, zero goals, one assist). He currently serves as the development coordinator with Colorado.

All-Time Statline: 339 games, 31 goals, 65 assists, plus-2 rating, 174 penalty minutes, 5.18 point shares.

153. Marty McInnis

McInnis, a 5'11", 187 lb. right winger from Hingham, Massachusetts, was born on June 2nd, 1970. He was selected in the eighth round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, with the 163rd overall pick.

McInnis played three seasons of collegiate level hockey after his selection with the Boston College Eagles. In 118 contests, he lit the lamp 58 times and dished out 84 helpers.

McInnis played in parts of six seasons with the Islanders, scoring 79 goals with 119 assists in 337 appearances. On March 18th, 1997, the Islanders traded him to the Flames with Tyrone Garner a a draft pick (Ilja Demidov) for Robert Reichel.

In 10 games with Calgary to close out the 1996-97 season, McInnis scored three times on 19 shots with four assists. He earned a single minor penalty and a minus-1 rating. He scored six of his points over a six game point streak from March 29th through April 11th, with three goals and three assists.

In 1997-98, McInnis ranked fifth on the Flames by appearing in 75 games. He ranked third on the team with 19 goals (on 128 shots), 25 assists, and 44 points. He was also one of very few Flames to post a positive rating, closing out the 26-41-15 season at plus-1, along with 34 penalty minutes. He had nine instances of ending a game with multiple points, including a hat trick on January 24th in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

1998-99 would see McInnis score a goal and an assist in six games with the Flames before getting traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Flames sent him along with Eric Andersson and Jamie Allison for Jeff Shantz and Steve Dubinsky on October 27th.

McInnis was flipped to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim without appearing for Chicago. He played parts of four seasons with the club (272 games, 57 goals, 88 assists), later playing in parts of two seasons with the Boston Bruins (96 games, 11 goals, 13 assists).

All-Time Statline: 91 games, 23 goals, 30 assists, plus-1 rating, 42 penalty minutes, 5.23 point shares.