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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter LXXX: 148-145

Today's entry in the countdown features right winger Hilliard Graves, centers Bobby Lalonde and Mike Eaves, and left winger Harold Phillipoff.

148. Hilliard Graves

Graves, a 5’11", 175 lb. right winger from Saint John, New Brunswick, was born on October 18th, 1950. He first earned notice when playing in the MJAHL with the Charlottetown Islanders (38 games, 32 goals, 65 assists).

Before making his way to the Atlanta Flames in 1974-75, Graves played with the Providence Reds (AHL, 16 games, three goals, one assist), the California Golden Seals (153 games, 38 goals, 43 assists), Baltimore Clippers (AHL, 76 games, 14 goals, 18 assists). He joined the Flames through free agency during the 1974 offseason.

In 1974-75, Graves appeared in 67 games. He ranked 10th on the team with 10 goals on 79 shots and ninth on the team with 19 assists. He posted a plus-3 rating and 30 penalty minutes. The Flames posted a 34-31-15 record.

Graves played a career high and NHL leading 80 games in 1975-76. He ranked fifth on the club with 19 goals scored on 168 shots, also ranking fifth with 30 assists. His 49 points placed him third on the team. He posted a plus-3 rating and 16 penalty minutes. He netted a team-third three game winning goals for the 35-33-12 Flames, before the team were eliminated from the postseason opening round in two games to the Los Angeles Kings.

Graves appeared in only 25 games for Atlanta. He had eight goals on only 41 shots, with five assists, a minus-1 rating and 17 penalty minutes. Two of his markers were game winners. On December 2nd, the Flames traded him to the Vancouver Canucks with Larry Carriere for John Gould and a draft choice (Brian Hill).

Graves played in parts of three seasons for the Canucks (196 games, 42 goals, 61 assists). He finished up his playing career with the Winnipeg Jets (35 games, one goal, five assists).

All-Time Statline: 172 games, 37 goals, 54 assists, plus-5 rating, 63 penalty minutes, 5.52 point shares.

147. Mike Eaves

Eaves, a 5’10", 180 lb. center with the University of Wisconsin, was born in Denver, Colorado on June 10th, 1956. After his first two seasons with the Badgers (72 games, 35 goals, 62 assists), the St. Louis Blues selected him in the seventh round of the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, with the 113th overall pick. He was traded to the Minnesota North Stars before appearing anywhere professionally.

Eaves completed two more seasons with the Badgers (88 games, 59 goals, 111 assists), graduating with the Class of 1978. In 1978-79, he spent most of the season with the Oklahoma City Stars (CHL, 68 games, 26 goals, 61 assists), also making a three game appearance with the North Stars. The following season would see him spend markedly more time with the NHL club (56 games, 18 goals, 28 assists), with only 12 games in Oklahoma City (nine goals, eight assists).
Eaves played three more seasons with the North Stars, exclusively at the NHL level (148 games, 37 goals, 50 assists). During the 1983 offseason, Minnesota traded him with Keith Hanson to the Flames for Steve Christoff and a draft pick (Frank Musil).

1983-84 would see Eaves spend 61 games with the Flames. He ranked eighth on the club with 14 goals, scored on 118 shots. He placed third on the team with 36 assists, and seventh with 50 total points and with a plus-7 rating. He only racked up 20 penalty minutes through the season for the 34-32-14 Calgary club, and ranked third on the team with three game winning markers. After closing out the Vancouver Canucks three-games-to-one to open the postseason, the Flames were eliminated in seven by the Edmonton Oilers. Eaves played in all 11 contests, scoring four times with four assists.

Eaves again scored 14 goals in 1984-85, on only 96 shots. In 56 contests for the Flames, he also kicked in a team tenth 29 assists, a team sixth plus-14 rating, and just 10 penalty minutes. He scored two of his goals short-handed, and produced a total of one game winner through the season. The Flames finished third in the Smythe Division with a 41-27-12 record, but lost in the opening round of the playoffs to the Winnipeg Jets in four games of the best-of-five series. Eaves did not appear through most of the second half of the season or the playoffs after sustaining a head injury at the hands of Quebec Nordique Pat Price.

After taking the entire 1985-86 season off, Eaves briefly came out of retirement to help the shorthanded 40-31-9 Flames through the playoffs. Calgary made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before packing it in in five games to the Montreal Canadiens. Eaves played in eight of Calgary’s 22 playoff contests, contributing a goal and an assist with a minus-5 rating.

All-Time Statline: 117 games, 28 goals, 65 assists, plus-23 rating, 30 penalty minutes, 5.53 point shares.

146. Bobby Lalonde

Lalonde was a second round pick in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, 17th overall. A 5’5", 155 lb. center, he was the smallest player ever to suit up for the Flames.

Born on March 27th, 1951 in Montreal, Quebec, Lalonde played three seasons with the Montreal Junior Canadiens (169 games, 118 goals, 137 assists, 162 PiM) starting in 1968-69.

Lalonde joined the AHL’s Rochester Americans after getting drafted. He played 42 games with them (14 goals, 11 assists), also making a 27 game stop in Vancouver (one goal, five assists). He played five more seasons with Vancouver (326 games, 71 goals, 112 assists). He signed with the Atlanta Flames during the 1977 offseason.

In 1977-78, Lalonde played 73 games for Atlanta. He scored a team-10th 14 goals on 94 shots, with a team seventh 23 assists. He also had a plus-5 rating and 28 penalty minutes. The Flames went 34-27-19, finishing third in the Patrick Division. Lalonde scored a goal in one postseason game as the Flames lost two straight to the Detroit Red Wings.

1978-79 would see the Flames post a 41-31-8 record and finish fourth in the Patrick Division. Lalonde scored a team fifth 24 goals (including one game winner) on 135 shots, with a team sixth 32 assists, a minus-3 rating and 24 penalty minutes. He scored one goal in two playoff games, both losses, in a best-of-three series loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flames traded him to the Boston Bruins for future considerations on October 23rd, 1979.Lalonde played two seasons with the Bruins (133 games, 14 goals, 37 assists). On October 25th, 1981, he signed a free agent contract to rejoin the Flames, by then in Calgary. 1981-82 would see him play with the CHL’s Oklahoma City Stars for 19 games, scoring six goals and 11 assists. He played one more game in Calgary, taking one shot on goal and earning a plus-2 rating.

All-Time Statline: 155 games, 38 goals, 56 assists, plus-1 rating, 54 penalty minutes, 5.55 point shares.

145. Harold Phillipoff

Phillipoff, born on July 14th, 1956, was a first round selection of the Atlanta Flames in 1976, 10th off the board. He played just over two seasons with the WCHL’s New Westminster Bruins (139 games, 65 goals, 83 assists, 426 PiM).

A native of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Phillipoff was a 6’3", 220 lb. left winger. He spent the 1976-77 season with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs (67 games, six goals, 16 assists, 155 PiM). In 1977-78, he joined the Flames for 67 games. He had a team-second 36 assists and a team ninth 17 goals on 132 shots. He also ranked second on the team with 128 penalty minutes and with a plus-27 rating. The 34-27-19 club left two straight to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs. Phillipoff earned one assist in the two contests.

Phillipoff played 51 games with the Flames in 1978-79. He scored nine goals on 66 shots with 17 assists. He earned a plus-5 rating and ranked third on the club with 113 penalty minutes. On March 13th, he was traded by the Flames with Pat Ribble, Greg Fox, Tom Lysiak and Miles Zaharko to the Chicago Blackhawks for Ivan Boldirev, Phil Russell, and Darcy Rota.

Phillipoff played 23 games over two seasons with Chicago. He went scoreless with four assists, a minus-7 rating and 26 penalty minutes.

All-Time Statline: 118 games, 26 goals, 53 assists, plus-32 rating, 241 penalty minutes, 5.76 point shares.