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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CIV: 69-67

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An Atlanta Flame is up today, along with Marc Savard and the now-returning Matthew Lombardi.

Ian Tomlinson

69. Marc Savard

Savard, a 5'10", 196 lb. center from Ottawa, Ontario, was born on July 17th, 1977. He played two seasons for the OHL's Oshawa Generals before being drafted in the fourth round, 91st overall, by the New York Rangers in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He had 139 points in 66 games in his draft year. Savard spent another two years in the OHL before he joined the New York Rangers in the 1997-98 season. Savard spent time between the AHL and NHL for two seasons, ultimately scoring 51 points over 98 games with the Rangers.

Following the conclusion of the 1998-99 season, Savard, along with a first round pick (which turned into Oleg Saprykin), was traded to Calgary for the rights to Jan Hlavac, a first round pick (Jamie Lundmark), and a third round pick (Craig Anderson).

The 1999-00 season was both Savard's first full NHL season, and first with Calgary. Over 78 games he scored 22 goals on 184 shots, a 12.0 shooting percentage. Thirty-one assists gave him 53 points on the season, and Savard also recorded 56 penalty minutes while averaging 16:36 in ice time. He finished a minus-2 while the Flames finished with a 31-36-10-5 record, failing to make the playoffs.

More ice time gave Savard the chance to build on his previous season. In 2000-01, with Savard averaging 19:13 a game, he scored 23 goals on 197 shots (11.7 shooting percentage), and put up 42 assists for a total of 65 points. He also recorded 46 penalty minutes and a minus-12 rating on a Flames team that finished with a 27-36-15-4 record and out of the playoffs.

Savard's production fell in 2001-02. He played 56 games, averaging 17:20, a drop from the season before. He also scored 14 goals on 140 shots (a continually-decreasing shooting percentage, this time 10.0%), and added 19 assists for 33 points. He also put up 48 penalty minutes and finished a minus-18, while the Flames 32-35-12-3 and once again out of the playoffs.

Savard played just 10 games for the Flames in 2002-03. He scored one goal, three points, and had eight penalty minutes before being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Ruslan Zainullin for some reason (Zainullin never played an NHL game, and while he is still playing in the KHL, the Flames continue to hold his rights).

Following his trade from Calgary, Savard played in Atlanta, Switzerland during the lockout, and Boston. Since leaving the Flames, Savard amassed 501 points over 488 NHL games before having his career prematurely ended in 2011 by a Matt Cooke headshot.

All-Time Statline: 221 games, 60 goals, 94 assists, minus-35 rating, 158 penalty minutes, 15.25 point shares.

68. Matthew Lombardi

Lombardi, a 5'11", 191 lb. center, was born on March 18th, 1982 in Montreal, Quebec. He played four seasons for the Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL, getting drafted twice: first by the Edmonton Oilers in 2000, 215th overall in the 7th round; then, after 130 points in 66 games, 90th overall by the Flames in the third round of the 2002 draft. Lombardi spent the 2002-03 season playing for the AHL's Saint John Flames. Over 76 games, he scored 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points, also recording 41 penalty minutes and a minus-6 rating.

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Lombardi joined the Calgary Flames in the 2003-04 season. Over 79 games, he averaged 14:26 in ice time, scoring 16 goals on 130 shots for a 12.3 shooting percentage, the highest of his career. Thirteen assists gave him 29 points on the season. He also registered 32 penalty minutes and was a plus-4. The Flames finished with a 42-30-7-3 record, making the post-season for the first time in seven seasons. Lombardi only played 13 games during the Flames' Stanley Cup run, as his post-season was cut short by a Derian Hatcher elbow to the head. He only played nine games for the Flames' AHL affiliate during the following lockout season.

Lombardi returned to action for the 2005-06 season, playing one AHL game, and 55 games for the Flames. Averaging 14:09 in ice time, he scored six goals on 72 shots, and 20 assists gave him 26 points on the year. Lombardi also registered 48 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating. The Flames had a 46-25-11 record to finish first in the Northwest Division, but fell in seven games to the Ducks. Lombardi played all seven games, recording two assists and two penalty minutes.

In 2006-07, Lombardi returned to the Flames full time, playing 81 games. He saw an increased role as his average ice time jumped to 16:22, and scored 20 goals for the first, and thus far only, time in his NHL career, this time on 176 shots. Lombardi also scored 26 assists for a total of 46 points, and he once again recorded 48 penalty minutes. Lombardi finished a plus-10 while the Flames finished with a 43-29-10 record. The Flames fell to the Detroit Red Wings in six games in the first round of the playoffs. Lombardi played all six games, scoring a goal and an assist.

Lombardi played 82 games in the 2007-08 season, his last full season with the Flames. He scored 14 goals on 181 shots, and also had 22 assists, 67 penalty minutes, and a minus-6 rating while averaging 17:19 in ice time. The Flames finished with a 42-30-10 record that season, and would fall to the San Jose Sharks in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. Lombardi played all seven games, only recording four penalty minutes.

Lombardi played just 50 games for the Flames in 2008-09 before being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes. In those 50 games, he scored nine goals on 119 shots, and added 21 assists for 30 total points. He also collected 30 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating while averaging 16:27 in ice time. He, along with Brandon Prust and a first round pick, were traded for Olli Jokinen and a third rounder.

Lombardi bounced around the league for the next few seasons, playing in Phoenix, Nashville, Toronto, and Anaheim. He recorded 95 points over 189 games for those teams before departing for Switzerland to play the 2013-14 season. With Geneve Servette, he scored 50 points in 46 games. The New York Rangers signed him to a two-year contract in the 2014 offseason, so Lombardi will likely return to NHL action.

All-Time Statline: 347 games, 65 goals, 102 assists, plus-18 rating, 225 penalty minutes, 15.60 point shares.

67. Bob Murdoch

Murdoch, a 6', 195 lb. defenceman, was born on May 17th, 1947 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. He started his professional career in Montreal, spending time in the AHL and NHL until the 1972-73 season, when he stayed with the Canadiens full time. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Kings, where he played six seasons, totalling 171 points, 497 penalty minutes, and a plus-79 rating over 414 games.

On January 16, 1979, the Kings traded Murdoch and a second round pick to the Atlanta Flames for Richard Mulhern and a second. Murdoch played 35 games for the Flames the rest of that season, scoring five goals on 53 shots and finishing with 16 points, 24 penalty minutes, and a plus-2. The Flames finished with a 41-31-8 record that season, playing (and losing) two games to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs. Murdoch played both games, recording four penalty minutes.

In 1979-80, Murdoch once again scored five goals, this time on 68 shots, and had 21 points over 80 games. He also had 48 penalty minutes and once again finished a plus-2. That season, the Flames had a 35-32-13 record. They fell 3-1 to the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Murdoch played all four games, scoring a goal, an assist, and recording two penalty minutes.

Murdoch moved with the rest of the Flames to Calgary for the 1980-81 season. His offence stayed consistent as he scored three goals on 90 shots and had 19 assists for a total of 22 points over 74 games. He also registered 54 penalty minutes and finished a career-best plus-22. The Flames kicked off their time in Calgary with a 39-27-14 record, making it to the third round of the playoffs before falling 4-2 to the Minnesota North Stars. Murdoch played in all 16 of the Flames' games, scoring a goal, four assists, and taking 36 penalty minutes.

The 1981-82 season was Murdoch's final season before retirement. He played 73 games, again scoring three goals, this time on 81 shots, and recording 17 assists for 20 points. Murdoch also recorded 76 penalty minutes and finished the season a plus-5. The Flames, with a 29-34-17 record, were swept 3-0 by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs. Murdoch played all three games, but was completely held off the scoreboard as his playing career came to an end. He joined the Flames as an assistant coach the following year, and stayed with them for five seasons before moving to other NHL teams.

All-Time Statline: 262 games, 16 goals, 63 assists, plus-31 rating, 202 penalty minutes, 15.63 point shares.