20. Tom Lysiak
Tom Lysiak was a 6’1", 205 lb. forward from High Prairie, Alberta. Born on April 22nd, 1953, he played three seasons in the WCHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers, closing his junior career with 118 goals and 209 assists in 195 games. He was selected by the WHA’s Houston Aeros in the second round of the 1973 WHA Amateur Draft with the 23rd overall selection. At the same time, the Flames chose him second overall in the NHL’s draft.
Lysiak joined the Flames to start the 1973-74 season without the benefit of having played minor league hockey. He finished second in the running for rookie of the year behind New York Islander Denis Potvin. He led Atlanta with 64 points, scoring 19 times on 216 shots along with 45 assists. He led the forward corps with 4.9 point shares, earned a minus-15 rating, and spent 54 minutes in the penalty box. The team went 30-34-14 on the season, finishing fourth in the NHL’s West Division. They lost in four straight to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the postseason. Lysiak earned two assists through the series.
In 1974-75, Lysiak averaged a point per game to lead the Flames in scoring, with 77 points. He scored 25 goals on 206 shots with 52 assists, a team-best plus-23 rating, and 73 penalty minutes. He led all skaters with a 6.8 point share, and was selected to appear in his first all-star game. Atlanta finished with a 34-31-15 record, missing the postseason despite again finishing fourth in the NHL’s Patrick Division.
1975-76 would see Lysiak lead the club in scoring for the third time in his three NHL seasons, with 31 markers on 233 shots along with 51 assists in 80 games. He registered a plus-2 rating, spent 60 minutes in the box, and led all forwards with 7.0 point shares. He was voted to his second all-star game. The Flames went 35-33-12, moving up to third in the Patrick Division before losing in two games to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Lysiak continued his high scoring ways with the 1976-77 version of the Flames, leading the team with 81 points. He scored 30 goals on 277 shots with 51 assists, earning his third consecutive trip to the all-star game. He continued to lead all forwards with point shares, collecting 7.1 over the season, also earning a plus-3 rating and 52 penalty minutes. Atlanta posted a 34-34-12 record to again finish the season in third place in the Patrick Division. They finally won a playoff game, but lost the series to the Kings, two-games-to-one. Lysiak had a goal and three assists.
In 1977-78, Lysiak led the team for the fifth time in five NHL seasons, with 27 markers on 215 shots, along with 42 assists, a minus-3 rating and 54 penalty minutes. He was second on the club with five game winning goals, and sixth on the team with 5.5 point shares. At 34-27-19, the Flames could boast their best season yet, finishing third in the Patrick Division for the third year in a row. The Detroit Red Wings made short work of them, winning the opening round of the postseason in two games. Lysiak scored one Atlanta’s five goals.
In 1978-79 would see Lysiak place fifth on the club with 58 points in 52 games. He lit the lamp 23 times on 137 shots with 35 assists, a plus-16 rating, and 36 penalty minutes. The Flames traded him with Pat Ribble, Greg Fox, Harold Phillipoff, and Miles Zaharko to the Chicago Blackhawks for Ivan Boldirev, Phil Russell, and Darcy Rota.
Lysiak played eight seasons with Chicago, scoring 155 goals and 276 assists in 474 contests. After retiring following the 1985-86 season, he went into landscaping, real estate, and construction. He continues to work in the Atlanta area.
All-Time Statline: 445 games, 155 goals, 276 assists, plus-26 rating, 329 penalty minutes, 35.46 point shares.