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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CXVI: 42-41

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Long time right winger Jim Peplinski and left winger Cory Stillman are featured in today's feature.

42. Jim Peplinski

Jim Peplinski joined the still-Atlanta Flames organization via the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, 75th overall in the fourth round. A 6’3", 210 lb. right winger, the native of Renfrew, Ontario was born on October 24th, 1960.

Before his selection, Peplinski was with the OMJHL’s Toronto Marlboros for two seasons, where he scored 36 times with 60 assists in 132 games. After getting drafted, he stayed in juniors for one more season, exploding with 35 goals and 66 assists in 67 contests.

1980-81 would dawn on an Atlanta without a hockey club. The team had moved to Calgary, where Peplinski made his first NHL appearance without the benefit of having appeared on a minor league roster. He played in all 80 of Calgary’s games, lighting the lamp 13 times on 107 shots, along with 25 assists. He earned a minus-2 rating and spent 108 minutes in the penalty box, third on the team. Calgary finished at 39-27-14, following with two playoff series victories, a three-game affair over the Chicago Black Hawks and a seven game marathon against the Philadelphia Flyers. They lost in six to the Minnesota North Stars. Peplinski appeared in every game, scoring twice with three assists and 41 penalty minutes.

Peplinski would not suffer through a sophomore slump in 1981-82. He put up the best numbers in his career, ranking fourth on the team with 67 points. He scored 30 goals on 141 shots to rank second on the club with a 21.3 shooting success rate. He added 37 assists, an even rating, and a team-second 115 penalty minutes over 74 games. He was also the team leader with five game winning shots and with three shorthanded markers. Calgary posted a 29-34-17 record, then lost to the Vancouver Canucks in three games to open the playoffs. Peplinski had a goal and 13 penalty minutes.

1982-83 would see Peplinski play in all 80 games for the Flames, and score 15 times on 129 shots with 26 assists to rank eighth on the club with 41 total points. He earned a minus-5 rating to go with his team-second 134 penalty minutes. The Flames went 32-34-14, on the season, then won the playoff opener over the Canucks three-games-to-one. They dropped the second round to the Edmonton Oilers in five games. Peplinski had a goal and an assist with 45 penalty minutes in eight games.

In 1983-84, Peplinski played in 74 games, and scored 11 goals on 149 shots. He earned a team-second-worst minus-21 rating, along with 22 assists and a team fourth 114 penalty minutes. The Flames posted a 34-32-14 record, then duplicated the previous season’s playoffs, dropping the Canucks in four again and losing again to the Oilers, this time in seven. Peplinski played in all 11 games, scoring three times with four assists.

Peplinski played in all 80 games in 1984-85, the only Flame to accomplish it. He scored 16 times on 174 shots, dished out 29 assists, earned a plus-12 rating and was punished for 111 minutes in the box. The Flames were 41-27-12 before becoming first round victims to the Winnipeg Jets, three-games-to-one. Peplinski had a goal and three assists with 11 penalty minutes in the short series.

1985-86 would see Peplinski rank third on the club with 214 penalty minutes and second with a plus-31 rating. He scored 24 times on 161 shots in 77 games, with 35 assists to rank sixth on the high-scoring team with 59 points. Calgary advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in team history after finishing the regular season with a 40-31-9 record. On their way to the finals, they eliminated the Jets in three, the Oilers in seven, and the St. Louis Blues in seven before losing to the Montreal Canadiens in five. Peplinski played in all 22 games, and contributed five goals and nine assists with a team-second 107 penalty minutes (Tim Hunter had 108).

In 1986-87, Peplinski played in every game for the fourth time in seven seasons for the Flames. He ranked seventh on the club with 50 points. He scored 18 goals on 145 shots with 32 assists, a plus-13 rating, and a Flames-third 181 penalty minutes. Calgary went 46-31-3 on the season before losing in six games to the Jets in the opening round. Peplinski scored a goal and earned 24 penalty minutes through the series.

Peplinski scored 20 goals on 128 shots in 1987-88. He added 31 assists, a plus-20 rating, and a team-third 234 penalty minutes. He tied for third on the team with four game winning shots. The Flames went 48-23-9 for a franchise record 105 points. He scored multiple points on a dozen occasions through the season. On November 13th, in a 10-7 win over the Los Angeles Kings, he scored two goals and an assist with a plus-5 rating. 10 days later, he had a goal and two assists in a 9-2 Calgary rout over the New Jersey Devils. The Flames eliminated the Kings in five games before losing to the Oilers in four in the postseason. Peplinski had five assists, leading the club with 45 penalty minutes.

1988-89 would see the Flames improve on their franchise best record, as they went 54-17-9 on the season. Peplinski scored 13 times on 103 shots in 79 games, with 25 assists, a plus-6 rating, and 241 penalty minutes. On October 10th, he scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Flames played in and were victorious in all four series’ on their way to their first Stanley Cup Championship. They defeated the Canucks in seven, the Kings in four, the Blackhawks in five, then the Canadiens in six. Peplinski had a goal and six assists, along with a team leading 75 penalty minutes.

Peplinski retired after just six games in 1989-90, scoring a single goal. His 705 games ranked him first in Flames history at the time. He went on to join the HNiC crew in the broadcast booth. In 1994-95, he came back for six more games, totaling one assist before retiring for good.

All-Time Statline: 711 games, 161 goals, 263 assists, plus-51 rating, 1,467 penalty minutes, 22.23 point shares.

41. Cory Stillman

Stillman, born in Peterborough, Ontario on December 20th, 1973, was a 6’, 200 lb. left winger. He played two seasons with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, scoring 60 goals with 131 assists in 117 games over two seasons. His play got him noticed by the Flames, who drafted him in the first round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft with the sixth overall selection. He would spend another year in the OHL, with the Peterborough Petes (61 games, 25 goals, 55 assists).

In 1993-94, Stillman played 79 games with the Saint John Flames (79 games, 35 goals, 48 assists). He played most of the following season back in Saint John (63 games, 28 goals, 53 assists), also making a 10 game appearance with Calgary (zero goals, two assists).

1995-96 would see Stillman in his first full NHL season for the Flames. He played 74 games, scoring 16 goals on 132 shots with 19 assists, a minus-5 rating, and 41 penalty minutes. On Halloween, he scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Flames went 34-37-11, then lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Chicago Blackhawks. Stillman had a goal and an assist in two games.

Stillman played in 58 games in 1996-97, scoring six times on 112 shots along with 20 assists, a minus-6 rating, and 14 penalty minutes. The Flames went 32-41-9, placing fifth in the Pacific Division and falling short of the NHL’s second season.

In 1997-98, Stillman played in 72 games for the Flames, and scored a team-leading and career-high 27 times on 178 shots with 22 assists, a minus-9 rating, and 40 penalty minutes. He finished with multiple points in 12 different games. On October 12th, he earned his first career hat trick, scoring three goals and an assist in a 4-4 tie with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored a goal with two helpers in a 5-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on December 29th. Calgary went 26-41-15 on the season.

1998-99 would see Stillman equal his career hit with 27 goals on 175 shots, along with 30 assists, a plus-7 rating, and 38 penalty minutes in 16:19 per game. He was second on the team with 57 overall points, leading the club with nine power play goals, five game winning markers, and with three shorthanded markers. He had 14 multipoint games, including on October 23rd, when he earned an assist and later scored the game winner in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Calgary closed the season at 30-40-12.

Stillman was limited to 37 games in 1999-00, when he lit the lamp a dozen times on 59 shots with nine assists, a minus-9 rating, and 12 penalty minutes in 17:45 per contest. He scored two power play goals on October 13th, as the Flames topped the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. Calgary finished up the season at 31-36-10-5 without Stillman, who went down on December 27th after suffering a shoulder injury against the Philadelphia Flyers.

In 2000-01, Stillman played in 66 contests for the Flames, with 21 goals on 148 shots, 24 assist, a minus-6 rating, and 45 penalty minutes in 18:50 per game. On November 29th, he scored another hat trick, scoring three times in a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars. On March 13th, the Flames traded him to the St. Louis Blues for Craig Conroy and a seventh round pick (David Moss).

After three seasons with the Blues (171 games, 50 goals, 69 assists), Stillman went on to play with the Tampa Bay Lightning (81 games, 25 goals, 55 assists), the Carolina Hurricanes (191 games, 52 goals, 113 assists), the Ottawa Senators (24 games, three goals, 16 assists), and the Florida Panthers (165 games, 39 goals, 70 assists). He is currently with the Canes as a member of the teams’ player development team.

All-Time Statline: 393 games, 109 goals, 126 assists, minus-27 rating, 192 penalty minutes, 22.46 point shares.