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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CXVII: 40-39

Our story today features defenseman Phil Russell and netminder Trevor Kidd.

40. Phil Russell

Russell was a 6’2", 205 lb. defenseman from Edmonton, Alberta. Born on July 21st, 1952, he played two seasons in the WCHL with the Edmonton Oil Kings starting in 1970-71. He totaled 18 goals and 61 assists with 444 penalty minutes in 98 games. The Chicago Black Hawks chose him in the first round of the 1972 NHL Amateur Draft with the 13th overall selection.

Russell played the first six and a half seasons of his NHL career with Chicago. He lit the lamp 53 times with 176 helpers in 504 contests. On March 13th, the Black Hawks traded him to the Flames with Ivan Boldirev and Darcy Rota for Tom Lysiak, Pat Ribble, Harold Phillipoff, Greg Fox and Miles Zaharko. In 13 games to close out the 1978-79 campaign, he scored a single goal on 19 shots with six assists, a plus-1 rating, and 28 penalty minutes. Atlanta went 41-31-8, then lost in the first round to the Toronto Maple Leafs in two games. Russell went scoreless and picked up nine penalty minutes.

1979-80 would see Russell rank second on Atlanta’s blue line with 36 points. He scored five times on 104 shots and placed fifth on the team with 31 assists, second with a plus-14 rating, and third with 115 penalty minutes. He was one of six Flames to play in all of Atlanta’s 80 contests. The team closed out their time in Atlanta with a 35-32-13 record, losing in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the New York Rangers, three-games-to-one. Russell picked up an assist and six penalty minutes in the series.

The Flames first season in Calgary would see Russell again play in each of the Flames’ 80 contests. He racked up six goals on 109 shots with 23 assists, a plus-17 rating, and a team-fourth 104 penalty minutes. The Flames posted a 39-27-14 record, then defeated the Black Hawks in three and the Philadelphia Flyers in seven before losing in six to the Minnesota North Stars. Russell appeared in all 16 contests, scoring twice with seven assists and 29 penalty minutes.

In 1981-82, Russell finished third on the Flames with a plus-6 rating and fourth with 110 penalty minutes. He played in 71 games altogether, lighting the lamp four times on 114 shots with 25 assists. As in most seasons, he was third on Calgary’s blue line in overall scoring, with his 29 points ranking behind Paul Reinhart’s 61 and Pekka Rautakallio’s 68. The team finished at 29-34-17, then lost their first round showdown with Vancouver, three-games-to-zero. Russell had an assist in the series.

1982-83 would see Russell finish with a career best 11.2% shooting success rate. This total would rank him 13th on the club. He scored 13 goals on 116 shots with 18 assists, a plus-2 rating, and a team-third 112 penalty minutes. Calgary defeated the Canucks in the first round of the playoffs, three-games-to-one, then lost to the Oilers, four-games-to-one in the second round. Russell played in every game, scoring once with four assists and 24 minutes in the box.

During the 1983 offseason, the Flames traded Russell with Mel Bridgman to the New Jersey Devils for Steve Tambellini and Joel Quenneville. He played parts of three seasons in New Jersey (172 games, 15 goals, 41 assists) before joining the Buffalo Sabres to close out his NHL career (18 games, two goals, five assists). After his retirement, he went into the coaching ranks, logging time as an assistant with the Muskegon Lumberjacks for three seasons before taking over has their head coach in 1991-92. In two seasons starting in 1991-92 as the number one guy, he managed the team to an 80-62-22 record. He later joined the Springfield Falcons as an assistant in 2004-05, and most recently appeared with the Pensacola Ice Pilots in 2007-08.

All-Time Statline: 322 games, 29 goals, 103 assists, plus-40 rating, 469 penalty minutes.

39. Trevor Kidd

Trevor Kidd was born on March 26, 1972 in Dugald, Manitoba. By the time he was 16, he was a 6’2", 190 lb. goaltender with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, where he went 45-64-4 over parts of three seasons, along with a goals against average just over four. Before turning pro, he also made a short appearance with the Spokane Chiefs, going 8-3-0 with a 3.52 GAA. The Flames chose him in the first round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft with the 11th overall selection.

Kidd spent most of the 1991-92 season with Team Canada, going 22-7-6 with four shutouts and helping the team to a Silver Medal at the Winter Olympics. He made his professional debut at the NHL level with Calgary on March 3rd, stopping 25-of-30 Penguins shots in a 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh. He earned his first win a month later in his second career start, stopping 23-of-26 shots in a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. The team went 31-37-12 and missed the postseason. He went 10-16-1 with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in 1992-93, and didn’t appear at the NHL level.

Kidd was second on Calgary’s depth chart as the 1993-94 season opened. He put up a 13-7-6 record on the year backing up Mike Vernon. In his first start, he turned aside 25-of-26 shots and earned the victory in a 5-1 decision over the Vancouver Canucks. He made 38 saves on November 9th, as the Flames won over the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2. Kidd finished with an .887 save percentage and a 3.16 goals against average for the 42-39-13 club. He did not appear in the postseason, a seven game series loss to the Canucks.

In 1994-95, Kidd led the NHL with 43 appearances on their shortened 48-game schedule. He led the club with a 7.4 point share, and went 22-14-6 with a 2.61 goals against average and a save percentage of .909. He stopped 170-of-183 shots over an eight game span in February, including two shutouts. It started on February 4th as he made 37 saves on 38 shots in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1. A week later, he stopped all 34 of Dallas’ shots in a 6-0 win against the Stars. Calgary posted a 24-17-7 overall record, then lost in seven games to the Sharks in the opening round of the playoffs. Kidd played in all seven games, and stopped 155 shots while allowing 26 markers, an 85.6% save rate.

1995-96 would see Kidd share co-number 1 with Rick Tabaracci. He narrowly edged Tabaracci out with 5.7 point shares to 5.3, although he went six games below .500 while Rick was three games above. Kidd went 15-21-6 and allowed 2.78 goals per 60 minutes on the ice, with an .895 save percentage. He stopped 103-of-107 shots over a four game span at the end of the year, bracketed by shutouts. That was a 27-save performance in a 4-0 win over the Leafs on December 27th and a 32-save night in a 10-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 2nd. The Flames finished at 34-37-11, then lost four straight games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. Kidd allowed nine goal on 40 shots, losing in his only start through the series.

1996-97 would be Kidd’s last season with the Flames. He resumed the mantle as Calgary’s number one, earning 21 victories against 23 losses and six ties. He posted four shutouts through the season, including a 27-save night in a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on October 13th. On October 26th, he earned a 0-0 tie, blanking the Los Angeles Kings on 26 shots in a 65-minute duel against Stephane Fiset (35 saves). Kidd saved 90% of shots faced through the season, with a 2.84 goals against average.

The Flames traded Kidd to the Carolina Hurricanes with Gary Roberts for Andrew Cassels and Jean-Sebastien Giguere during the 1997 offseason. Kidd played two seasons with the Canes (28-31-9, 2.34 GAA, .916), later playing with the Florida Panthers (28-50-13, 3.09 GAA, .900) and the Maple Leafs (12-15-4, 3.17 GAA, .888).

All-Time Statline: 178 games, 72-66-26, 10 shutouts, 4254 shots faced, 4064 saves, .898 save percentage, 2.83 goals against average, 22.73 point shares.