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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CXIX: 36-35

Our summerlong countdown features two goaltenders ranked 36 and 35 respectively, Roman Turek and Fred Brathwaite.

36. Roman Turek

Turek, a sixth round draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, 113th overall, was a 6’4", 220 lb. goaltender. Born on May 21st, 1970 in Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, He played with the National Team for three years, earning a goals against average of just over 2.4.

Starting in 1990-91, Turek played with Motor Ceske Budejovice, the Czech National Team, and Germany’s Nurnberg Ice Tigers. He made his North American debut in 1996-97 with the IHL’s Michigan K-Wings, also spending parts of the next three seasons with the Dallas Stars (30-14-4, .911, 2.14). The then joined the St. Louis Blues for two seasons (66-33-19, .907, 2.10). During the 2001 offseason, the Blues traded him to the Flames with a fourth round pick (Yegor Shastin) for Fred Brathwaite, Daniel Tkaczuk, and Sergei Varlamov.

Turek’s first season with Calgary would see him earn the majority of starts in net. He played in 69 contests, and posted a 30-28-11 record with a 2.53 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He started out his Flames’ career with consecutive shutouts, with a 24-save performance in a 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on October 3rd and a 23-save game in a 4-0 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks three days later. He earned five shutouts over the season, which would have been six if not for Mike Vernon playing 54 seconds of a 2-0 win over the Blues on November 17th. Turek made 38 saves that night. Overall, Calgary went 32-35-12-3 and finished fourth in the NHL’s Northwest Division, missing the playoffs.

2002-03 would see Turek again earn the brunt of the playing time between the pipes for the Flames. He went 27-29-9 on the season with a .902 save percentage and a career worst 2.57 goals against average. He had four shutouts on the season. He earned the first on Halloween, blanking the Buffalo Sabres on 30 shots as the Flames took care of business, 3-0. Calgary again missed the second season by finishing 29-36-13-4, good enough for last place in the Northwest.

Turek’s last NHL season was 2003-04. He went 6-11-0 as Calgary’s third choice in net, behind Miikka Kiprusoff and Jamie McLennan. Despite his record, half of his wins were of the shutout variety, keeping his GAA down at 2.33 and his save percentage at .914. Two of his shutouts were on consecutive starts in March. A 25 save night in a 3-0 win over the Blues on the 14th and a 22 save performance in a 4-0 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes on the 24th. Calgary finished at 42-30-7-3, and won three playoff series (Canucks in seven, Detroit Red Wings in six, San Jose Sharks in six) before dropping the Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. Turek played a grand total of 19 minutes through the series, saving each of the three shots he faced.

When the 2004-05 season was cancelled, Turek signed with Ceske Budejovice. He played six seasons with the Czech club before retiring at the age of 39 at the end of the 2009-10 season.

All-Time Statline: 152 games, 63-68-20, 12 shutouts, 3981 shots faced, 3605 saves, .906 save percentage, 2.53 goals against average, 24.13 point shares.

35. Fred Brathwaite

Brathwaite, a 5’7", 185 lb. goaltender from Ottawa, Ontario, was born on November 24th, 1972. He earned his chops at the junior level with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals (48-15-6), London Knights (15-6-2) and Detroit Jr. Red Wings (23-10-4).
Before making his way to Calgary, Brathwaite also played with the AHL’s Cape Breton Oilers (13-17-0), the Edmonton Oilers (5-17-4, .885, 3.52), and the IHL’s Manitoba Moose (45-40-9). He signed with the Flames through free agency on January 6th, 1999.

As one of six Flames to earn playing time in net for Calgary in 1998-99, Brathwaite led the team with 1663 minutes played. In 28 games, he posted an 11-9-7 record, with a .915 save percentage and a 2.45 goals against average. He opened his Flames career as did Turek, with a shutout. He blanked the Dallas Stars on January 8th on 21 shots in a 1-0 victory. On January 19th, he stopped 36-of-37 shot attempts in a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Flames went 30-40-12 to place third in the Northwest Division.

1999-00 would see Brathwaite play in 61 contests as the Flames’ number one goaltender, and collect a 25-25-7 record (the other two goaltenders went a combined 6-16-3). He earned five shutouts and allowed goals on only 9.5% of shots faced and 2.75 goals per 60 minutes on the ice. He also led the team with a 10.3 point share. Over a 10 game span in December, he saved 313-of-324 shots, a .966 save percentage. The span included six of his eight best single game save percentages of the season. A 24-save shutout in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, a 49-of-50 performance in a 1-1 tie with the St. Louis Blues, a 35-of-36 save night in a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators, a 32-save shutout in a 0-0 tie with the Dallas Stars, a 30-of-31 game in a 2-1 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers, and a 27-save shutout in a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames finished fourth in the Northwest Division at 31-36-10-5.

2000-01 would be Brathwaite’s last season in Calgary. He shared the number one spot with Mike Vernon, racking up a 15-17-10 record, a .910 save percentage, and a 2.32 goals against average. He again earned five shutouts, and led the team with an 8.1 point share. On January 3rd, he had a 30-save shutout in a 1-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. Calgary finished at 27-36-15-4, fourth place in the Northwest.

Brathwaite went on to play two seasons for the Blues (21-20-8, .891, 2.51), later spending 21 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003-04 (4-11-1, .897, 3.37). After the 2004-05 season got axed, he joined the Kazan Ak-Bars in the Russian League for two years, followed by the AHL’s Chicago Wolves (32-15-5) and Germany’s Mannheim Eagles (82-78-0, 17 shutouts).

All-Time Statline: 138 games, 51-51-24, 11 shutouts, 3641 shots faced, 3309 saves, .909 save percentage, 2.54 goals against average, 24.58 point shares.