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89 Champs: Where Are They Now: Al MacInnis

Before Sidney Crosby, there was Al MacInnis from Nova Scotia.

In 1989 when the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup, defenceman Al MacInnis took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Playoff MVP while also becoming the first defenceman to lead the playoffs in scoring and setting a record for the longest game scoring streak by a defenceman at 17 games.

The next season, MacInnis finished 2nd in scoring by defencemen with 90 points and was also named a First Team All-Star. Not to be outdone, he finished the 1990-91 season with a career high 103 points, becoming the first Calgary Flames defenceman and only the fourth in NHL history to get to 100 points in a season. He is perhaps most remembered for his booming slapshot. When you saw him raise his stick in windup, you got the hell out of the way!

MacInnis became the Flames’ all-time leading scorer with his 563rd career point on January 8th, 1991. He also set a franchise record for games played on February 23rd, 1993 when he played in his 706th game in a Flames uniform.

After five seasons of injury and missing the playoffs, MacInnis and the Flames parted ways in 1994 after the Flames offered him $2.5 million per season and he instead signed an offer sheet with the St. Louis Blues for $3.5 million making him the fourth highest paid player in the NHL.

MacInnis spent a few injury-riddled seasons for the Blues, quietly playing in his 1,000th career game in in 1997, and scoring his 1,000th career point in 1998. He finally won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 1999. In the 2002-03 season, MacInnis returned to form as he topped all defencemen in scoring with 68 points.

After missing almost all of the 2003-04 season with an eye injury, the 2004-05 season was cancelled due to a labour dispute and before the 2005-06 season started, MacInnis announced his retirement as a player. He remained with the Blues after being named the Vice President of Hockey Operations.

MacInnis finished his playing career in 3rd place all-time among defencemen in goals, assists and points. He played in seven All-Star games and was part of the 2002 Gold Medal team at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The St. Louis Blues retired Al’s jersey number 2 in 2006 and honoured him with a statue in 2009. The Calgary Flames raised his number 2 jersey to the rafters in 2012, but did not formally retire his number.

MacInnis was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 and was also inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.