Welcome to our end of the 2010’s piece where we look back at the some of the best Calgary Flames moments of the decade. A lot has happened over the last ten years, and hopefully we captured everything. First we have a few honorable mentions!
Honorable Mention: Jiri Hudler’s Red Socks at the NHL Awards
June 24, 2015 - Where are his shoes? Why is he wearing bright red socks? So many questions. A career high 76 point year in 2014-15 culminated in Hudler bringing home the Lady Byng trophy at the 2015 NHL Awards show. Hudler was always known as a funny guy and while we can’t speak to some of his more recent headline-grabbing actions, this was certainly a night filled with a bit of confusion and a lot of laughter.
Honorable Mention: Bob Hartley Wins Jack Adams
June 24, 2015 - Yeah in case you couldn’t tell already, there’s going to be a lot of the Flames team from 2014-15 in this. Hartley was the first head coach in Calgary Flames history to bring home the Jack Adams award after his team had a 20 point turnaround from the previous year and made the playoffs for the first time in six years. Unfortunately less than a year later he would be fired by the Flames after the team unsurprisingly regressed significantly in 2015-16.
Honorable Mention: The Flames Finally Win in Anaheim
October 9, 2017 - In what ended up being a rare high-point during the 2017-18 season, the Flames won at the Honda Center for the first time since April 2006, and the first time in the regular season since January 2004. The victory ending a streak of 29 straight losses, something that will likely (hopefully) never be matched again by the franchise (although Vegas might be the Flames new house of horrors). Mike Smith turned away 43 shots in the 2-0 shutout victory.
Honorable Mention: Line Brawl in Vancouver
January 18, 2014 - To me, this is still the game that really kickstarted this new generation of the Calgary Flames. The 2013-14 Flames were an interesting bunch in that they didn’t have the most talent, but worked damn hard every night and had each other’s backs. When the two coaches matched their tough guys to start the game, a fight might have been expected but for all five guys to pair up was something we hadn’t seen in decades. With eight ejections and John Tortorella finding his way nearly into the Flames dressing room between periods, it was certainly an entertaining night.
#10: Mikka Kiprusoff’s Final Game at the Saddledome
April 19, 2013 - With Jarome Iginla already in Pittsburgh, the Flames were winding down their lockout-shortened 2012-13 schedule with their final home game of the year against the Anaheim Ducks. With it being fairly obvious that this was Kipper’s last game at the Dome, he received hearty ovations from the crowed all night long. It was well deserved as Kiprusoff put up one last fantastic showing at the Dome, making 32 saves on 33 shots in a 3-1 Flames victory. When Kipper departed Saddledome ice for the final time, so too did goaltending stability in the organization, something that has haunted the club ever since although that may be finally changing under David Rittich.
#9: Playing in Two Outdoor Games
February 20, 2011 - The Flames first foray into outdoor hockey provided a fantastic atmosphere at McMahon Stadium, and some of the most divisive jerseys ever dawned by the Calgary Flames. Calgary skated to a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, spurred by a two goal night from Rene Bourque and 39 saves from Miikka Kiprusoff. Over 41,000 spectators braved the -25 weather which deserves a lot of props.
October 26, 2019 - On this night in Regina, the Flames went to the 80’s white jerseys and looked absolutely spectacular. Elias Lindholm opened the scoring for Calgary in the second before the Jets came back to snag a 2-1 overtime victory. David Rittich’s attire alone though should’ve been worth an extra goal for the Flames. As someone who was at this game, it was an absolutely fantastic experience and a great way to watch a hockey game.
#8: Clinching the Pacific Division and Western Conference
March 31, 2019 - While we all know how badly the season ended, clinching the division for the first time in 13 years and the Western Conference for the first time in 29 years was definitely a high point of the decade. The Flames took a 5-3 victory in San Jose to clinch the Pacific Division, thanks to goals from Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik.
#7: Matt Stajan’s Penalty Shot against Edmonton
March 22, 2014 - In one of the more powerful moments of the decade, Matt Stajan scored on a penalty shot just a few weeks after losing his first son Emerson during childbirth. After putting a great move on Victor Fasth and scoring, Stajan pointed to the sky in an extremely emotional salute to his son. I doubt you could find a Flames fan, hockey fan, or human being, that didn’t tear up at that. Stajan and his wife Katie established the Emerson Stajan foundation and held multiple events to raise money for the NICU ward at Foothills. If you’d like to learn more or donate to the Emerson Stajan Foundation, click here.
#6: Jarome Iginla’s 500th Goal
January 7, 2012 - To this day, only 45 players have ever hit 500 goals in his NHL career, so when Jarome Iginla did that in 2012, it was an extremely special moment. The goal itself wasn’t anything spectacular, a deflection off a defender’s skate but perhaps that best defined Iginla. He had an elite shot, but would always get to the dirty areas and bang home some greasy goals as well. Iginla finished his time in Calgary as the franchise leader in goals with 525.
#5: Mark Giordano Finally Gets His Norris Trophy
June 19, 2019 - After a season ending injury in 2015 robbed Giordano of his first Norris trophy, the Flames captain was able to capture the trophy with a tremendous 2018-19 season where he put up 74 points in 78 games. It wasn’t even close either as Giordano received 165 of 171 first place votes as he captured the trophy at the age of 35. It was a great moment for a guy who had never been drafted and had a stint in Russia before becoming a superstar later in his career.
#4: Jarome Iginla Makes His Return to Calgary with Boston
December 10, 2013 - After being traded out of Calgary to Pittsburgh 258 days earlier, Jarome Iginla finally made his first visit to the Saddledome as a visitor. Oh boy was it a special night. In addition to taken the ceremonial faceoff, he was given a great video tribute and the fans gave him a very lengthy ovation that continued for most of the night. At the end of it, he was named one of the games stars and went for a victory lap or laps around the ice, waving the crowd that waved back, still just as loved by the fanbase as the day he left.
#3: Flames Clinch First Playoff Spot in Six Years Over Defending Champions
April 9, 2015 - I was lucky enough to be at this game, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. After six disappointing seasons, the Calgary Flames knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings by a score of 3-1, also eliminating the Kings from playoff contention as well. It was a great moment for the affectionately named Find-a-Way Flames team to close their regular season, and a great night for Flames fans as they knew playoff hockey was coming back to Calgary.
#2: Jarome Iginla Jersey Retirement
As you could’ve expected, there was a lot of Jarome Iginla on this list, and the crowning moment was his jersey retirment last season. The entire event was fantastically done by the Flames organization, with a number of alumni in attendance and a terrific speech from Craig Conroy. While his return game was a brief opportunity to expect the C of Red’s love for Iginla, this was an entire evening dedicated to #12. The Calgary Flames greatest player of all time got to see his number raised to the rafters of an arena he owned for many years.
#1: The Comeback Victory in Game 6 Against Vancouver
April 25, 2015 - What an absolute roller coaster of emotions this night was. Perhaps that was a perfect metaphor for the 2014-15 Calgary Flames or even the entire 2010’s Calgary Flames. From falling behind 3-0 in the early going, to battling all the way back to win 7-4 and eliminate Vancouver, it was an amazing night. Matt Stajan’s series winning goal continues to be one of the best moments if not the best moment for the Flames organization since 2004. Not to be outdone, a two goal performance from Micheal Ferland led and finished the comeback. Ferland, who’s dominance in the series caught headlines across the league was beloved by Flames fans and I’m pretty sure could’ve ran and won a mayoral campaign after this series.
Well, that’s it for the 2010’s. It was a very interesting decade as we saw the team move from the Jarome Iginla era to the Johnny Gaudreau era, and there was a lot of turnover during that time. Hopefully the 2020’s can bring this team a championship, a new arena, and who knows what else. I’m very excited to see what this decade brings!
Here are some Flames stats from 2010’s, up to December 28 2019.
- Mark Giordano - 720
- Mikael Backlund - 659
- T.J. Brodie - 605
- Matt Stajan - 558
- Sean Monahan - 511
- Sean Monahan - 184
- Johnny Gaudreau - 143
- Mikael Backlund - 134
- Mark Giordano - 120
- Jarome Iginla - 96
- Mark Giordano - 420
- Johnny Gaudreau - 417
- Sean Monahan - 394
- Mikael Backlund - 337
- T.J. Brodie - 259
- Mark Giordano - 598
- Mikael Backlund - 331
- Tim Jackman - 297
- Sam Bennett - 286
- Matt Stajan - 279
Games Played - Goalies
- Miikka Kiprusoff - 203
- Karri Ramo - 111
- Mike Smith - 97
- David Rittich - 97
- Jonas Hiller - 78
Wins - Goalies
- Miikka Kiprusoff - 95
- David Rittich - 52
- Karri Ramo - 49
- Mike Smith - 48
- Jonas Hiller - 35
Players Who Played at Least 1 Game for Calgary this Decade: 169
Players Who Scored at Least 1 Goal for Calgary this Decade: 107
Flames Regular Season Record for the Decade: 381-321-84