With the Calgary Flames comfortably poised among the best teams in the NHL, it’s important to take some time and remember where we once were. For this piece, I’m going back to the final game of the 2012-13 NHL season.
The Flames were visiting the Chicago Blackhawks in their final game of the lockout shortened season. This game came less than a month after the 2013 Trade Deadline, a period that say franchise cornerstone Jarome Iginla traded to Pittsburgh as the Flames began their rebuild. Miikka Kiprusoff had also played his final career game by this point.
This was a Flames team entering a long process and icing a team resembling an AHL squad. It didn’t help that they were facing arguably the best team of the last decade in the 2012-13 Blackhawks who went 36-7-5 and won the Stanley Cup.
As expected Calgary lost the game 3-1 and finished 25th in the NHL. That summer the Flames would draft Sean Monahan, and the current era of the Flames would be begin.
Let’s look at the player’s iced on April 26, 2013.
#10 Roman Cervenka: Ah yes the infamous Roman Cervenka experiement. He had 17 points in 39 games with Calgary and 2012-13 was his only year in the NHL. Cervenka currently plays for Zurich of the Swiss-A league.
#11 Mikael Backlund: Still here, still love him. 2012-13 was Backlund really just scratching the surface of the great two-way player he’d become.
#13 Mike Cammalleri: I still don’t get why he wasn’t traded. Finished with 45 points in 63 games that year before signing a 5yr/$25M contract with New Jersey. He was bought out after 2016-17, and bounced between LA and Edmonton last year and is now out of hockey.
#16 Brian McGrattan: Ah yes, you can never forget about Big Ern. Mcgrattan would spend all of 2013-14 with the Flames, before heading to the AHL in 2014-15. He’d play a year in the EIHL after that. After retiring he’s become a big part of the Flames organization in providing support to players dealing with off-ice issues.
#18 Matt Stajan: Hard to believe that Stajan ended up playing over 550 games with the Flames. As we know he played with Calgary until last year, and now has 32 points in 49 games with Munich of the DEL this year. Go Staj!
#19 Blair Jones: Here’s a guy who’s name I definitely haven’t said or thought of in five years. Jones spent 2013-14 between Calgary and Abbotsford (remember them?) and then mostly became a full-time AHLer. He suited up for six games in the Czech league this year for Sparta Praha.
#22 Lee Stempniak: It seems weird that Stempniak wasn’t traded at the deadline this year, but he actually wasn’t known for that yet. Stempniak would become infamous for being traded and has played on 10 teams in his career (!!!), and just this week signed a deal with Boston to come back.
#29 Akim Aliu: This would be Aliu’s last NHL game as he bounced around in the minor leagues and Europe after this. Most recently he played a few games with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.
#38 Ben Street: Street actually picked him his first NHL point in this game with an assist. He’s primarily been a minor league in a number of organizations since, but has played 21 NHL games for Anaheim this year.
#46 Carter Bancks: Bancks entered the Flames farm system at the conclusion of his junior career. He spent another year in Abbotsford and is now in his fifth season with the Utica Comets, Vancouver’s AHL team.
#51 Roman Horak: Horak had played 61 games with Calgary in 2011-12, and then split 2012-13 between Calgary and Abbotsford. He was then traded to the Oilers where he lit up the AHL for a year, and scored one goal in two NHL games. After that he went to the KHL for four years, and is now with Vaxjo HC of the Swedish League.
#58 Ben Hanowski: After being one of the prospects in the infamous Iginla trade, Hanowski played 16 games for Calgary but never panned out. He is now playing for Cologne of the DEL in Germany.
#5 Mark Giordano: Still killing it. He was named captain in the 2013 offseason and continues to get better, now in the Norris lead at Age 35.
#6 Cory Sarich: This would be Sarich’s final game with the Flames as he was traded with Alex Tanguay in the 2013 offseason to Colorado. He’d play that final year with the Avs then retired after.
#7 T.J. Brodie: Still here, still having a good time. Brodie took some big strides in 2012-13 and has continually improved since then.
#26 Dennis Wideman: He played out his contract in Calgary through the 2016-17 season and has since retired and become an assistant coach in Kitchener of the OHL.
#42 Mark Cundari: As part of the return for Jay Bouwmeester, Cundari would stick with the organization in 2013-14, but only dressed for four NHL games. He spent 3 years in the AHL and is now currently with Berlin of the DEL.
#44 Chris Butler: Butler left the Flames as a free agent after 2013-14 and has been with the St. Louis Blues organization since. He’s dressed in 25 NHL games over that time period.
#35 Joey MacDonald: I had almost totally forgotten about the Joey MacDonald era before writing this. He split 2013-14 between Calgary and Abbotsford, then left for the DEL where he last played in 2016-17.
This roster =
We’ve come a long way folks.