After witnessing the one of the best seasons in Calgary Flames history this past year, I decided to put together a piece to create the best Flames roster of all time. I was inspired by our sister site Raw Charge who cover Tampa Bay who did the same piece earlier this week. You can read their piece here.
I’m going to be using the exact same rules that they did for their article, which are as follows:
Rules: We’ll put together a standard playing roster of 12 forwards, six defensemen, and two goaltenders. For each player, only their best season will count. Each player can only be used once. As best as possible, we’ll make the roster and lines workable. We won’t do too much of switching players around positions to make them work. That means we’ll need right wingers and left wingers to go on either side of centers. We’ll also need a balance of left and right handed defensemen. Let’s get to it!
Left Wing: 2018-19 Johnny Gaudreau, 82 Games Played, 36 Goals, 63 Assists, 99 Points
Center: 1987-88 Joe Nieuwendyk, 75 Games Played, 51 Goals, 41 Assists, 92 Points
Right Wing: 2001-02 Jarome Iginla, 82 Games Played, 52 Goals, 44 Assists, 96 Points
The depth on the left side kind of falls off compared to the guys on the right which you’ll see in the later lines, so Johnny Gaudreau leads off as the best LW in Flames history. I went with Nieuwendyk’s rookie year as his best, where he won the Calder Trophy. I had a tough time deciding which Iginla season to choose as his best, but 2001-02 was a year where he did everything on a pretty bad Flames team. He won the Rocket Richard, Lester B Pearson, and the Art Ross trophy that year (should’ve won the Hart too but I don’t want to get into that again)
Left Wing: 1990-91 Theo Fleury, 79 Games Played, 51 Goals, 53 Assists, 104 Points
Center: 1980-81 Kent Nilsson, 80 Games Played, 49 Goals, 82 Assists, 131 Points
Right Wing: 1982-83 Lanny McDonald, 80 Games Played, 66 Goals, 32 Assists, 98 Points
I kind of broke the rule by putting Theo Fleury on the left side, but I just couldn’t stomach having him any further down this lineup. He had many great years with Calgary, but his best was in 90-91. Nilsson’s 131 points is a mark that won’t ever come close to being rivaled again. Finally, who could forget Lanny.
Left Wing: 1991-92 Gary Roberts, 76 Games Played, 53 Goals, 37 Assists, 90 Points
Center: 2018-19 Sean Monahan, 78 Games Played, 34 Goals, 48 Assists, 82 Points
Right Wing: 1987-88 Hakan Loob, 80 Games Played, 50 Goals, 56 Assists, 106 Points
Love me some Gary Roberts. 1991-92 was his fifth straight year of surpassing 200 PIMs which is unfathomable in today’s NHL. Sean Monahan makes the cut as he already has the third most goals among all Flames centremen all-time. Loob’s career sometimes gets forgotten due to it only being six seasons and the fact that another guy who wore #12 followed him, but he was great over his time in Calgary.
Left Wing: 1981-82 Jim Peplinski, 74 Games Played, 30 Goals, 37 Assists, 67 Points
Center: 1985-86 Joel Otto, 79 Games Played, 25 Goals, 34 Assists, 59 Points
Right Wing: 1988-89 Joe Mullen, 79 Games Played, 51 Goals, 59 Assists, 110 Points
Throwing some love out there to guys who spent a lot of games with the organization, even if they weren’t always putting up the most points.
Left Side: 2018-19 Mark Giordano, 78 Games Played, 17 Goals, 57 Assists, 74 Points
Right Side: 1990-91 Al MacInnis, 78 Games Played, 28 Goals, 75 Assists, 103 Points
A guy who probably will win the Norris this year next to a guy who probably should’ve won his first Norris. What a pairing these two would’ve been in their prime (which may actually have been their mid-30’s for both of them.)
Left Side: 1987-88 Gary Suter, 75 Games Played, 21 Goals, 70 Assists, 91 Points
Right Side: 1986-87 Jamie Macoun, 79 Games Played, 7 Goals, 33 Assists, 40 Points
The top four is rounded out by a pair of guys from the mid-80’s. No shock there.
Left Side: 2005-06 Robyn Regehr, 65 Games Played, 6 Goals, 20 Assists, 26 Points
Right Side: 1982-83 Paul Reinhart, 78 Games Played, 17 Goals, 58 Assists, 75 Points
I feel like Robyn Regehr doesn’t get enough love sometimes from his time with the team due to the other superstars on the roster. Regehr was finally surpassed by Giordano this year as the longest tenured Flames defenceman. Reinhart was a first round pick by the Atlanta Flames in 1979 and had a good career with the organization after that.
Starter: 2005-06 Miikka Kiprusoff, 42-20-11, 2.07 GAA, 0.923 SV%,
Backup: 1988-89 Mike Vernon, 37-6-5, 2.65 GAA, 0.897 SV%
Not a lot of discussion needed for selecting these two goaltenders who are far and away the best two to ever suit up in a Flames uniform.