As we leave the single digits and launch into double digit territory, it’s highly appropriate that #10 be an absolute slam dunk as to who is the best to ever wear it in gold and red. And that easy call is Gary Roberts.
Roberts was a member of the Flames for 10 seasons and was a fantastic all around player that could score and be physical. He played in 585 career games with Calgary, scored 257 goals and handed out 248 assists. In addition to his scoring prowess, Roberts is the proud owner of 1,736 PIM, including four straight seasons from 1987-1992 where he has well over 200+ minutes a season with his 282 in 1987-88 being a career high.
Gary Roberts had a decent impact during the Flames Championship season, playing in 71 games and recording a career high (at the time) 38 points. He would play in 22 games during that post season and score five times, while collecting seven assists and 57 PIM. While 1988-89 was a great season for Roberts because the Flames won the Cup, 1989-90 was his real coming out party in the NHL. The Ontario native obliterated his prior season career high’s with 39 goals (he only had 38 points the year before) and 33 assists. His offence would continue to trend upwards with the best season of his career coming in 1991-92 where he had a 90 point season with 53 goals. Those numbers would earn him his first trip to the NHL All Star Game and he would follow that up with a return trip in 1993. All told, Gary Roberts would play in what was the Flames most successful era of hockey, playing in 58 playoff games (43 points) and his numbers in Calgary would be the best of his long and storied career.
Unfortunately for Gary Roberts a degenerative nerve in his neck would hamper his final two seasons with the Flames and even after surgery to help repair what was considered a potential career ending injury, Roberts retired for the first time at 30 years old in 1996.
Roberts would return to the NHL for the 1997-98 season with the Carolina Hurricanes and go on to play another 11 seasons with stops in Toronto, Florida and Pittsburgh before playing his final season with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008-09. One more ASG appearance would await him in 2004 with the Maple Leafs, but he would never win another Stanley Cup after coming back from retirement.
For his 10 years with the Flames, Roberts ranks 4th all time goals (257), 8th in points (505), 2nd in PIM (1736), 8th in GWG (27), and 4th in hat tricks with 10.
He currently runs Gary Roberts High Performance Training in Aurora Ontario.
Other Players Having Worn #10 Flames History
Norm Gratton (1973), Butch Deadmarsh (1973-1974), Jerry Byers (1975), Vic Mercredi (1975), Gerry Meehan (1975-76), Guy Chouinard (1976), Bill Clement (1976-82), Carl Mokosak (1983), Dan Quinn (1984-87), Dave Lowry (2001-04), Tony Amonte (2006-07), Brian McGrattan (2010), Niklas Hagman (2011-12), Blake Comeau (2012), Roman Cervenka (2013), Corban Knight (2014-15), Kris Versteeg (2017-18), Derek Ryan (2019-20)
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Is Gary Roberts the best Flames player to wear the #10?
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