When it comes to the #18 in Flames history, most of us think of Matt Stajan and the 10 years he played for the Flames. BUT, I’m going to send you back to where it all started, Atlanta, for the best #18 in Flames history When there were no helmets, the pads were small and the mustaches were gigantic. Sorry Team Stajan, but Rey Comeau is taking home the title of Best #18 In Flames History.
This was a tough one and I went back and forth a few times, but in the end, Comeau had a better career in his time with the Flames than Stajan did, with both having similar career numbers/paths, but Rey Comeau did it all in a shorter time frame. Basically it took Stajan 4 more years and 90 more games to finish with 20 less career points than Comeau. Stajan also played in five more playoff games and has only one more point. Case closed.
Comeau took the long and less glamorous road to the NHL, by way of eight years in the minors playing in the MMJHL, AHL and CHL starting all the way back in 1965. He would get a taste on the NHL in 1971-72 playing in four games for his hometown Montreal Canadiens, but his real deal NHL debut was when he came to the Atlanta Flames for their inaugural 1972-73 season. In that first season Comeau would score 21 goals and collect 21 assists in 70 games, finishing in third place on the team in points (42). That would be his best season with Atlanta, though he never finished below 30 points in his time with the Flames. In all but one season he would finish in the Flames top 10 in scoring, leaving the Flames with 468 games played, 88 goals and 126 assists. The Atlanta Flames were a playoff team during that time, but not a very successful one. Comeau would make the playoffs three times, playing in nine games and scoring one goal and three assists. He would also be tops in games played in the NHL in 1973-74 (78) and 1976-77 (80).
Comeau would leave Atlanta after the 1977-78 season and play two more years with the Colorado Rockies before spending the final two years of his career with the Fort Worth Texans of the CHL. He was never able to replicate what he did in his time in Atlanta and was out of hockey by the start of the 1981 season.
Other Players Having Worn #18 In Flames History
Darcy Rota (1979-80), Gerry O’Flaherty (1979), Brad Smith (1980-81), Dave Hindmarch (1981-84), Joe Nieuwendyk (1987), Randy Bucyk (1988), Craig Coxe (1988), Stu Grimson (1989), Jonas Bergqvist (1990), Paul Kruse (1991), Trent Yawney (1992-95), Pavel Torgaev (1996), Marty McInnis (1997-99), Steve Dubinsky (1999-2000), Daniel Tkaczuk (2001), Jamie Wright (2002-03), Chris Drury (2003), Matthew Lombardi (2004-09), Matt Stajan (2010-18), James Neal (2019)
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Is Rey Comeau the best player in Flames history to wear the #18?
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