Some numbers in Flames history are a battle ground of players. Some numbers have few players in consideration. Some numbers are a graveyard of “who’s that?,” players who were only there for a season or guys who were good and came to Calgary to not play well. Welcome to the #21. Sorry Garnet Hathaway. My heart said this was your spotlight, but my brain told me to keep digging. And we dug, like DUUUUUUUUUUUG, all the way back to the foundation of the franchise. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you.......Larry Romanchych.
This #21 roamed the ice for the Atlanta Flames from 1972-77 and had three really impressive seasons in that time frame. Larry was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1969 and would spend three seasons in the minors before making his NHL debut with Chicago in 1970, playing in 10 games before moving on to the Atlanta Flames as they began their inaugural season in 1972-73. And it was a good move for Larry and the Flames. That first year in Atlanta, Romanchych would play in 70 games, score 18 times and pile up 30 assists. Atlanta didn’t make the playoffs, but Romanchych’s 48 points were good enough to finish second on the team in scoring. The next season would see the Flames improve and make the playoffs and it’s no coincidence that #21 would have his best NHL season in 1973-74. In 73 games Romanchych would score a career high 22 goals to go along with 29 assists, achieving the 50+ point mark for the first and only time in his career. That season he would also lead the Flames in scoring during their brief, four game playoff run with two goals and two assists.
Larry Romanchych would make the NHL playoffs in three straight years with the Flames and during his time with Atlanta he would finish in the top 10 in scoring on the team three times. Romanchych would hang up his NHL skates at the end of the 1977 season, but would play in one AHL season with the Maine Mariners in 1977-78 where he would play in 79 games and put up 51 points (17G - 34A) at the age of 28.
After retiring in 1978, Larry founded a moving and storage company in British Columbia.
Other Players Having Worn The #21 In Flames History
John Gould (1977-79), Earl Ingarfield (1980-81), Dan Labraaten (1981-82), Gord Wappel (1982), Kari Jalonen (1983-84), Tony Stiles (1984), Perry Berezan (1985-89), Roger Johansson (1990-91), Alexander Godynyuk (1992-93), Richard Zemlak (1992), Brad Schlegel (1994), Steve Chiasson (1995-97), Andrew Cassels (1998-99), Andreas Johansson (2000), Dwayne Haye (2001), Andrew Ferrance (2003-07), David Hale (2007-08), Olli Jokinen (2009-10), Chris Higgins (2010), Clay Wilson (2012), Mason Raymond (2015-16), Garnet Hathaway (2018-19)
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Is Larry Romanchych the best Flames player to wear the #21?
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