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BHM - Highlighting the ties that the Flames have to the Black community

Celebrating Black history within the Flames organization.

Getty Images/Ronald C. Mora

The Flames have had some great ties with the Black community through the years. Over the 40 year history of the team in Calgary, the Flames have had 10 players that have some kind of ties with the Black Community. The most notable of those are Jarome Iginla, Grant Fuhr, Sandy McCarthy, Fred Braithwaite etc.

Honourable Mention: Paul Jerrard

Paul Jerrard was a part of the Flames coaching staff under Head Coach Glen Gulutzan from 2016-2018. To date, he is one of three black coaches to be behind an NHL bench. Something that really needs to change. He is now an assistant coach for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s hockey team.

Sandy McCarthy

The notorious hitter/fighter from Toronto was drafted by the Flames in Round 3 (52nd Overall) of the 1991 NHL Draft. McCarthy spent parts of 5 seasons with the Flames and had 55 points (30 goals and 25 assists) in 276 games played in Cowtown. More so known for his fighting, McCarthy spent 730 minutes inside the Penalty box, with most of those minutes coming from many brawls. A notorious fighter who was well known amongst the C of Red and the NHL. Sandy McCarthy now serves as a head coach for the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.

Nigel Dawes

Claimed off of waivers in 2009, Dawes quickly proved himself to be a regular in the Flames lineup (although he did only play in Calgary for one year). A solid two-way player that could do everything right and could also chip in on offence. In the one year with the Flames, he had 32 points (12 goals and 18 assists) in 66 games played. Even though he played the one year in Calgary, he still put up some pretty good numbers. Nigel Dawes now plays for the Mannheim Eagles of the DEL, after an illustrious career in the KHL. He sits 4th on the all-time scoring list in the KHL.

Akim Aliu

Although his tenure was short in Calgary, he’s known more so off the ice as an ambassador for changing Hockey Culture. The Flames acquired him on loan for the Abbotsford Heat (Currently the Stockton Heat). He performed well enough with the Heat that the Flames sent defenceman John Negrin to the Jets on January 30, 2012, in exchange for Aliu’s NHL rights. The team recalled Aliu late in the season and he made his NHL debut on April 5th, 2012. Altogether in 7 games played with the Flames, he registered 3 points (2 goals and assists). Aliu is now a pioneer in growing the game with minorities and a big voice for creating change in the game.

Tyrone Garner

Tyrone Garner was a goaltender that played three games for the Flames as an emergency call-up back in the 98-99 season. He posted a 0–2–0 record with a 5.18 GAA before being returned to the Oshawa Generals. He only spent about 2 years in the Flames organization. He now works as a Professional Goalie Coach and a Goalie Development Coach for the Hamilton Jr Bulldogs.

Jamal Mayers

Jamal Mayers was acquired by the Flames in one of the biggest trades in franchise history. That’s probably already a big telltale but for those that don’t know..... Mayers was a part of the trade that sent Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjöström, and Keith Aulie to the Leafs in exchange for Matt Stajan (the only good player from the trade), Niklas Hagman, Ian White, and Mayers of course. Mayers only played 27 with the Flames before departing in the offseason to play with the Sharks. In those 27 games, Mayers only registered a mere 6 points (1 goal and 5 assists). Mayers would go on to win the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013, even though he didn’t play in the Finals. Mayers now works as an analyst for the NHL Network and NBC Sports Chicago. He also works as a Community Liaison for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chris Stewart

Next up on the list is the one time 28 goal scorer, Chris Stewart. Stewy was placed on waivers by the Wild close to the 2018 Trade Deadline. The Flames claimed Stewart on February 26th. He would go on to appear in 7 regular-season games and would register 3 points (1 Goal and 2 Assists). He now works for the Flyers as a player development coach.

Grant Fuhr

One of the weirdest players to dawn the Flaming C, as he was a part of the many Battle of Alberta’s but on the other side. More so known for his time in Edmonton, the Hall of Famer would however go onto play for the arch-rivals. Fuhr would spend the final season of his career in Calgary. In the 99-00 season, Fuhr played 23 games registering a 5-13-2 record with a .856 SV%. Not a great season from the HHOF but he was more so remembered for the impact he left in the locker room. Noticeably on a young player by the name of- You’re going to have to wait for that name. But it’s cool to know that a HHOF like Fuhr who was synonymous for his play in Edmonton actually spent a season just down the road in Calgary.

Fred Brathwaite

A beloved player in the C of Red by many of the fans that loved his flashy style of play between the pipes. Brathwaite would appear in 138 games for the Flames in a three season span. He would register a 51-51-24 record and would post a .909 SV%. Not too shabby as the Flames were horrendous during his tenure. But he’ll be most remembered for one the best saves in franchise history. A goal line stick save against the Red Wings. Brathwaite now serves as a goaltending coach for the Henderson Silver Knights (AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights) in the AHL.

Oliver Kylington

The second black player that the Flames ever drafted is the Swedish defenceman Oliver Kylington! Kylington who is of Swedish-Eritrean descent is the only active black player on the Flames Roster. Olly was selected in the 2nd round (60th Overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. Since then Kylington has been a player that has had his fair share of ups & downs. As of this season, he has gotten a real chance to cement himself in the lineup, as the team finally trusts him and his skills on the backend. He’s proved that he can hang in there with some of the best and has let his play do the talking. Currently, in 136 games played in the big leagues, Kylington has 37 points (10 Goals and 27 Assists). With the Stockton Heat (the little brother of the Flames in the AHL), he has 91 points (28 Goals and 63 Assists) in 190 games played. Altogether not too bad of a start to the young defenceman’s career. Looking forward to what he can continue to do down the road.

Jarome Iginla

Last but not least, the Franchise’s best player..... Hockey Hall of Famer, Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla! One of the best, if not the best Black Hockey Players of all time. Iggy played a franchise-best 1219 games with the Flames. By the end of his tenure in Calgary, he shattered many records, as Jarome racked up 1095 points (525 Goals and 570 Assists). Iginla scored 50 goals in a season on two occasions and is one of seven players in NHL history to score 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons. He is also one of 20 players in NHL history to score over 600 goals and is one of 34 players to record 1,300 points in his career. An impressive tenure in Calgary, as he was (and still is) a great ambassador for the sport of hockey. Over the years Iggy cemented himself as one of the biggest legends in the 16 years he spent in the C of Red. Another impressive feat for Iggy was his contributions to Kidsport Calgary... From 2000-2013, Iggy donated more than $700,000 to KidSport Calgary (a charity that helps underprivileged kids play sports). One of the biggest pioneers for the game and an absolute legend when it came to off-ice contributions to the community around him. You can still find Iggy jerseys all around the city because of his synonymous presence and his larger-than-life personality. Iginla was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2021. Further cementing his legacy, as a hockey legend. Iggy now spends his time coaching minor hockey for the RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, BC.