Calgary Flames is an ice hockey team located in Calgary, Canada. Calgary is one of the largest municipalities in Canada. The team was originally founded in Atlanta and the name of the team was Atlanta Flames. After moderate success during the first seasons, the original owners faced financial hardship and eventually they had to sell the Flames franchise.
Relocation from Atlanta to Calgary
The team was relocated to Calgary in 1980 and at that time, it was renamed as Calgary Flames. The team colours of Flames are red, yellow, black and white. They play their home matches in Saddledome Arena, which has over 19 000 seat capacity for ice hockey matches. Calgary has two minor league affiliate teams: Stockton Heat in AHL league and Kansas City Mavericks in ECHL league.
Success in late 1980’s
Calgary Flames has won one Stanley Cup in season 1988-89. Other achievements include three Conference championships and two Presidents’ Trophies. It can be said that the Flames were on the top of their game in late 1980’s. Longtime General manager Cliff Fletcher made wise moves in the transfer market and acquired also good players from Europe. Fletcher was among the first GM’s to draft players from Soviet Union.
Patchy road during later times
The success of Calgary Flames in NHL has been quite modest during the last 25 years. The only highlight is the Stanley Cup final position in season 2003-04. Nevertheless, there are also two longer periods without play off positions and post-season activities. Good run in 2018-19 regular season was halted in the 1st play-off round – Flames were brutally eliminated by Colorado Avalanche.
Jarome Iginla – Mr Flames
You can’t deal with Calgary Flames without highlighting Jarome Iginla, who played most of his career in Calgary and scored at least 30 goals for Flames in eleven consecutive seasons. Iginla’s recognition includes six All Star games and 625 NHL goals – naturally most of them for Flames. The hard-hitting power forward also gained great success in Canadian national team.
Al MacInnis – the great defender
Al MacInnis played 12 seasons for Flames and was a part of their biggest success stories. MacInnis was awarded Conn Smythe trophy after the Stanley Cup winning season. At his time, nobody had harder shot in NHL than MacInnis. MacInnis is one of the few defencemen who have achieved 100 points in regular season. He was elected in Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Theo Fleury – a big gun
Theo Fleury served over 10 seasons in Calgary. His first season in Flames produced Stanley Cup victory and he managed to make two over 100 points seasons during his career. Being a great goal scorer, Fleury was important part of the team. He managed to excel in NHL despite his diminutive 5’6” height. Interesting fact is that during the 1994-95 lockout, Fleury played in Finland for Tappara, scoring 17 points in 10 games.
There would be so many legendary players worth mentioning, but we have to be happy just dropping a few names: Miikka Kiprusoff, Joel Otto, Joe Nieuwendyk, Kent Nilsson, Gary Suter… the list is endless!