Top 5: Players You Forgot Were Calgary Flames

Arriving in Calgary in 1980 after relocating from Atlanta, the Flames have seen plenty of success, as well as years of abject failure. With three Stanley Cup appearances, winning once, they also have two separate five-year playoff droughts. With that kind of variability, it should be no surprise the Flames have seen their fair share of random players pass through the organization.

Number 5- Chris Drury

After a dominate early career with the Colorado Avalanche where he won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie, and later a Stanley Cup, Chris Drury was traded to the Calgary Flames on the eve of the 2002 season. Drury played 80 games during the 02-03 season, scoring 23 goals and 53 points, but the Flames finished last in the Northwest Division. In the summer of 2003 Drury was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Steven Reinprecht. He became a staple in the Sabres lineup serving as an alternate captain.

Number 4- Niklas Backstrom

No, not the Washington Capitals forward. We’re talking about the goaltender who is best known for his nine seasons playing with the Minnesota Wild. He found himself supplanted by Devan Dubnyk midway through the 2014-15 season, and lost the backup role to Darcy Kuemper late in the season. No longer having a role in Minnesota, he was dealt to the Calgary Flames in February of 2016. Backstrom found himself injected into a goalie carousel that also featured Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, and Joni Ortio. All in all, he suited up for four games as a Flame, winning two, before he returned to his naive Finland at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Number 3- Jean-Sebastian Giguere

Drafted by the Whalers in 1995, Giguere found himself on the move when the franchise relocated to Carolina. In the summer of 1997, he was dealt to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Trevor Kidd and Gary Roberts. Still just 20 years old, he found himself in the AHL for a vast majority of his time with the Flames organization. From 1997 to 2000 he suited up for 22 games for the Flames, and 111 games with Saint John of the AHL. In June of 2000, he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a second round pick, and his career took off from there.

Number 2- Curtis Joseph

Curtis Joseph was 18 years and 913 games into his NHL career by the time he showed up in Calgary. When the 2007-08 season rolled around, Joseph was coming off a Spengler Cup victory and looking to make a return to the NHL. Despite interest from the Maple Leafs and Senators, on January 14, 2008 he signed a deal to finish the season with the Calgary Flames. CuJo suited up for nine regular season games and two playoff games. He became the the first goaltender to win a playoff game for five different teams. Joseph returned to Toronto for the 2008-09 season where he would play 21 more games before hanging up the skates for good.

Number 1- Martin St. Louis

The NHL was the land of the giants in 1997, thus making it almost impossible for smaller guys to make their mark in the league. Standing at just five feet, eight inches tall, Martin St. Louis went undrafted after his college career came to an end. He earned a tryout with the Ottawa Senators, but was released and ended up playing in the International Hockey League for the 1997-98 season. St. Louis scored 50 points in 56 games and his stellar play caught the eye of the Calgary Flames. He was signed to the AHL where he put in 25 points in 26 games. He earned his first NHL recall during the 1998-99 season where he played 13 games, though only scoring two points. He ended up back in the AHL to finish out the season, but was once again recalled to start the 1999-00 season. He stuck around for 56 games with the Flames, but the organization was not interested in keeping him around for another season after a front office shakeup. Leaving St. Louis exposed during the 2000 expansion draft, he went unclaimed and was later bought out by Calgary after 69 NHL games. He would later sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the rest is history.

Honorable Mentions

Brian Boucher

After starting his career with the Flyers, he was traded to the Coyotes, where he found quite a bit of success. He set the modern day NHL shutout streak at 332 minutes while in Arizona. About a month before the 2006 NHL trade deadline Boucher was dealt to the Calgary Flames along with Mike Leclerc for Steven Reinprecht and Phil Sauve. Boucher played in three games registering a 4.95 goals against average and a .854 save percentage. He opted to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer, thus ending his short tenure in Calgary.

Nicklas Grossmann

Best known for his time in Dallas and Philadelphia, he was shipped away from the Flyer organization in the summer of 2015. He played the 2015-16 season with the Arizona Coyotes. Grossmann was offered a PTO with the Calgary Flames for the 2016 preseason, and earned a one-year deal in early October. He suited up for three games, going pointless, and was put on waivers. After refusing to report to the AHL, his contract was terminated and he fled back to his native Sweden to finish out his career.

 

 

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

Photo credit: NHL.com

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