With the Calgary Flames out of the action for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, Global News wanted to take a look back at some of the greatest and most memorable players in the club’s history with a fantasy starting lineup draft.
On Monday, May 25, we unveiled a star-studded list of players available to be drafted to our Calgary Flames all-time starting lineup, and encouraged viewers to vote for their picks.
Participants were asked to select three forwards, two defencemen, one goalie and a head coach.
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Voting our Calgary Flames all-time starting lineup closed at midnight on May 31, and results were revealed throughout the week of June 1 on the Global News Hour at 6.
More than 10,000 votes were cast in total.
And the winners are… forwards Jarome Iginla, Joe Nieuwendyk and Theoren Fleury
Voters selected Jarome Iginla (28 per cent), Joe Nieuwendyk (14 per cent) and Theoren Fleury (14 per cent) as their Calgary Flames’ all-time forwards.
It comes as no surprise Jarome Iginla would top the list of forwards. Iginla was a force on the ice both physically and on the stat sheet.
Iginla showed glimpses of his talent making his debut during the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which would carry over for the next 16 seasons in a Flames uniform.
Iginla is the team’s all-time leader in goals, points and games played. He is also the longest serving captain of the Flames from 2003 to 2013.
Joe Nieuwendyk wasted little time to endear himself to the Flames faithful. A 51-goal rookie season, which remains a Flames’ record, and would go on to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Niewendyk’s goal scoring prowess continued throughout his nine seasons with the Flames, including a five-goal performance in January 1989. He also helped the Flames capture their first-ever Stanley Cup.
Following a 20-year career, Nieuwendyk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Theoren Fleury might have been small in stature, but quickly grew to be one of the most dangerous Flames in history.
The eighth-round selection in the 1987 draft carved out 11 seasons with Calgary and left as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 364 goals and 466 assists. He was later surpassed by Iginla.
And the winners are…. defencemen Mark Giordano and Al MacInnis
Voters selected Al MacInnis (41 per cent) and Mark Giordano (31 per cent) as their Calgary Flames’ all-time defencemen.
Al MacInnis’ slapshot would strike fear in the hearts’ of goalies and ignited the Flames offence from the blue line.
MacInnis was selected by the Flames In the 1981 NHL Entry Draft in the first round, 15th overall.
He helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 1989 and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.
MacInnis spent 13 of his 23 seasons with the Flames and ranks third all-time in NHL scoring by defenceman.
Like fine wine, Mark Giordano gets better with age.
After going undrafted in 2001, Giordano’s hard work earned him a contract with the Flames. He made his debut in 2006 and joined the roster full time two seasons later.
His leadership earned him the captaincy in 2013 following the trade of longtime captain Jarome Iginla.
Last season, the 36-year old had his best statistical season ever, and became the first Calgary Flame to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman.
And the winner is… goalie Miikka Kiprusoff
Miikka Kiprusoff takes top spot honours as the Calgary Flames’ all-time goalie with a whopping 79 percent of the vote, beating out Mike Vernon and Rejean Lemelin.
Before becoming the team’s franchise leader in wins and shutouts, the man known as Kipper was a third-string goalie for the San Jose Sharks.
Kiprusoff got his big break thanks to Darryl Sutter, who he knew from their time as members of the Sharks; Sutter was head coach for the team from 1997 until 2002.
After joining the Flames in 2002, Sutter traded a second round pick in exchange for the Finnish netminder in November of 2003 and the rest was history.
Kiprusoff made an immediate impact, setting a modern-day NHL record with a 1.69 goals against average, and guided the team to the Stanley Cup final.
And the winner is… head coach Darryl Sutter
Darryl Sutter was selected as the winner of our Calgary Flames’ all-time starting lineup with 33 per cent of the vote, beating Robert (Badger Bob) Johnson by just seven votes.
Sutter joined the Flames in 2002 following the firing of Greg Gilbert. Under Sutter, the team showed promise after a tumultuous few seasons.
Sutter assumed general manager duties the following season, making several key changes to the roster including acquiring Rhett Warrener and Miikka Kiprusoff.
In 2004, the Flames earned their first playoff berth since 1996 and their first trip to the Stanley Cup final since 1989, ultimately falling short to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.
Sutter coached the 2005-06 season before stepping down to concentrate full time on his GM duties.
He compiled a 107–73–26 record behind the Flames bench.
Runners up for head coach include Terry Crisp and Al MacNeil.