Some Flames Change Numbers, Some Do Not


Big news, everybody! Several Calgary Flames players have changed their jersey numbers!

In other news, several other players have not changed their numbers.

The important thing here – if you can call it that – is which players upgraded numbers.


Four newcomers chose numbers.

Jonas Hiller will wear #1. It was previously worn most recently by Curtis McElhinney, and most famously by the likes of Roman Turek, Reggie Lemelin and Phil Myre.

Mason Raymond will wear #21. it was previously worn recently by Roman Horak, and most famously worn by Perry Berezan, Andrew Ference and Andrew Cassels.

Brandon Bollig will wear #25. It was most famously worn by Joe Nieuwendyk (and honoured this past spring), and worn since Nieuwendyk left town by a handful of players, most recently David Moss.

Deryk Engelland will wear #29. It was most famously Joel Otto’s number, and most recently worn by Akim Aliu and Reto Berra (who I completely forgot about).


A pair of former Portland Winterhawks returned to their junior numbers.

Tyler Wotherspoon has moved from #56 to #26. He had a training camp number and proved to be a capable hockey player (even with a bum shoulder), so this is probably a good sign that he’s in the running for a roster spot.

Sven Baertschi went from #47 to #27, like Wotherspoon it was his junior number, but when he arrived Derek Smith had it, so he wore a training camp number until Smith left the organization.

Don’t consider these downgrades in jersey numbers as a guarantee of anything. Last season, Corban Knight (#10), Lance Bouma (#17) and Roman Horak (#21) got “regular” jersey numbers – one spent a year in the AHL, one got shipped off to Edmonton and the third made the team by virtue of blocking a zillion shots.

Still, it’s probably not a bad sign.


Not wanting to feel left out, Ladislav Smid has switched from #3 to #15 and David Jones has moved from #54 to #19, the number (Go) Blair Jones once had. Presumably they saw the equipment manager’s e-mail announcing the previous moves and asked if they, too, could swap numbers.

These numbers are even more minor than minor.


For the curious, a broad look at who currently has claim to what jersey number.

  • 1: Jonas Hiller
  • 4: Kris Russell
  • 5: Mark Giordano
  • 6: Dennis Wideman
  • 7: T.J. Brodie
  • 8: Joe Colborne
  • 10: Corban Knight
  • 11: Mikael Backlund
  • 15: Ladislav Smid
  • 16: Brian McGrattan
  • 17: Lance Bouma
  • 18: Matt Stajan
  • 19: David Jones
  • 20: Curtis Glencross
  • 21: Mason Raymond
  • 23: Sean Monahan
  • 24: Jiri Hudler
  • 25: Brandon Bollig
  • 26: Tyler Wotherspoon
  • 27: Sven Baertschi
  • 29: Deryk Engelland
  • 31: Karri Ramo
  • 32: Paul Byron
  • 37: Joni Ortio
  • 42: Mark Cundari
  • 45: David Wolf
  • 46: Bill Arnold
  • 48: Bryce van Brabant
  • 49: John Ramage
  • 50: Patrick Sieloff
  • 51: Kenny Agostino
  • 52: Morgan Klimchuk
  • 53: Johnny Gaudreau
  • 57: Emile Poirier
  • 58: Ben Hanowski
  • 59: Max Reinhart
  • 60: Markus Granlund
  • 61: Brett Kulak
  • 62: Austin Carroll
  • 63: Sam Bennett
  • 65: Turner Elson
  • 67: Ryan Culkin
  • 68: Adam Ollas Mattsson
  • 71: Hunter Smith
  • 72: Mason McDonald
  • 73: Keegan Kanzig
  • 74: Brandon Hickey
  • 77: Mark Jankowski
  • 79: Michael Ferland
  • 82: Jon Gillies
  • 83: John Gilmour
  • 84: Eric Roy
  • 86: Josh Joorish
  • 95: Matthew Deblouw
  • 97: Tim Harrison
  • None Yet: Sena Acolatse, Brad Thiessen, Rushan Rafikov
  • McRib

    What is it with the Flames refusing to retire Theo’s number 14? They never give it out (OBVIOUSLY!), but by keeping it locked up they are acknowledging that it should be retired…

    I’m sorry but Theo Fleury did and continues to do twice as much for this organization and city as Lanny McDonald, Mike Vernon. For example: Theo Fleury Hockey School, only reason we sold enough season tickets during drive to keep the franchise in Calgary during mid 90s (i.e. saved our franchise), Speaking out against child abuse, etc.

    Does he refuse to have it retired? or does he have some on-going beef with Murray Edwards still? or are his New York, Chicago years still haunting him (Because he has come clean about those years and all should be forgiven..)?

    • supra steve

      Vernon took the Flames to 2 cup finals and was runner-up for the Conn Smythe in 1989. That is pretty significant.

      Theo was a great player, no argument, and was about the only thing to cheer about on the team during some lean years, but I have lost no sleep over #14 not being honored.

      Lanny is just too classy to compare with either of the other two, a slam dunk for retiring #9.

      • McRib

        It’s funny the older generation goes on and on and on about Lanny McDonald…. Met him more than a few times, cannot stand the guy!! Played against his son’s team growing up every second year and he was always the coach. Opposing teams never looked forward to those games as he was such handful with the refs (complaint, complaint, complaint). The games took an extra half hour to play because he was always chirping the ref for a call.

        Anyone born in the late 80s or early 90s absolutely worshipped Theo Fleury and despite his own struggles was outstanding to me as a kid growing up (attended his hockey school three years). Once saw Theo sit down and sign 500+ autographs in a row and was on the ice every day all day for his Hockey school playing with kids. He was such a big influence on Hockey in Calgary for my era (For example I know for a fact Jordan Eberle wears 14 because of Theo).

        The year we won the cup Mike Vernon had a 0.897 SV%. I honestly always felt like any average goaltender could have won that cup with the offensive firepower we had, plus I only ever watched the 2000-2002 Vernon live.

        As a diehard Flames fan I truly appricate what Vernon & Lanny did for our history, but as anyone I grew up with in the late eighties will tell you Theo Fleury contributed more substantially to the Flaming “C” than any other one person in our history.

        • supra steve

          My feelings on Theo:

          Great player.

          Not such a great human. Have you seen his documentary?

          You had good experiences with him, and that’s great. But for me, I just can’t get over the personal stuff. To me, he was a sad guy who did a lot of bad things.

        • MrGrantosis

          You obviously never watched Vernon during that ’89 run. He was beyond instrumental. Without him, they don’t win, period. Fuhr never produced great numbers either, but he was there when it counted. Different league back then.

          Lanny, btw, has done more than his fair share of work in the community and city. Dude has been retired from the NHL for 25 years, think he’s earned a break. Plus, people who know him or have played against him have never described him as anything but the ultimate competitor and a class act.

          • MrGrantosis

            I did watch the 89 cup and I still think the shot was going high and wide. While he played a role in winning he was not as great as many here describe; as a Flames fan he caused me more heartbreak as that team could have won a couple of more cups had it not been for the soft ones that got by him.

  • RexLibris

    A little off topic but a question I’ve been pondering…are FN readers becoming complacent and believing the prospects in our system are sufficient to make a Cup-contending (not just a playoff-contending) team?

    On a previous discussion string Rex Libris stated the following:

    “This prospect group is still very young though, with some just entering the professional ranks this season. Factoring in the usual rate of attrition at this stage, they will need to add more skilled prospects”

    I agree with Rex in believing we have a nice group of prospects..but they’re not all going to pan out with above average to elite potential.

    From my vantage point I was somewhat surprised a couple posters felt our CURRENT prospect talent was equal to that of the CURRENT Cup contending teams (LA, STL, CHI, SJS, ANA etc), assuming our prospects had 3-6 years of experience.

    I don’t agree.

    While we have 1 50+ NHLe, 1 40 NHLe, and 5-7 40 NHLe prospects and generally a top 10 talent pool, in no way would I be satisfied or smug in the belief that we “have enough to make a Cup contender”.

    Far from it. And rather than being satisfied with what we’ve got, this is likely the time we need to keep our focus on drafting and developing premier prospects, and continually upgrading the talent at each position.

    So in summary:
    – If FN becomes satisfied and content this will kill our aspirations of reaching the goal of winning a Cup!
    – Being happy with being good will lead us to a unsatisfactory (or crappy) ending; and
    – What we have now is not good enough to achieve what we aspire to!

    Trash for disagree….Props for agree?

    • MrGrantosis

      Because one believes that the current talent pool (especially up front) looks good does not mean we are willing to be complacent. I for one always want the flames to be looking to upgrade the talent level of this team. If we look at the current roster and the prospect pool that we have I see a number of the prospects as having more potential than some of the current NHLers but they will take time but there also needs to be rel opportunity in order to evaluate and develop them. Vets are seldom sat for kids unless there are injuries or a real plan for development. Having 8 established NHL forwards and 4 who emerged last year signed (or soon will be signed) makes it difficult to evaluate and develop the prospects. While I agree that they are not all going to develop into as good of players as I and many other might hope for the more bullets we have the better chance of hitting the target. The likes of Johnny, Monahan, Bennett, Sven, Granlund, Poirier, Agostino, Arnold, and Klimchuk have the potential to be good to very good NHler’s. Others in thsi organization are more likely to be good roll players, ut only time will tell. I will remain on the optimistic side of this discussion and watch the players develop.

    • McRib

      Anyone who thinks we’re done is delusional. Just to begin with, there’s no one to play with Tj Brodie on the first pair after Giordano. Sure there’s a remote possibility a Brett Kulak pulls a Brodie and repeatedly shatters expectations, but banking on that would be irresponsible.

      • Lober

        As Meatloaf bellowed…”ya took the words right out of my mouth”!

        I think many are just thrilled to see the forward prospect pool. Overall they’re pretty impressive but far away from being a Cup contender with just what we have so far.

        The D is totally different question, to say nothing of the goalies.

        On Defence in 3-6 years we have TJ and maybe Wotherspoon. There are 5 slots waiting for quality defenders to step up..and we might get 2-3 with what we have in the system so far.

    • RexLibris

      You had me at…

      I agree with Rex

      Seriously though, there are many comments here that I can easily recognize.

      Cheering for progress despite losses, keeping games close, solid defensive play, good seasons by the prospects that matter, keeping a close eye on draft position, etc.

      If I throw cold water on the prospect pool every once in awhile here at FN it isn’t mean-spirited but borne of experience.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Worrying about someone to play with Brodie is a fools errand. 4 years ago we were worrying about someone to play with Giordano. And in 4 years someone will have stepped up to play a top 3 role with Brodie.

    It’s the cycle of professional hockey. Making moves or trades right now tryin to worry about eventualities 4+ years into the future just handcuffs you right now.

    I think this is something Bowman does incredibly well in Chicago.

  • internuncial


    re this:

    “If FN becomes satisfied and content this will kill our aspirations of reaching the goal of winning a Cup! – Being happy with being good will lead us to a unsatisfactory (or crappy) ending; and – What we have now is not good enough to achieve what we aspire to!”

    I hate to break it to you, but if FN ignores your advice and becomes satisfied and content, or if FN heeds your warning and recognizes that there’s not enough talent to win a cup, it won’t kill anything. Flames’ brass does not (NOT!) give a squirt what any of us say/think/believe/want/desire for the team. They play, we just watch.

    Because, as Wordsworth said: “Thou mustn’t take the meatloaf out of my mouth”.

    • MattyFranchise

      Well if Wordsworth said it then it must be right (lol).

      However I might debate you on whether a team gives a squirt though.

      If FN represents loosely the collective fan base of a team, generally most teams do care and respond…that’s how they make their money and survive in free markets looking to attract entertainment dollars where there are competing options.

    • Aussie Flame

      Well, it took them almost 10 years to acknowledge the fact that Al MacInnis did, indeed, play for the Calgary Flames briefly in the 80’s and was a player of some minor note.

  • MonsterPod

    Obviously it is much more fun to win a Stanley Cup, but watching a team be built is fun too, especially for hard core fans who can appreciate how the young guys are developing, even in a loss.

    We are at a stage where the Flames will lose 3-2 some night and we’ll be talking about some great move by Gaudreau or Poirier or Baertschi.

    I can’t remember the last time we saw this in Calgary. The 80s and early 90s were great teams. Late 90s to 2004 were brutal but there wasn’t much we could do about it. There was no cap, the CDN dollar was about 65 cents, and the Flames budget couldn’t bring in any star free agents.

    2004 was glorious and I don’t need to outline the death spiral that followed.

    This is totally different. As the young guys gel and we progress (hopefully a la Colorado, not Edmonton) there will come a point where we move to a ‘sprint’ as Burke calls it. The cap may be 80 million by then, and if the owners are still willing to spend to it (and we’re willing to spend out the A$$ for tickets) it could be a glorious pay off.

    I live in LA now and the Flames are obviously still my team, but I’ve been following the Kings closely since 2008. They were knocked out twice in the first round but you could see Kopitar and Doughty developing into something deadly. Then 2010. Lombardi moves to ‘sprint’ with Richards and Carter and you know the rest.

    Anyway, my point is that yes, the Flames will lose a bunch of games this year. But I’m jacked for the season to start so we can begin to watch the pieces come together. Let’s Go Gaudreau…

    • everton fc

      I honestly “felt” the death spiral after the Flames punted Keenan. I never liked Keenan prior to his arrival. But after his departure, we seemed to scramble. To lose confidence, as an organization.

      What could have been if Darryl simply stayed behind the bench.

  • RexLibris

    It has been mentioned a couple of times on a variety of threads that some of us on FN believe that the Flames will be in the playoffs this (although I have not seen this very often). While we all hope and wish we could be the 2014/15 version of Colorado it is more likely that I will win the lotto 649 and I seldom buy a ticket.

    How will I consider the 2014/15 season to be successful:

    That the never say die attitude that was developed last year is built upon this year.

    That the following prospects get long legitimate looks with the big club(40 games or more): Johnny, Sven,Granlund, Spoon so we can evaluate where they are. That at least 2 of them prove they are NHL ready.

    That the following prospects get an NHL look(5-20 games): Bennett 9 and done, Poirier, Sieloff,Knight, Rhino, Arnold, Agostino, Kulak and Culkin so we can assess and develop them.

    That Monahan, Bouma, Backs, TJB, Russell, Colborne, Byron and Ramo continue in their development and show significant improvement.Get backs and TJB signed long term, sooner than later.

    That by the end of the season some of the veterans have been traded for reasonable rewards(these would include GlenX,DJones, McG, Smid, and Wides) and that this is because some of the prospects have pushed them out of their jobs.

    That our AHL team has a good season and has a long playoff run because Ortio is a stud,the prospects are developing into good pros and so that the CHL guys can have a pro season after their seasons end.

    That Providence makes the NCAA final because Janko shows he is a real prospect, that Gilles is the real deal and that young Gilmour continues to improve ( I liked what I saw at the camp during the scrimmage)

    That our prospects at every level continue to improve.

    Finally we win the draft lottery and acquire a generational talent to help our current group of prospects develop and take it to the next level

    If most of this happens then the season will have been a success. Yes it’s not the traditional successful season but it is a reasonable set of expectations based upon where we are in the rebuild. Guess I should go and buy a lotto max ticket.

    • MrGrantosis

      Excellent synopsis, true and realistic measures for success this season.

      Hopefully moves will be made to open some spots because I’d rather that than counting on injuries…

    • SmellOfVictory

      I agree with what you say but you are expecting a lot of different things here.

      I think Johnny needs to see the NHL, if he puts in the kind of effort that Harley expects through training camp. AHL and NCAA are supposed to be nearly the same for NHLE. So he has nothing to prove at that level except whether he has the endurance for the NHL.

      Unless he is extraordinary, as in Sid or Ovie extraordinary, I think Bennett needs to go back after his cup of coffee. He needs to get bigger and stronger to play with an edge. His game isn’t Monahan’s or Gaudreau’s so let him go mature in the O for another year.

      Sven, Granlund and Spoon can stay where they are unless they prove in camp they should be in the big leagues. While I would love each of these guys to be “now” wouldn’t they be better logging huge minutes in the AHL than whatever they would get in the NHL?

  • MrGrantosis

    It just came to my head that I should mention that I am not a season ticket holder and therefore and probably willing to be more patient than those shelling out the big bucks might be.

    Here is a straw poll. How many of the members of FN are season ticket holders. Props for yes(please only prop for the number of season tickets you actually own) and trashes for those like me who are not season ticket holders.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I’m not a STH, but if I were I’d be okay with a couple of years of poor finishes, so long as the product on the ice was entertaining. And honestly, last season’s Flames were more entertaining than the team had been in the previous three or so.

      • Captain Ron

        We have a couple of season tickets and my son and I attend most of the games. I can tell you that the atmosphere and mood in the Dome is better last year than it has been in a long time. It was fun to go to the games again. At the end of the day Hartley has it right when he says they are in the entertainment business and last year we were entertained. Most fans in the building I find are intelligent enough to realize that there is some work to do before they compete again in the playoffs. Your comment generally reflects the attitude of most of the people in the building so you would fit right in.

  • RexLibris

    Pat Riggin wore 31 as an Atlanta Flame but wore 1 as a Calgary Flame.

    As for Rejean Lemelin, he wore 1 for the Boston Bruins but wore 31 as a Calgary Flame.

    Distinctly remember these numbers sitting in the Corral. Then again, if it’s been that long ago…

  • RexLibris

    I often read on this sight that teams need generational talent(lots of talk about tanking to get McDavid or Eichel) or elite talent to be successful but we seldom discuss what that means. I categorize players in a slightly different way; elite offensively, high end two way players, sound NHLers, satisfactory NHlers, replacement NHLers, tweeners and not NHLers’. To be a successful team in the NHl what do you need? I decided to look at the top teams in the NHl for the last few seasons using standard statistics; the number of goal scored in the following range 40+, 30+,20+ and 10+ in a given season(yes I know there is much more to it than that)and I ignored the 2012/13 season because of the shortened season.

    So the LA Kings in their two stanley cup seasons look like this: 13/14 season 0 players over 30 goals, 2 between 20-30 but 7 over 10; 11/12 0 over 30, 3 over 20, 2 over 10. Statistically no elite players although we all know that they have some elite forwards, an elite defenseman and an elite goalie. What they do have is depth in their line up.

    The Hawks: 13/14: 2 30+,4 20+,4 10+, 2010 Stanley cup: 1 30+, 5 20+, 5 10+; again no one statistically elite but we know they have elite players, some stud defencemen and they had sound goaltending.

    Bruins:13/14 season 2 30+,3 20+,5 10+; Stanley cup season; 1 30+, 3 20+, 8 10+; agian no statistically elite but agian we know they have elite talent and have had excellent goaltending.

    Penguins: 13/14 season 2 30+, 3 20+, 3 10+; Stanley cup season 1 30+, 2 20+, and 7 10+; again statistically no stand outs but look at the depth of scoring. Yes Sydney and Malkin are elite.

    Calgary: 13/14 2 20+,6 10+, last time we made the playoffs 2 30+, 3 20+, 6 10+, the almost stanley cup 1 40+, 0 20-39, and 6 10+ and just for fun the 1989 Stanley cup winners(yes a totally different generation of the NHL) 2 50+, 6 20-29,6 10+.

    Oilers: 13/14 3 20+, 5 10+, last time they made the playoffs 1 30+, 3 20+, , 5 10+.

    My point is do you need elite/generational talent statistically to be a cup contender, the answer is no. Yes you need elite talent but it does not always show up statistically. What you need is a number of high end players statistically and depth throughout your forward ranks; sound NHL forwards, a stud or two on defense and if possible a stud goalie; although you can win without a stud goalie (just as long as they don’t lose the series for you)