FN’s All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Al MacInnis

We’re chugging along with the third member of the All-Time Flames Team. The second blueliner named to the team is a doozy: the pride of Inverness, Nova Scotia, Al MacInnis.

MacInnis is one of the most prolific point-producers in Calgary Flames history. He was also arguably the best offense-generating defender in team history – Paul Reinhart might have a shot at that crown, but barely – and his booming slap-shot was the thing of legends. Several games were delayed during MacInnis’ National Hockey League career because he broke the end-zone glass with his clappers.

And goodness knows, the goalies had that in the back of their minds whenever he teed one up.

CAREER STATISTICS

Originally selected by the Flames in the 1981 NHL Draft, MacInnis was originally a decent prospect with a booming slapshot and eventually became a tremendous all-around NHLer. He was the best player on a 1989 Stanley Cup team that featured several Hall of Famers on its roster. His crowning achievement as a Flame was winning the Conn Smythe that year.

MacInnis never won a Norris Trophy in Calgary, which is a bit shocking considering that he generated more than a point per game for his last four seasons in Calgary. Heck, he put up 90 and 103 points and still didn’t win the Norris – he lost to Ray Bourque in each of those seasons. He was traded to St. Louis for Phil Housley and a draft pick, and it was as a Blue that he ended up finally winning the Norris – ten seasons after winning his only Stanley Cup.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)

FLAMES MILESTONES

  • 3rd in All-Time Flames Games Played (803)
  • 3rd in All-Time Flames Points (822)
  • 1st in All-Time Flames Points Among Defensemen
  • 1st in All-Time Flames Assists (609)
  • 4th in All-Time Flames Power-Play Goals (102)

LEGACY

There are just a handful of jersey numbers honoured by the Calgary Flames. MacInnis had his #2 raised to the rafters in 2012 as part of the Forever A Flame program, but an even bigger symbol is how many players have worn his old number since he left town: six guys (the most notable being Mike Commodore), and nobody since 2004.

MacInnis left awfully big shoes to fill, and an entire generation of young hockey players in Southern Alberta dreaming they could fire off a slap shot nearly as hard as he did. Plenty of us made fools of ourselves on sheets of ice all across the region doing our best MacInnis impersonations.

In terms of his ability to impact a hockey game from the blueline, there was nobody in Flames history better than Al MacInnis.