FN’s All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Lanny McDonald

When you think of the Calgary Flames history, you think of a Stanley Cup win and a talented man with epic mustache that helped make it all possible.

The latest member of FlamesNation’s All-Time Flames Team is the man that (co-)captained the Flames to the 1989 Stanley Cup in his last season, and set the team’s single-season goal-scoring record in his first full season with the franchise.

That’s right, it’s Lanny McDonald.

CAREER STATISTICS

Lanny McDonald is arguably best known league-wide as a Toronto Maple Leafs – given how Leaf-centric the country can be – but he came to Calgary via the Colorado Rockies. Upon arriving in Calgary in the fall of 1981, McDonald immediately took charge and did whatever he could to win games. He could score. He could fight. He could set guys up for nice goals. He wore a letter everywhere he went. He had an awesome mustache.

In short: Lanny McDonald was two things: really great, and adaptable. He came into Calgary and sandwiched a pair of 30-goal seasons around a 60-goal season. His 66-goal effort in 1982-83 still stands as the Flames franchise record. Even when injuries and aged slowed him down, McDonald remained a productive player, and an on and off-ice mentor for the team’s young players – who took over the scoring reins as McDonald began to take more of a back-seat.

With the game tied 1-1, McDonald scored a goal in Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final to give Calgary a lead. The Flames led from then-on, and won the game and the championship. It was the last game Lanny McDonald ever played, as he hoisted the Cup and retired in the off-season. Not a bad way to go out.

GREATEST MOMENT(S)

FLAMES MILESTONES

  • 18th in All-Time Flames Games Played (492)
  • 6th in All-Time Flames Goals (215)
  • Highest Single-Season Goal-Scoring Total (66)
  • Served as Flames (co-)captain from 1983-84 to 1988-89
  • First player in franchise history to have jersey number retired

LEGACY

There are very few players in the sporting world that can be remembered by a single name. In the National Hockey League, there’s only one “Lanny.” Whether it be his leadership, his offensive prowess or his distinctive mustache, Lanny McDonald’s place in NHL and Calgary Flames history is very much cemented.

In short: Lanny McDonald is an example of on (and off) ice leadership that players in the Flames organization still aspire towards.

  • KACaribou

    Mr. Calgary Flame himself. Iggy before their was an Iggy. Lanny was our General in the Battle of Alberta. Class act, and our greatest representative internationally all time.

      • MontanaMan

        He is. Lanny owns a number of restaurants around Lakeside and Missoula, Montana, is part owner of a real estate project in Lakeside and is very active in the community including coordinating the 3 on 3 Pond Hockey Tourney at Foys Lake. My 85 year old Dad, a lifelong Flames fan, always asks if we went to “Lanny’s” as opposed to his restaurant name Tamarack. We had Dad down this spring and Lanny was out on the renovated deck sanding tables and prepping the new deck. Dirty and full of sawdust I asked him if he would do me a favor and pose for a photo with my Dad. He apologized for being dirty but gladly took a photo. He spoke with my Dad and was all class. PS – he’s 63 years old and is still in great shape!!!

      • MontanaMan

        I never meant that he wasn’t anymore. I was just stating that when I met him 10 years ago he seemed like a fantastic man. I’m sure that hasn’t changed.

  • You might be being a bit too charitable to the Maple Leafs when you write that McDonald is better known as a Leaf. I grew up in BC and I didn’t even know McDonald was a Leaf until I was in my 20s – I always identified him with the Flames of the 80s and with the Flames’ cup win. I think most people do – especially anyone born in the late 70s and onward who didn’t see McDonald play in a Leaf jersey – he’s a Flame to every 80s and 90s kid, for sure.

    • KACaribou

      You are quite correct, but you will have to excuse the historical accuracy of much of what you see here. It was written by people who never actually witnessed the Flames in the 80s other than on Youtube.

      Not their fault, just young. How they have the audacity sometimes to make the statements they do, like it’s an unarguable fact I have no idea.

      Lanny played longer for the Flames than the Leafs, and also played on teams that were far more successful.

      Though he and Darryl Sittler were quite a tandem, he only got 4 pts in Sittler’s famous 10-point game with the Leafs – likely that team’s high water mark.

  • MontanaMan

    When I was 7 or 8 the Flames came to little old Lethbridge to play in a softball game for charity, when the game was done I went down to the field to try and get some autographs, but some security type guy told me they weren’t doing that today… Lanny saw what was going on, as I was far from the only kid trying to get autographs, not only did he come over and sign everything we gave him, he got about 10 other players to come over and do the same. Probably the highlight of childhood, the guy is awesome.

  • Big Ell

    I met Lanny hammered at a Mac’s Store on Bow Trail at 2 in the morning with a friend. He stood and talked with two drunk idiots for 10 minutes. We blathered on about his greatness the whole time and he was polite and considerate. He even offered to drive us home but we walked instead. The greatest Flame ever!