We’re back with the second half of our rundown of the ten best defensemen in Calgary Flames history. In case you missed the first half of the list, check it out here.
The top five Flames defenders ever after the jump!
#5: ROBYN REGEHR
Flame from 1999-2000 to 2010-11
The player with the second-most games in a Flames uniform – behind only Jarome Iginla – Regehr was the back-bone of Calgary’s blueline for over a decade, and widely considered the team’s conscience. He played a hard-nosed, hard-hitting style predicated on physically wearing down the opposition. He was never the world’s greatest puck mover – and his game took a downturn as he got older and lost his foot-speed – but he was a extremely effective shut-down defender in his prime. He was acquired in the Theoren Fleury trade with Colorado and dispatched from the organization in the trade that brought Paul Byron and Chris Butler to town.
#4: MARK GIORDANO
Flame from 2005-06 to 2006-07 and 2008-09 to present
Originally brought in as a free agent to fill out the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters after the 2003-04 season, Giordano has evolved from a filler body in the minors into one of the best defensemen in the entire NHL. It’s too early to say what Giordano’s legacy will be, as he’s been captain for just a couple seasons, but because of his status as a Norris candidate, he’s among the best defenders in team history.
#3: JAMIE MACOUN
Flame from 1982-83 to 1991-92
Perhaps the stay-at-home defender of the Flames in the 1980s, Macoun had a sweet mustache and was extremely reliable in his own end. He had very little flash in his game, but he was a rock on the Flames’ back-end. He left the club in the Doug Gilmour debacle/trade to the Leafs.
#2: GARY SUTER
Flame from 1985-86 to 1993-94
A very good college defender, Suter was drafted by the Flames in 1984 and won the Calder as the league’s best rookie in 1986. Suter would’ve been the best blueliner on most NHL teams. Unfortunately, he played on the same team as Al MacInnis. A very good player in his own right, Suter was a great 200-foot defender – good in his own zone, effective offensively and able to generate chances in most situations. He left the Flames as a free agent when the combination of injuries and the Canadian dollar made it tough to keep him. He was traded to Hartford.
#1: AL MACINNIS
Flame from 1981-82 to 1993-94
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to call Al MacInnis one of the better defensemen in NHL history. He’s in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a perpetual Norris candidate in Calgary – though he never won. His slapshot was the stuff of nightmares for the opposition. He frequently broke plexiglass panels with his shot. He won the Conn Smythe during Calgary’s 1989 Stanley Cup run. He was a strong skater, a very good passer and a crazy-good shot from the point. The Flames traded him to St. Louis for Phil Housley and some draft picks.