The Calgary Flames have over four decades of franchise history, but this year’s edition is a pretty young group – as you saw from the rundown of the roster last afternoon.
As such, there are a few milestones coming up this season for Flames players (and coaches), but don’t expect too many of them to be amazingly lofty. For the most part, this is a group with a lot of tread left on the tires.
There are two veterans that could crack some interesting milestones this season.
First, Mark Giordano: He’s already played 510 games in a Flames uniform and he sits 15th all-time. If we presume he plays 60 games – like he has the last few seasons due to injuries – then he’ll pass Guy Chouinard (514), Paul Reinhart (517), Eric Vail (539), Tim Hunter (545) and Joe Nieuwendyk (577) and crack the top ten of longevity. Based on his new long contract, it’ll be interesting to see where he finishes overall, but he should crack the top ten this season.
Next, Matt Stajan: Stajan’s played 774 career games, so he’ll most likely hit the 800 game mark sometime in November. It’s not quite silver stick territory, but it’s excellent longevity. In addition, he’s beginning the year with 329 games in a Flames uniform. The guy he was traded for, Dion Phaneuf, played 378 games with Calgary. With a 49-game gap, there’s a pretty decent chance that Stajan surpassed Phaneuf this season.
In less impressive milestone news:
- Jonas Hiller has 378 game appearances under his belt, so he should probably hit 400 this season – though it’s not clear if he’ll do that in a Flames uniform or not.
- Mikael Backlund will celebrate hitting 300 games when the Flames visit Vancouver on Saturday. Selected Flames first round picks that have played more games with the franchise than Backlund: Derek Morris (343), Phaneuf (378), Denis Gauthier (384), Cory Stillman (393). (The record for games played with the franchise by a first rounder belongs, of course, to Al MacInnis at 803.)
- T.J. Brodie needs 34 games to hit 300 for his career.
- Lance Bouma will play his 200th game tonight against Vancouver.
There’s a pretty good chance that Mark Giordano, the current active leader with 66 career goals, will be surpassed this year. Jiri Hudler is hot on his heels with 58, while Sean Monahan has 53. I wouldn’t be shocked if Monahan became the active leader by the end of this season.
Meanwhile, a bunch of Flames hover around the century mark for career goals:
- Hudler needs 5 goals to hit 150 for his career.
- Michael Frolik needs 5 goals to hit 100 for his career.
- David Jones needs 7 goals to hit 100 for his career.
- Dennis Wideman needs 8 goals to hit 100 for his career.
If this doesn’t impress upon you that the Flames don’t have a lot of established NHL goal-scorers, I don’t know what will.
Oh, and the 233rd goal scored by the Flames this season will be the 11,000th goal ever scored by the franchise since its 1972 inception. That’s kinda cool, I suppose. They got 241 last season, so if this happens, it’ll be an April thing to keep an eye on.
These aren’t quite as impressive-sounding as some of the other milestones, but they’re all fairly close are worth mentioning.
- Bob Hartley‘s next coaching win will be his 100th with the Flames. With 8 more coaching wins, he ties Al MacNeil and Darryl Sutter for 6th on the franchise leaderboard. With a half-decent season, he should reach the top four (Dave King has 109 in 5th place, while Brent Sutter has 118 in 4th place). So it’s feasible that he’ll pass both Sutters that’ve coached the Flames this season.
- T.J. Brodie needs 19 assists to hit 100 for his career.
- Sean Monahan needs 4 points to hit 100 for his career.
- Dougie Hamilton needs 17 points to hit 100 for his career.
- Jonas Hiller needs 12 wins to hit 200 for his career.