A history of Flames numbers: #1, Brian Elliott

Hey guys. It’s the off-season. So… what’s going on?

You know what I love? Jersey numbers. They aren’t crucial to the game or anything, but it is interesting to see what number a player ends up with throughout his career. Different numbers have different meanings to different teams; for example, is anyone in Calgary ever going to wear #12 again? 

For the most part, numbers come and numbers go. Sometimes there’s a really quick turnover – one player exits, another comes in and takes his number right away – and sometimes teams go years between seeing a particular number on their jersey.

Over the course of this off-season, the Flames have brought in players that fit both criteria. So just for kicks – because why not? – let’s go over the players projected to be on this year’s roster, and the history of their jersey numbers in Calgary.

We kick things off with #1, Brian Elliott.

#1 on the Flames

Elliott will be the 15th player in Flames franchise history to wear #1 on his jersey:

  • G Phil Myre
  • G Reggie Lemelin
  • G Jim Craig
  • G Pat Riggin
  • G Don Edwards
  • G Marc D’Amour
  • G Steve Guenette
  • G Scott Sharples
  • G Andrei Trefilov
  • G Tyler Moss
  • G Tyrone Garner
  • G Roman Turek
  • G Curtis McElhinney
  • G Jonas Hiller
  • G Brian Elliott

Unsurprisingly, there have been a lot of goalies. Hopefully, Elliott will meet a better fate than the most recent one.

The best #1


There are so many grains of salt to be taken with this. For example, we don’t really start getting career save percentages of players until D’Amour – and in Myre’s case, we barely have, like, anything to work with at all. 

Also, D’Amour only played 16 games in the NHL. And Craig and Moss only played 30, and Guenette 35. Sharples played one game, and Garner just three. So this list has its fair amount of nothingness.

And probably the most important grain of salt of all: not all save percentages are created equal. Goalies from the 80’s do not resemble goalies from the turn of the century. It’s not particularly surprising that as we go further down the list, the numbers get better, culminating with both Hiller and Elliott being pretty much the best Flames (of the modern era, at least) to wear #1 on their jersey.

The good news is not only is Elliott three years younger than Hiller, so randomly falling off of a cliff is something that probably won’t be repeated, but also his weaker numbers come from when he was still fighting to establish himself – and also from five seasons ago when he played for Colorado and Ottawa.

All it’s gonna take is a halfway decent season from Elliott to pull ahead and give him the top career save percentage by any Flames goaltender to wear #1 ever. He can probably do it!

  • StarkRaving

    When I saw that the Flames had given Tkachuk #19 for dev camp, my first thought was “That’s Tim Hunter’s number”. Out of curiosity, I went to this site -> http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40523

    I was surprised at how many times I found myself saying “He played for us?!?”

    Look at who wore #15, for example. One of those guys scored possibly the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history. I don’t remember him being an Atlanta Flame.

  • FireScorpion

    Why wouldn’t someone wear 12 again? Because of Jarome? Please who cares..let the number keep getting circulated. The Flames don’t retire numbers anymore remember? I don’t see why Iginla should get special treatment over our other stars who were able to actually deliver a cup

    • Nighteyes

      Certainly it takes more than one player to deliver a cup? Iginla rarely played on any Flames roster that had the necessary supporting cast for a long playoff run. Despite this, he still one of the best players to have ever played the game, let alone on the Flames. No one will ever wear #12 again.

      • FireScorpion

        Why won’t they wear 12 again? We don’t retire numbers anymore so there is no reason for that to happen
        ..Oh…you playing the race card? That’s in vogue these days I suppose

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          Ugh, at first it was just a bad opinion you posted. Bringing race up though? Especially in regards to the greatest player in franchise history is just bad form. I’ve long disagreed with your comments in general, but this was ugly. Fell shame, FireScorpion, feel shame.

  • Baalzamon

    You know what I never got? #14.

    This is a number that was worn by Theo Fleury (and Kent Nilsson). It hasn’t been worn by a Flame since Fleury (Matt Stajan was forced to switch to #18; he wore 14 with Toronto, remember).

    Now, this isn’t all that weird in and of itself… Fleury was one of the best Flames ever, after all. What’s weird, is that the organization hasn’t had any difficulty handing out other numbers belonging to the greats.

    Joe Nieuwendyk? Please. #25 is available to whoever wants it. Martin Sonnenberg, Darren McCarty, David Moss, Steve Begin, Brandon Bollig, Freddie Hamilton.

    Al MacInnis? Possibly the best blueliner ever to play in Alberta? He’s nothing. #2 goes to random depth defenseman Mike Commodore.

    Normally I can say “at least they’re consistent.” Can’t in this case.

    • EhPierre

      I believe Stajan ony had #14 In Toronto because 18 was taken, atleast I think so

      In regards to the numbers, Iggy’s #12 will be worn by another Flame player soon. The Flames organization just want to pay Iggy some respect since he’s still playing in the league but once he retires, you’ll start seeing #12 being worn more commonly just like how Stajan wears #18, McCarty was #25, etc.

      • flames2015

        I honestly don’t think it has to do with the organization. It’s more so the players coming in, and not wanting to wear that number knowing the players history. There are still thousands of Iginla jerseys circulating at every game. As a player, I would rather just have a less common than have a same number as a previous franchise player.

  • Druds

    Look I know this is a out of context but its summer and the Oilernation blog is borrrrrring big time so I have to come over here and troll a bit …basically my question is whats taking so long in signing Johhny Rocket and Mononucleoisis? …ummm Monohan whats the deal…is it because ol Treliving is finding out that Johnny boy wants more than 8 million and free Boston Pizza for a year? maybe Johnny is looking around the locker room and seeing that there is no one else that comes close to being an offensive talent in Saddle City and so wants some more cash to make up for having to wear C’boy boots all day. Hmmmmm? well?

    feel free to discuss.

  • Druds

    Hey this is out of context but why the big silence on the lack of signing Johhny boy and Monohan?

    what gives? Is johnny rocket maybe looking around the dressing room and seeing a massive lack of offensive talent and so is upping his ask to 9 million or (god forbid) 10! and of course Sean M is guaranteed 6 million just for showing up.

    I think those two are making BT nervous…I think that Johnny is demanding big Kane and Toews money to make up for having to wear C’boy boots and smell cow poo all day for 8 months.

    Feel free to discuss!

  • Robs

    Freaking Marc D’Amour!!!! Man am I old, but I loved that guy and never understood what happened to him. But I was a teenager.

    He was feisty, started scraps with players too close to his crease, athletic, thought he was going to be a good one.