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!