The Flames had five draft picks in 2011. All five of those picks have made the NHL in some capacity, but only two are still with the team: Johnny Gaudreau, and Tyler Wotherspoon, who both were two of just four restricted free agents to be qualified.
Wotherspoon had a tumultuous 2014-15 season, being constantly recalled and constantly sat, even though he had shed his training camp number and gotten the lower #26. Last season, though, he was featured enough to be considered a part of the Flames’ future.
#26 on the Flames
Wotherspoon is the 19th player in Flames franchise history to wear #26:
- LW Alex McKendry
- C Mel Bridgman
- LW Steve Bozek
- LW Paul Ranheim
- D/LW Jim Korn
- C Robert Reichel
- RW Ladislav Kohn
- C Michael Nylander
- C Eric Landry
- LW Tom Chorske
- LW Travis Brigley
- C Steve Begin
- D Dallas Eakins
- LW Marcus Nilson
- LW Josh Green
- RW Ales Kotalik
- RW Guillaume Desbiens
- D Dennis Wideman
- D Tyler Wotherspoon
The number being for defencemen is a relatively new development, despite Korn and Eakins (remember him?) having it in decades past. Wideman himself had the number for just one year. It went untouched through Wotherspoon’s rookie season, after which point he got it.
The best #26
There are a couple of candidates here, but between Bridgman, Reichel, and Nylander, Reichel did spend the most time with the Flames. As far as defencemen go, it’s not surprising to see Wideman lead the back.
Wotherspoon still has a long road ahead of him: from just signing a second contract to making, to making the NHL proper, to even scoring his first NHL goal. Hopefully he’ll get the chance to do that and contribute a little more.
|#1 – Brian Elliott||#3 – Jyrki Jokipakka|
|#5 – Mark Giordano||#6 – Dennis Wideman|
|#7 – T.J. Brodie||#10 – Linden Vey|
|#11 – Mikael Backlund||#13 – Johnny Gaudreau|
|#15 – Ladislav Smid||#17 – Lance Bouma|
|#18 – Matt Stajan||#19 – Matthew Tkachuk|
|#23 – Sean Monahan||#25 – Freddie Hamilton|