When you look at the Flames franchise leader board, you see a whole lot of two names in particular: Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. In the Flames of old, it was those two who really made the team.
That was the old, though; now, it’s time for the new. Except we’re still really new on that front, so those current-standing franchise records aren’t in danger of being broken any time soon.
The goaltending isn’t in danger of being broken, period. Kiprusoff was the king of the Flames’ crease for a decade; the goaltending this year consists solely of newcomers. Nobody’s matching that 41 shutout record, for example. Not this year, at least.
But skaters, though? We may be in the midst of a changing of the guard, but there are still some guys looking to move up the rankings this upcoming season.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I got this idea from Pensburgh; though it helps for them they’ve got elite players who have already spent several years in the league and are in the midst of their primes. Still – we’ll see just how much that changes for the Flames over the coming seasons.)
Mark Giordano currently sits eighth all-time in the franchise with 592 NHL games played. He needs to play just 26 more to pass Gary Suter, so that’ll probably happen this year; that’ll be it for him this season. If he stays healthy through the next two seasons, though, then he should jump up into fifth all time: only Theo Fleury, Al MacInnis, Robyn Regehr, and Jarome Iginla will have played more. This is the group Gio is in; it’s cool to see.
It’s easy to forget Matt Stajan has been around seemingly forever now, but he has: he’s 28th in games played with 409. A full 82 games played this season would see him move up to 18th – just one game back of Lanny McDonald’s 492.
Mikael Backlund has also been around a while now. He sits at 34th in franchise rankings with 380 games played. The 2015-16 season was his first ever fully healthy one. Another one of those would see him tie Ken Houston at 19th with 462 games.
T.J. Brodie just barely makes the top 50; he’s 49th with 336 games played. If he plays in every game this season, he’ll tie Curtis Glencross at 26th with 418 games.
Giordano has played the most games for the Flames among the current group, so it’s not surprising to see him at the top of this list… with all of 87 goals. That places him 35th in franchise history. He had his first 20-goal season last year; if he does it again, he’d enter the top 25. As things stand now, he’s fourth among defencemen – 22 back of Paul Reinhart.
Sean Monahan, after just three seasons of play, is already 40th in franchise history with 80 goals. If he scores 34 this season – which might be a big ask, but then again, his career high is already 31 – he’ll tie Glencross at 22nd. Monahan turns 22 in a month.
Backlund is up in this category, too: he’s tied for 44th alongside Dan Quinn with 72 goals. If he can have another 20 goal season this year, he’ll pass Mike Cammalleri, and be one back of Valeri Bure. All he needs is 10 goals to pass Doug Gilmour, though.
Hey look, it’s Giordano again! He’s 19th in franchise history with 39 powerplay goals. If he scores four more, he’ll shoot up to 16th in franchise history. If he nets 10 – his career high is nine from this past season – he’ll pass Dion Phaneuf for the 14th spot. As things stand right now, he’s fifth among defencemen.
Monahan scores goals. He’s already 35th in franchise history with 20 on the powerplay. If he scores three more this season, he’ll pass Glencross and enter the top 30. His current career high is 10; that would have him pass Gilmour for 27th.
This is Backlund’s category. He’s currently tied for eighth in franchise history with nine shorthanded goals, all of which have come within the past three seasons. If he scores another five, he’ll take sole possession of third place, which would see him pass Iginla, and be behind just Kent Nilsson and Fleury.
Stajan is actually up here, too, tied for 25th with four shorties, half of which came just last season.
And of course, Giordano is on this list, too: he’s tied for 34th with three shorties. He’s tied for second amongst defencemen, and one more will see him tied for first with MacInnis, Jamie Macoun, and Brad McCrimmon.
Hey, what would you know… it’s Giordano leading the pack, tied for 15th with Gilmour at 214. He’s 22 back of Hakan Loob at 14th, so he should reach that mark this season. If he can set a career high and hit 40 he would jump up to 12th, passing Gary Roberts. As things currently stand, he’s fourth among defencemen – 122 back of Reinhart, so that one might take a while.
Brodie is working his way up there. He’s currently 42nd in franchise history with 120. Based on his past numbers, he’ll probably pass Phaneuf this season and jump up into 29th place; he’s 33 assists back of him at the moment. He’s 12th amongst defencemen right now, passing Phaneuf would put him seventh. Macoun is in sixth place with 184, so maybe he’ll hit that mark next year.
Stajan, one of the few old men on this team, is up here as well: he’s tied for 45th with 106 assists on the Flames. Three more will see him pass Kristian Huselius to get into 44th.
Backlund is tied for 48th with 103 at present. He needs 21 to tie Jiri Hudler, 25 to tie Glencross, and 31 to tie Regehr. He’ll probably pass all three of them over the next two seasons.
Giordano is 19th with 301. He’s seven back of Craig Conroy, so he’ll reach 18th place this season no problem; he’s 53 back of Robert Reichel, so that one’s a bit more up in the air. He’s 105 back of McDonald in 15th, so that’s a total he could probably reach within two or three seasons, if everything continues to go well. As things stand right now, he’s fourth all time amongst defencemen, 144 back of Reinhart.
Backlund is the only other current-day Flame in the top 50: he’s 45th with 175 points. A healthy season should see him net at least 40, which would bump him up to 36th.
There are a couple of younger Flames knocking on the door of the top 50 right now, though. Monahan currently sits at 159 points. He’ll almost certainly pass 200 this year, assuming good health – that would vault him up to 37th.
Brodie currently sits tied for 59th at 145 points. I’d say he has an outside shot of hitting 200 this year, too.
And then there’s Johnny Gaudreau, who we’re really going to see start creeping up these franchise records as the seasons start to add up (if he ever re-signs, that is). Right now he’s tied for 61st with 143 points. Again, assuming good health, he’s probably passing 200 this season. Considering how he ended up with 15 more points than Monahan last season, it’ll be really interesting to see just how close they finish aside one another by this season’s end – and if anyone will end up pulling away.