10Saddledome view
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

30 years ago today, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup

In the National Hockey League, the only team that’s really happy with their season is the one that has a parade. 30 years ago today, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup and qualified to have a parade.

The 1988-89 Flames went into the post-season feeling they had something to prove. The previous season, they finished first overall – winning the Presidents’ Trophy – but were swept in the second round by the dastardly Edmonton Oilers. So the Flames went out and won their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy and then tried not to disappoint again.

They almost lost in the first round.

The opening series saw the Flames matched up with the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames lost Game 1 in overtime but ended taking three of the four home games in the series. But some strong performances from goalie Mike Vernon – he had two shutouts – and Hakan Loob led the Flames with five goals in the series, while Joel Otto scored a deflection goal (off his skate) to clinch the series win in overtime of Game 7. The Flames out-scored the Canucks 26-20.

After their scare in the first round, the Flames got rolling for the next two rounds. They swept the Los Angeles Kings in four games, powered by five goals from Doug Gilmour. Then they beat the Chicago Blackhawks in five games. They split the first two games in Calgary, then the Flames won the next three to move on to the Stanley Cup Final.

In their second Stanley Cup Final in four years, the Flames met up with the Montreal Canadiens and beat them in six game. The teams split the first two games at the Saddledome and then the Flames lost Game 3 in Montreal in double overtime. From there, the Flames rallied back and won three games in a row to capture their first Cup. Joe Mullen had five goals in the series, while Gilmour scored twice in Game 6 (including the game-winner) to win the series.

Game 6 was also the last NHL game ever for both Loob and Lanny McDonald – Loob returned to Sweden, while McDonald retired.

In the post-season, the Flames went 9-3 at home and 7-3 on the road. Three players had multiple game-winning goals: Al MacInnis (4), rookie Theoren Fleury (3) and Gilmour (3). Mullen led the playoffs with 16 goals and 91 shots, while MacInnis led the playoffs in points.

The Flames have won just four playoff rounds (and 44 playoff games) in the 29 seasons since the Cup win.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Always a good thing to pay tribute to the ’89 champs, but that was 30 years ago, and they have only been close to a second cup once in those three decades. If the cup drought endures for more decades and the old heroes start pegging out, then what is the legacy of this club? What should be legacy of this club?

    At best it is cold comfort that teams older than the Flames like the Canucks and Sabres have yet to win a cup or it has been 52 years since Canada’s Team won it. The Oilers are just a year removed from being cupless for 30 years. Those are all stigmas of shame and futility that no Flames’ fan should ever take any pride in comparing those hapless clubs to the Flames.

    Take heart, Flame fans, knowing that within my “young” lifetime, the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Golden State Warriors have gone from perennial laughing stocks to dynasties. Why can’t the same thing happen to the Flames?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Hard to say. There are some solid pieces here. Some not-so-solid pieces also exist, but does Tre have the fortitude to make the tough decisions? Would he move a Monahan who has not yet his prime? Would he move the young but experienced Hanifin? With Stockton looking like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboards, would Tre move a 1st round pick for help right now? Would Tre buy out Neal next offseason if Jimmy sucks just as bad in 2019-20? The club is at a crossroads, which couldn’t be said for a Flames team since the early 1990s. We’ll see what kind of GM Tre really is over the next couple of seasons.

      • The Red Knight

        Never win a cup with MOnahan as topcentre, boring Monahan I said the perfect name for him , trade him while his value is high 82 points of boring ,he’s not a leader ,don’t ever put an A in his jersey ever again ,the guy is as pure wimp as the come.

  • freethe flames

    I remember it well; my best friend and I went to a pub that was mostly filled with Habs fans and it turned out to be agreat night. By the way the Habs fans were quite hospitable even though they lost. Not happy but hospitable. Let’s also remember how many times that team had to struggle in the playoffs before getting over the hump before we are too critical of this group. Also remember we had to give something significant up to the needed parts to get over the hump. I always wonder if Loob had stayed if there might have been a few cups.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Yes, Loob’s retirement was huge and underrated at the time. Running Ramage outta town while the city was still partying over the win and allowing Pep to retire were the three fatal daggers that killed any chance of a repeat.

  • Off the wall

    At least we have won a Stanley Cup. 12 teams haven’t, one of those being the St Louis Blues.

    I’d be happy to watch them raise the Cup for the first time in 51 years.Go Blues!

    • The Red Knight

      Winners don’t settle otw , but there’s a lot of Canadian s on that blues line up , hopefully Trevling can swap out some of the little boys on the roster and put in some actual real hockey players!

  • Budgie

    Calgary may have beaten Tampa in 2004, worst officiating call in history-over one minute left, Calgary Net empty, Leopold fires and hits the post, Calgary is swarming and Tweeeet! Kerry Fraser calls a penalty! Negates Calgary’s extra man, goalie returns to the net-Tampa Wins Game 7