Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

How the 1989 Stanley Cup champions were built (and dismantled)

In the annals of Calgary Flames history, the 1988-89 season stands on its own. After all, the Flames won the Stanley Cup. The magical 1989 club came together gradually through several maneuvers by general manager Cliff Fletcher.

23 players got their names on the Stanley Cup in 1989.

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Arrived Departed
#30 Mike Vernon 1981 NHL Draft (56th overall) Traded to Detroit
#31 Rick Wamsley Traded from St. Louis Traded to Toronto


Arrived Departed
#2 Al MacInnis 1981 NHL Draft (15th overall) Traded to St. Louis
#4 Brad McCrimmon Traded from Philadelphia Traded to Detroit
#5 Dana Murzyn Traded from Hartford Traded to Vancouver
#6 Ric Nattress Traded from St. Louis Traded to Toronto
#20 Gary Suter 1984 NHL Draft (180th overall) Traded to Hartford
#34 Jamie Macoun Signed as a free agent Traded to Toronto
#55 Rob Ramage Traded from St. Louis Traded to Toronto


Arrived Departed
#7 Joe Mullen Traded from St. Louis Traded to Pittsburgh
#9 Lanny McDonald Traded from Colorado Retired
#10 Gary Roberts 1984 NHL Draft (12th overall) Traded to Carolina
#11 Colin Patterson Signed as a free agent Traded to Buffalo
#12 Hakan Loob 1980 NHL Draft (181st overall) Left as a free agent
#14 Theo Fleury 1987 NHL Draft (166th overall) Traded to Colorado
#17 Jiri Hrdina 1984 NHL Draft (159th overall) Traded to Pittsburgh
#19 Tim Hunter 1979 NHL Draft (54th overall) 1992 Expansion Draft (Tampa)
#22 Mark Hunter Trade with St. Louis Traded to Hartford
#24 Jim Peplinski 1975 NHL Draft (75th overall) Retired
#25 Joe Nieuwendyk 1985 NHL Draft (26th overall) Traded to Dallas
#27 Brian MacLellan Trade with Minnesota Traded to Detroit
#29 Joel Otto Signed as a free agent Left as a free agent
#39 Doug Gilmour Trade with St. Louis Traded to Toronto

Three trades that built

Aug. 26, 1987: 1988 third round pick and 1989 first round pick to Philadelphia for Brad McCrimmon

On one hand, the Flames gave up a first round pick. On the other hand, they gave up a late first round pick for a tough-as-nails defender that helped them win a Stanley Cup.

Mar. 7, 1988: Brett Hull and Steve Bozek to St. Louis for Rick Wamsley and Rob Ramage

Hull turned into a goal-scoring machine with the Blues, but he was stuck behind a stacked veteran lineup in Calgary. The trade upgraded the Flames’ backup goaltending position over incumbent Doug Dadswell and gave them another strong blueliner in Ramage.

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Sept. 6, 1988: Mike Bullard, Craig Coxe and Tim Corkery to St. Louis for Doug Gilmour, Mark Hunter, Steve Bozek and Michael Dark

The Flames seemingly really missed having Bozek on their team and had to get him back. Also, Gilmour immediately became a core piece and Hunter was strong depth for them.

Three trades that dismantled

Jan. 2, 1992: Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville and Rick Wamsley to Toronto for Craig Berube, Alex Godynyuk, Gary Leeman, Michel Petit and Jeff Reese

One of the worst trades in the history of the franchise, if not the league, saw four Stanley Cup winners and the team’s top prospect shipped east for a couple decent depth pieces and three spare parts.

Dec. 19, 1995: Joe Nieuwendyk to Dallas for Corey Millen and Jarome Iginla

Then-GM Al Coates – part of the management team in 1989 – had to deal with a contract dispute with Nieuwendyk that stretched into the season. He eventually pulled the trigger on a swap that sent a future Hall of Famer out of town but brought in another one.

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Feb. 28, 1999: Theo Fleury and Chris Dingman to Colorado for Rene Corbet, Wade Belak, Robyn Regehr and 2000 second round pick

The last remaining piece of the 1989 team, Fleury was a pending unrestricted free agent that the Flames couldn’t afford to keep. Coates managed to make a swap that landed the Flames a promising young defender in Regehr that played over 800 games for the franchise.

Hall of Famers

Nine people that were engraved onto the Stanley Cup in 1989 were also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Al MacInnis, Joe Mullen, Lanny McDonald, Joe Nieuwendyk, Doug Gilmour, owners Harley Hotchkiss and Daryl Seaman, general manager Cliff Fletcher, and goalie coach Glenn Hall (who was already inducted when the Flames won).

  • Alberta Ice

    A lot of water under the bridge since those glory days of ’89. I was hoping the 15 year trend might continue with 2004 also being such an amazing run for the Cup. Hit a late flat tire with 2019. Pure joy to find out that Lanny’s first goal was scored in Montreal and so was his last one – and that Peter Maher called them both. Yeah baby. And hats off to Lanny’s video narration tribute to Jerome Iginla this year. Yep, more memory makers to come because there is always ‘next year’. GFG.

  • Budgie

    After the Riseborough trade that gutted the team three players:Gilmour, Mullen and Hull had more points than the entire Flames team. We had a sign at the Saddledome during a game that was professionally drawn pointing this fact out-the Flames owners asked us to take our sign down. Remember it was Riseborough trading with the GM that put the Flames Cup team together-Cliff Fletcher.

  • PlayitagainSam

    Like the Raptors trading Derozon, I hope Treliving has the balls to trade Gaudreau or Monahan because with this team it will be another 30 years of nothing.

  • redwhiteblack

    Palpatine reveals himself and appears in BTs office to offers to him the Dark Side to fuel a post season run.
    BT refuses and the team goes on a deep run anyway next season learning from the post season failure of this year.