The end of the off-season is rapidly approaching, as we’re mere weeks away from rookie camp opening for the 2019-20 season. When the regular season begins, several members of the Calgary Flames will find themselves on the verge of several franchise milestones.
Second year Flames head coach Bill Peters could become the first coach since Mike Keenan (way back in 2007-09) to lead the team to the post-season in each of his first two seasons behind the bench.
It’s been rare lately, but years ago coaches making the playoffs in their first full seasons was relatively common: Fred Creighton (1975-77), Al MacNeil (1979-81), Bob Johnson (1982-84), Terry Crisp (1987-89), Dave King (1992-94) and Darryl Sutter (2003-06) all pulled it off.
The 2019-20 season will be Mark Giordano’s seventh season as Flames captain. While that’s still a ways behind Jarome Iginla, it’s a longer tenure by season than everybody except Iginla. Giordano is the ninth-longest tenured captain currently in the NHL.
On a games-played basis, Iginla wore the C for 674 regular season games. Giordano has 448 under his belt – he passed Lanny McDonald (412) last season – and sits second all-time on the captaincy leaderboard. Barring anything crazy happening, he’ll cross the 500 games as captain threshold sometime mid-season.
The current active franchise leader, Giordano, is second in games played – 386 behind Iginla. He obviously won’t catch him this season.
Down the list a bit, Mikael Backlund could become just the eighth player in Flames history to play 800 games with the franchise. TJ Brodie can become the 10th player to play 600 games. Sean Monahan is 29 games away from 500, while Johnny Gaudreau is just six games away from 400.
Milan Lucic’s 10th game with the Flames will be his 900th career game. Michael Frolik’s seventh game will be his 800th career game.
Everybody is way, way behind Iginla (525) in goals. Way behind.
The active leader, Monahan, is 28 goals away from hitting 200. He’s 18 goals behind Joe Mullen and 12 behind Hakan Loob and Guy Chouinard. Gaudreau is 17 goals away from hitting 150 (and tying Willi Plett).
Lucic’s second goal will be his 200th of his career.
Both Backlund and Monahan are nine assists away from reaching 200.
As with goals, everyone is a zillion points away from Iginla (1,095) for the franchise lead.
The active leader, Giordano, is 48 points away from 500. Gaudreau is one point from tying Mullen and 13 points back of hitting 400 points. Monahan is a bit further back from 400, chasing it by 37 points.
David Rittich is 15 wins away from 50 and 16 away from cracking the franchise’s top 10 – catching Pat Riggin and Fred Brathwaite. Besides the franchise’s “big four” goaltenders of Miikka Kiprusoff, Mike Vernon, Dan Bouchard and Reggie Lemelin, the Flames haven’t had amazing goaltending historically.
Cam Talbot’s 12th game will be the 300th of his career.