Before Al MacInnis was the biggest and baddest defenceman in the NHL with a slapshot that everyone feared, he was a young rookie.
And in what was dubbed his rookie campaign, the 1983-84 season, MacInnis had a strong season scoring 11 goals and 45 points in 51 games. His regular-season performance helped Calgary earn a berth into the playoffs and there, he kicked things into high gear.
At just 20 years old, MacInnis scored two goals and 14 points in only 11 Flames playoff games that year. In round one, the Flames squared up against the Vancouver Canucks, who Calgary swept in four games.
But in round two against the Edmonton Oilers, MacInnis hit another level. In seven games, the rearguard racked up 10 points including a big performance in game five.
That game happened today in 1984, and saw MacInnis notch three assists in a game five that gave Calgary life. The club had been down three games to one already facing elimination, but Calgary held onto a 5-4 lead to beat the Oilers.
Calgary won game six two days later to force game seven, but Edmonton stole the show with a 7-4 whomping to move on in the playoffs.
MacInnis, who had been drafted by Calgary 15th overall in 1981, played with the Flames until he signed an offer sheet to join the St. Louis Blues in 1994. Calgary got back two second-round picks and defenceman Phil Housley, who played in Calgary for two seasons from 1994-96, before later returning between 1998-01.
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