This coming May is the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Flames moving to Calgary. To commemorate this occasion, we’re counting down the Top 40 Calgary Flames in history.
Coming in at #17 is Tim Hunter.
Hunter is a very fun story and a perfect example of how teams need different types of players. Born and raised in Calgary, he played his junior hockey for the WHL’s Seattle Breakers. He was drafted by Atlanta in 1979 and as luck would have it, the Flames relocated to his hometown a year after his selection.
Hunter broke into the NHL in 1981-82 with his hometown team and played for them for over a decade. He left the organization having played over 500 games in one of the toughest roles in 1980s hockey: an enforcer. Granted, he was also a reliable two-way player and penalty kill, but Hunter made his living with his fists.
His offensive peak was 11 goals and 22 points. But he led the NHL in penalty minutes twice. He averaged south of a shot per game – a career 10.4% shooter that could’ve had more goals had he shot more. But that wasn’t his role. He was the heart and soul of the team – basically the Robyn Regehr of the prior incarnation of the club – and Calgary’s answer to Dave Semenko.
Hunter is currently 15th in Calgary history in games played and the all-time leader in penalty minutes – he has a 669-minute lead on Gary Roberts. But he was a consummate team player, taking on a fairly thankless role for over a decade. He got a ring out of it, too.
He checks in at #17 on our list.
Arrival: Selected in the third round, 54th overall, by Atlanta in 1979 NHL Entry Draft (June X, 1979); relocated to Calgary with franchise (May 21, 1980)
Departure: Claimed by Tampa Bay in expansion draft (June 18, 1992)
Awards: 1989 Stanley Cup winner
Top 40 Calgary Flames: HM Martin Gelinas | #40 Brad Marsh | #39 Matt Stajan | #38 Jiri Hudler | #37 Dion Phaneuf | #36 Guy Chouinard | #35 Phil Housley | #34 Matthew Tkachuk | #33 Cory Stillman | #32 Curtis Glencross | #31 Jamie Macoun | #30 Carey Wilson | #29 Reggie Lemelin | #28 TJ Brodie | #27 Alex Tanguay | #26 Daymond Langkow | #25 Sergei Makarov | #24 Craig Conroy | #23 Robert Reichel | #22 Paul Reinhart | #21 Doug Gilmour | #20 Mikael Backlund | #19 Jim Peplinski | #18 Joel Otto