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.
#14 on our list is Robyn Regehr.
Regehr was quietly one of the defining players in Flames history. Acquired in the trade that sent Theo Fleury out of town – he was selected from a list of prospects Colorado provided – he had made a lot of fans with his honest, physical approach to hockey during his time with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. (Coincidentally, Jarome Iginla’s junior team.)
On July 4, 1999, Regehr broke both of his legs in a car wreck in Saskatchewan. Despite initial fears that he might never play hockey again, he made a full recovery. After a brief AHL conditioning stint, Regehr made his NHL debut on Oct. 28, 1999 – just four months after the accident. He ended up getting nominated for the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey, the youngest such nominee in league history.
Built very much in the mold of the bruising Brad McCrimmon, Regehr was a defenseman’s defenseman. He played a punishing, physical, defense-first style. His side of the ice on zone entries was affectionately referred to as the “Tunnel of Death,” as he would use his lateral skating to close off entries along the boards and crunch players as they tried to get past. It was a highly taxing style of game, but Regehr managed to play 20+ minutes per night in the Flames top two pairings for the better part of a decade.
Regehr’s reputation earned him Norris votes in 2005-06 and 2006-07. While his offensive high was six goals and 26 points, he wasn’t paid for that. He was paid for keeping pucks out of the net.
And crushing Ales Hemsky.
Playing a brutal and unforgiving style of game, Regehr is third all-time in games played as a Flame. Only Jarome Iginla and Mark Giordano have worn the Flaming C for longer.
He’s #14 on our list.
Arrival: Traded with Rene Corbet, Wade Belak and 2000 second round pick (Jarret Stoll) from Colorado for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman (February 28, 1999)
Departure: Traded with Ales Kotalik and 2012 second round pick to Buffalo for Paul Byron and Chris Butler (June 25, 2011)
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 | #17 Tim Hunter | #16 Joe Mullen | #15 Sean Monahan