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.
#11 on our countdown is Hakan Loob.
Loob was quite the bad-ass. A late round pick of the Flames in 1980, he was lured over by general manager Cliff Fletcher from Sweden in 1983. He immediately established himself as perhaps the best Swede in the game at the time.
Loob spent six seasons in North America. He was one of the Flames’ better players in all three zones in all six seasons. He had four really nice offensive seasons and one extremely good one – he scored 30+ goals on three occasions and on a fourth occasion hit the vaunted 50 goal mark.
The impressive thing about Loob is that he was excellent, but didn’t overstay his welcome. Some players are superb but linger and gradually see their legend diminish. Loob played six seasons. At the beginning of the sixth season, he told Fletcher that he was going to head back to Sweden after year was over. He won a Stanley Cup, shook everyone’s hands, and headed home to continue his career in Sweden.
Loob is, to date, the only Sweden-born player to ever score 50 goals in a single season. He received votes for the Lady Byng award twice. He hit 100 points in a season. He got a ring from his trip to North America. Kent Nilsson was arguably a more talented player, but Loob was easily a more complete player and laid a foundation for a long line of Swedes wearing the Flaming C.
He’s #11 on our all-time list.
Arrival: Selected in the ninth round, 181st overall, in 1980 NHL Entry Draft (June 11, 1980)
Departure: Returned to Sweden (Summer 1989)
Awards: 1989 Stanley Cup winner; 1987-88 First Team All-Star
Top 40 Calgary Flames: HM Martin Gelinas | HM Al Coates | #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 | #14 Robyn Regehr | #13 Mike Vernon | #12 Kent Nilsson