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.
#10 on the list is one of the most beloved players in club history: Lanny McDonald.
A product of Hanna, Alberta, McDonald played his junior hockey with the Calgary Centennials and Medicine Hat Tigers. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but was eventually sent to the struggling Colorado Rockies as part of Leafs owner Harold Ballard’s campaign against Darryl Sittler. He was subsequently traded to Calgary early in the 1981-82 season and then had the best run of his career playing for his local team.
Everyone remembers Lanny for his mustache and generally gregarious nature. But during his prime, the man was a machine. His 66 goal output in 1982-83 still stands as a club record – Gary Roberts is the next-closest with 53 in 1991-92, Lanny was that much of a sniper.
McDonald played a physical, crash and bang style of game. He started slowing down by 1986-87, as his style began to catch up with him. He didn’t play as much, as the coaching staff rotated him out of the lineup occasionally to keep him fresh. But when he was dressed, he was full marks for effort.
McDonald served as co-captain from 1983-84 through 1988-89. He was scratched for three games of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final, but head coach Terry Crisp inserted him into the lineup for the potential clinching game. He scored a goal in the 4-2 win in Montreal to finally capture the Cup, then retired later that summer.
Lanny was tough. Lanny was talented. Lanny was a leader. He was a huge part of the Flames’ best seasons. He’s #10 on our list.
Arrival: Traded with 1983 fourth round pick from Colorado for Bob MacMillan and Don Lever (November 25, 1981)
Departure: Retired (August 28, 1989)
Awards: 1989 Stanley Cup winner; 1982-83 Second Team All-Star; 1982-83 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner; 1987-88 King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Top 40 Calgary Flames: HM Martin Gelinas | HM Al Coates | HM Bob Johnson | #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 | #11 Hakan Loob