Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

Milan Lucic’s 1,000th game and other upcoming milestones for the 2021 Flames

You won’t just find Milestones by the Telus Convention Centre on Stephen Avenue.

Both the scoresheets and the schedule will feature milestones for members of the Calgary Flames in the upcoming 56-game 2020-21 season. For example, there’s a good chance that this year will feature the 11th instance of a player skating in his 1,000th NHL game while wearing a Flames jersey.

Let’s take a deep look at some of the more meaningful career marks for scoring and games played that can be attained by Flames players in the year ahead.

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Milan Lucic: 1,000 games

Currently at 958 games; needs 42 for 1,000.

The Flames have had ten players skate in their 1,000th career games as members of the team. Lanny McDonald was the first, way back in 1986-87; since then, Dave Lowry, Craig Berube, Martin Gelinas, Owen Nolan, Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, Craig Conroy, Olli Jokinen, and Matt Stajan have achieved the same feat while playing for Calgary.

Lucic’s second goal as a Flame last season registered as the 200th tally of his NHL career (he now sits at 206). He surpassed the 500-point plateau at the very end of his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers and joined the Flames with 501 points, adding 20 more to that total last season. Lucic needs to play in 42 games to hit 1,000 for his career but needs just 32 to reach the 100-game milestone with the Flames.

Sean Monahan: 200 goals

Currently at 194 goals; needs six to reach 200.

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Just six players have ever scored 200 goals for the Calgary Flames. Sean Monahan will become the seventh when he scores his sixth goal of the upcoming season.

Monahan passed Kent Nilsson, Joe Mullen, and Hakan Loob on the Flames’ franchise goal-scoring leaderboard last season and has two more legendary alumni in his sights entering 2020-21. He’ll need 19 goals to tie Al MacInnis for sixth on the Flames’ all-time list with 213 goals; beyond that, he’ll need just two more to match Lanny McDonald’s 215 goals as a Flame.

It’s very possible that Monahan ends 2020-21 with the fifth-most goals in Flames history. Furthermore, entering 2020-21 with 411 points, Monahan sits 13 points back of Jim Peplinski (424), 17 back of Joel Otto (428), and 18 back of Loob (429) for total point-scoring in a Flames career. If he passes all three players this season, he’ll sit alone in 10th on the Flames’ all-time points column.

Johnny Gaudreau: 500 games, 300 assists, 500 points

Currently at 464 games, 294 assists, and 445 points; needs 36 games for 500, six assists for 300, and 55 points for 500.

Johnny Gaudreau is on the verge of some very special milestones. If he stays healthy, he’s all but assured to hit 500 games and 300 assists; 500 points will take a very good bounce-back season compared to his pace from last year.

Gaudreau enters 2020-21 in some elite company on the Flames’ all-time leaderboard. He needs just nine assists to pass Joe Nieuwendyk (302) for sixth place in club history. He also stands a pretty good chance of catching Kent Nilsson (469) in career points as a Flame; Gary Roberts (504) in sixth place might be a little bit out of reach, but it’s not impossible.

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Mark Giordano: 900 games, 150 goals, 500 points

Currently at 893 games, 134 goals, and 483 points; needs seven games for 900, 16 goals for 150, and 17 points for 500.

Jarome Iginla is the only player to ever skate in 900 games as a Calgary Flame. Mark Giordano is all but assured to join him this year, although Iginla’s franchise record of 1219 games might be permanently out of reach for his late-blooming successor as team captain.

Only one Flames defenseman has ever scored 150 goals. A 16-goal year for Giordano would probably be a tall order in an 82-game schedule, let alone in a shortened 56-game season, but who knows. That said, Giordano is pretty likely to join MacInnis and Gary Suter this year in the club of defensemen who have scored 500 points as a Flame and, like Gaudreau, he could pass Gary Roberts (at 504 points) for sixth place on the team’s all-time scoring list.

Mikael Backlund: 700 games, 400 points

Currently at 690 games and 365 points; needs 10 games for 700 and 35 points for 400.

14 players have scored 400 career points as a Flame (poor Paul Reinhart fell just short with 399). Mikael Backlund could become the 15th in 2020-21 with a 35-point season, roughly equivalent to 51 points over a full 82 game schedule. Backlund’s career-high is 53 points, so it could happen.

The Flames’ 700-game club is far more exclusive. Backlund would become the eighth Flame to ever reach the mark by playing 10 games in 2020-21 and he could climb even higher on the team’s all-time leaderboard with a full season. Peplinski (711) and Otto (730) in seventh and sixth, respectively, are both very much in play.

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Other milestones:

  • Matthew Tkachuk needs seven games for 300 and six goals for 100.
  • Sam Bennett needs 36 games for 400.
  • Dillon Dube needs 30 games for 100 and 29 points for 50.
  • Dominik Simon needs 27 games for 200 and 36 points for 100.
  • Josh Leivo needs 31 games for 200 and 35 points for 100.
  • Derek Ryan needs 15 assists for 100.
  • Zac Rinaldo needs 30 games for 400, two goals for 20, and eight points for 50.
  • Noah Hanifin needs 11 games for 400.
  • Rasmus Andersson needs 40 games for 200 and nine points for 50.
  • Chris Tanev needs four assists for 100.
  • Oliver Kylington needs 13 games for 100.
  • Alex Petrovic needs 37 games for 400 and five assists for 50.
  • Jacob Markstrom needs 30 games for 300.
  • David Rittich needs 35 games for 150.
  • Louis Domingue needs 11 games for 150.
  • Geoff Ward needs 26 wins for 50 as an NHL head coach.