Four Calgary Flames legends wait for Johnny Gaudreau in the 600 points club
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has had a tremendous season, recently surpassing the 100 point mark for the first time in his career. This season is just part of a tremendous career he’s had with the Flames dating back to his debut in 2014, and his consistent offensive performances have him on the verge of reaching 600 points for his career.
Four franchise greats await him in the 600 points club.
The pride of scenic Inverness, Nova Scotia, MacInnis was a first-round pick (15th overall) in the 1981 NHL Draft after a strong run in the Ontario Hockey League. He went pro immediately and went on to have a superb NHL career, capturing a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in 1989, a Norris Trophy in 1999, and being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
MacInnis was a very consistent scorer from the blueline with the Flames. He scored 600 points over just 601 games, hitting 600 on Mar. 16, 1991 with a primary assist on a power play goal by Joe Nieuwendyk (Gary Suter had the secondary assist).
MacInnis’ first 600 points were comprised of 150 goals and 450 assists. 242 points were even strength, 348 were on the power play and 10 were shorthanded. He amassed 822 points before his time with the Flames ended with a trade to St. Louis.
A good Ontario boy from Oshawa, Nieuwendyk starred with Cornell University and was Calgary’s second-round pick in 1985. He went pro in 1986 and began a decorated NHL career that saw him capture the Calder Trophy (1987), the Conn Smythe (1999) and three Stanley Cups (1989, 1999 and 2003). He was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Around here, Nieuwendyk may be most prominently remembered for being traded to the Dallas Stars for a fresh-faced WHL star named Jarome Iginla. But before Nieuwendyk was traded, he had a heck of a run with the Flames, scoring 600 points in just 564 games. His 600th point was a goal on Mar. 28, 1995 assisted by Phil Housley, another eventual Hall of Famer.
Nieuwendyk’s first 600 points were comprised of 306 goals and 294 assists. 358 points were even strength, 229 were on the power play and 13 were shorthanded. He amassed just 16 more points, finishing with 616 at the time of his trade to Dallas.
A Western League standout with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Fleury was an eighth-round pick in 1987 primarily selected to be a potential draw for the Flames’ minor league team. Instead, Fleury ended up becoming the franchise’s defining star of the 1990s.
While he never won a major individual award, he was a Cup winner in 1989 and was The Guy for the Flames until his departure in 1999. He reached 600 points in just 555 NHL games, hitting that milestone with a secondary assist on a Gary Roberts power play goal on Mar. 12, 1996 (German Titov had the primary assist).
Fleury’s first 600 points were comprised of 269 goals and 333 assists. 364 points were even strength, 212 were on the power play and 24 were shorthanded. Fleury eventually surpassed MacInnis for the franchise lead in points, accumulating 830 at the time of his trade to Colorado.
Originally drafted by Dallas in 1995 out of the WHL, Iginla was traded to the Flames for Nieuwendyk, went pro in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs and ended up having one of the best careers of the past several decades of hockey. He won everything but the Stanley Cup, including a scoring title (2002), and he was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2020.
As a Flame, Iginla was a defining player of the 2000s the way Fleury was the defining player of the 1990s. He scored goals, got into dramatic fights, and was the guy that gave the team what they needed to win key games. His 600th point came in his 734 game – thanks, Dead Puck Era – and was a power play goal that Iginla scored on Dec. 7, 2006, assisted by Daymond Langkow and Dion Phaneuf.
Iginla’s first 600 points were comprised of 300 goals and 300 assists. 380 points were even strength, 198 were on the power play and 22 were shorthanded. Iginla surpassed Fleury for the franchise points lead, ending up with 1,095 at the time of his departure to Pittsburgh.
A fourth-round selection from the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2011, Gaudreau became a star in the NCAA and then a star in the NHL. He needs just five more points to reach 600 with the Flames. As of this writing, he has 595 points in 593 games.
Two things are remarkable about Gaudreau’s production: he has zero shorthanded points, and he has a staggering 427 even strength points thus far. The next-nearest member of the 600 points club, Iginla, has 47 fewer even strength points than Gaudreau. It’s a testament to how productive Gaudreau has been without the offensive high ground that is the power play.
When do you think Gaudreau will reach 600 points this season? Do you have a favourite Gaudreau goal or assist from his previous 595? Let us know in the comments!
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