Johnny Gaudreau stacks up well against historic Calgary Flames scoring leaders
Photo credit:Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike9 months ago
The Calgary Flames franchise has been around for a long time – October’s games will represent the 50th anniversary of the franchise’s arrival in Atlanta. But in 50 years, the Flames franchise has only seen 10 seasons of 100 (or more) points by eight players.
With Johnny Gaudreau on the verge of joining this fraternity, here’s a rundown of the Flames franchise’s 100 point players.
1978-79: Guy Chouinard (107) & Bob MacMillan (108)
The 1978-79 season was the second-last season the Flames spent in Georgia, and was the best offensive season they had to that point. Bolstered by a really strong top line (alongside winger Eric Vail), Guy Chouinard and Bob MacMillan enjoyed breakout seasons and finished 6th and 5th in league scoring overall, respectively. Chouinard’s 50 goals set a franchise record for the time, while his even strength point output (81) remains a record.
New York Islanders great Bryan Trottier led the NHL in points with 134, narrowly edging out Los Angeles’ Marcel Dionne.
Points per game: 1.338 (Chouinard), 1.367 (MacMillan)
ES points per game: 1.013 (Chouinard), 1.000 (MacMillan)
How many games to hit 100: 75 (Chouinard), 68 (MacMillan)
Era-adjusted points (adjusting scoring to current goals-per-game levels): 90 (Chouinard), 91 (MacMillan)
1980-81: Kent Nilsson (131)
In their first season in Calgary, the Flames were a big surprise and even ended up winning two playoff rounds, reaching the league semi-final round. A lot of their breakout was due to the offensive magic from “The Magic Man,” Kent Nilsson. Nilsson’s 131 points remain a Flames record, with his output bolstered by 53 power play points – Nilsson had a fairly pedestrian plus-14 rating despite his prodigious scoring pace.
Nilsson’s miraculous offensive season put him third in the NHL, behind Wayne Gretzky (164) and Dionne (135).
Points per game: 1.638
ES points per game: 0.975
How many games to hit 100: 64
Era-adjusted points: 101
1982-83: Kent Nilsson again (104)
Two seasons later, Nilsson returned to the 100 Point Club, this time with a less crazy power play point output. For context, Nilsson’s 104 point campaign coincided with Gretzky’s wacky 196 point season. Heck, Gretzky had more assists (125) than Nilsson had points. Nilsson’s output had him 10th in the NHL in points.
(Lanny McDonald had 66 goals in 1982-83, just missing the 100 point mark by two points.)
Points per game: 1.300
ES points per game: 0.800
How many games to hit 100: 78
Era-adjusted points: 84
1987-88: Mike Bullard (103) & Hakan Loob (106)
The 1987-88 Flames were a freakin’ juggernaut. General manager Cliff Fletcher made tweaks since the early ’80s that made the team scary-deep and difficult to match against, which led to basically everybody on the team being a scoring threat. In addition to Bullard and Loob hitting the 100s, the Flames had strong offensive seasons from Joe Nieuwendyk (92), Gary Suter (91), Joe Mullen (84) and Al MacInnis (83). Loob was 9th league-wide in points, with Bullard finishing 11th.
Mario Lemieux had 168 points in ’87-’88, edging out Gretzky (149) for the Art Ross.
Points per game: 1.304 (Bullard), 1.325 (Loob)
ES points per game: 0.708 (Bullard), 0.725 (Loob)
How many games to hit 100: 76 (Bullard), 76 (Loob)
Era-adjusted points: 86 (Bullard), 89 (Loob)
1988-89: Joe Mullen (110)
It seems weird to think about, but Mullen was the leading scorer of the best team in Flames history. The 1989 team was a little bit less top-heavy offensively, as Mullen led his team in points by a margin of 25, but the whole team was good and was able to grind teams to a fine dust during the campaign.
Mullen’s 110 points had him 7th league-wide. Lemieux’s 199 points paced the league.
Points per game: 1.392
ES points per game: 0.861
How many games to hit 100: 74
Era-adjusted points: 91
1990-91: Theo Fleury (104) & Al MacInnis (103)
Man, Theo Fleury was an offensive beast back in the day. Leaned on during the great transition the Flames made in the early ’90s – in part due to broader economic pressures – Fleury finished 8th in scoring, followed by MacInnis in 9th. (We’re still not sure how MacInnis didn’t win the Norris Trophy in that season.)
Gretzky’s 163 points led the NHL.
Points per game: 1.316 (Fleury), 1.321 (MacInnis)
ES points per game: 0.823 (Fleury), 0.474 (MacInnis)
How many games to hit 100: 77 (Fleury), 78 (MacInnis)
Era-adjusted points: 93 (Fleury), 92 (MacInnis)
1992-93: Theo Fleury again (100)
The 1992-93 season was wacky offensively, with 21 players hitting 100 points throughout the league. It also was 84 games long, the most games scheduled by the league in history. (That eventually got clawed back.) Fleury had a Nilsson-like season, with 100 points and a plus-14 rating. He finished 20th in scoring league-wide, leading the Flames by 12 points over Robert Reichel.
Lemieux led the NHL with 160 points.
Points per game: 1.205
ES points per game: 0.762
How many games to hit 100: 82
Era-adjusted points: 81
Through 72 games, Gaudreau has 99 points (and 78 even strength points). He won’t be the fastest Flames player to hit 100 points – that’s Nilsson’s 64 games in 1980-81 – but his production and consistency, especially at even strength – stand up well against the franchise’s best single season performances.
In fact, he’s on pace to have the best even strength season in franchise history.
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