Looking back at the Atlanta Flames in the 1970s

Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
The Calgary Flames franchise has a long, fascinating history. From their origins as an expansion team in Georgia in 1972 to their glory days in the 1980s to present day, the Flames have played a lot of hockey and many players have had tremendous careers wearing the Flaming C (and the Flaming A).
As we prepare for the 2023-24 season, we thought we’d look back at the Flames’ history decade-by-decade. First up? The 1970s, which were spent entirely in scenic Atlanta, Georgia.

The 1970s, at a glance

The Flames went 247-245-99 and earned 593 points over 591 games played during the 1970s. That’s just a hair over the .500 mark, and their points percentage was 10th overall in the NHL during that period.
The Flames qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs five times in the 1970s. They, uh, didn’t do too well, though. They were eliminated in the best-of-three preliminary round every single time, and won just a single playoff game during the 1970s – Game 2 of the 1977 preliminary round series against Los Angeles, with the Flames beating the Kings 3-2 to fend off a sweep. (This is, to date, the only home playoff game won in Atlanta in NHL history.)
The Flames began the decade with a roster cobbled together from the remnants of the NHL’s other teams via the expansion draft – the expansion rules meant that the existing teams tended to lose their third or fourth line forwards, third pairing defenders, and backup goaltenders (along with minor-leaguers). But through smart trades and strong drafting, the Flames were a team that was starting to make some noise by the end of the ’70s.

Individual achievements

83 skaters and 5 goaltenders played at least one game for the Flames during the 1970s.
Award Winners:
  • Eric Vail – Calder Memorial Trophy (1975)
  • Willi Plett – Calder Memorial Trophy (1977)
  • Bob MacMillan – Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1979)
All-Star Game Representatives:
  • 1973: Randy Manery
  • 1974: Al McDonough
  • 1975: Tom Lysiak and Curt Bennett
  • 1976: Tom Lysiak and Curt Bennett
  • 1977: Tom Lysiak and Eric Vail
  • 1978: Bill Clement
Statistical Leaders:
  • Games (skaters): Rey Comeau, 468
  • Goals: Eric Vail, 161
  • Assists: Tom Lysiak, 276
  • Points: Tom Lysiak, 431
  • Penalty Minutes: Willi Plett, 642
  • Game-Winning Goals: Curt Bennett, 22
  • Games (goalies): Dan Bouchard, 360
  • Wins: Dan Bouchard, 155
  • Shutouts: Dan Bouchard, 20

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