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Mikael Backlund is climbing up the Calgary Flames’ all-time games played leaderboard

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
A major milestone in the history of the Calgary Flames will take place on Thursday evening – in Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona of all places – when the captain Mikael Backlund plays his 950th regular season game for the franchise.
Thursday’s game sees Backlund pass Mark Giordano, his predecessor as captain, for second place on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard. To commemorate the occasion, we decided to break down the top 10 in games played to provide a glimpse into just how unique Backlund’s run here has been.
Backlund is 269 games behind Iginla for top spot. If he stays healthy and misses zero games, he would catch Iginla 65 games into the 2026-27 season. (Yes, he’d obviously need to sign another contract after his upcoming two year extension expires.)

1st: Jarome Iginla – 1,219

Arrival: Acquired from Dallas with Corey Millen in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk (Dec. 19, 1995)
First game: Oct. 5, 1996, in a 3-1 loss to Vancouver [regular season; first playoff game was Apr. 21, 1996, in a 7-5 loss to Chicago]
Last game: Mar. 26, 2013, in a 2-0 loss to Chicago
Departure: Traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for 2013 first-round pick (Morgan Klimchuk), Kenny Agostino and Ben Hanowski (Mar. 28, 2013)
Notes and awards: Captain, 2003-13. All-Rookie Team (1996-97). Maurice Richard Trophy winner (2001-02 & 2003-04). Art Ross Trophy winner (2001-02). Ted Lindsay Award winner (2001-02). King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner (2003-04). NHL Foundation Player Award winner (2003-04). Mark Messier Leadership Award winner (2008-09). First Team All-Star (2001-02, 2007-08 & 2008-09). Second Team All-Star (2003-04). Stanley Cup finalist in 2003-04.

2nd: Mikael Backlund – 949 (and counting)

Arrival: Calgary’s first round selection, 24th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft
First game: Jan. 8, 2009, in a 5-2 win over the NY Islanders
Notes and awards: Captain, 2023-present. King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner (2022-23).

3rd: Mark Giordano – 949

Arrival: Signed as a free agent (July 6, 2004)
First game: Jan. 30, 2006, in a 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis
Last game: May 19, 2021, in a 6-2 win over Vancouver
Departure: Claimed by Seattle in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft (July 21, 2021)
Notes and awards: Captain, 2013-21. NHL Foundation Player Award winner (2015-16). Norris Trophy winner (2018-19). Mark Messier Leadership Award winner (2019-20). First Team All-Star (2018-19).

4th: Robyn Regehr – 826

Arrival: Acquired from Colorado (along with Wade Belak, Rene Corbet and 2000 second-round pick (Jarret Stoll)) in exchange for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman (Feb. 28, 1999; Regehr was a “future consideration” and selected by Flames from a list of Colorado prospects on Mar. 27, 1999 to complete the trade)
First game: Oct. 28, 1999, in a 4-3 win over Ottawa
Last game: Apr. 9, 2011, in a 3-2 overtime loss to Vancouver
Departure: Traded to Buffalo (along with Ales Kotalik and 2012 second-round pick (Jake McCabe)) in exchange for Paul Byron and Chris Butler (June 25, 2011)
Notes and awards: Broke both his legs in a car accident during 1999’s off-season and made Flames roster (after a brief AHL conditioning stint) anyway. Stanley Cup finalist (2003-04).

5th: Al MacInnis – 803

Arrival: Calgary’s first round selection, 15th overall, in the 1981 NHL Draft
First game: Dec. 30, 1981, in a 4-2 Flames loss to Boston
Last game: Apr. 13, 1994, in a 6-4 loss to Los Angeles [regular season; last playoff game was Apr. 30, 1994, in a 4-3 double-overtime loss to Vancouver]
Departure: Traded to St. Louis (along with 1997 fourth-round pick (Didier Tremblay)) in exchange for Phil Housley, 1996 second-round pick (Steve Begin) and 1997 second-round pick (John Tripp) [trade was resolution of MacInnis signing with the Blues as a restricted free agent]
Notes and awards: Conn Smythe Award winner (1988-89). First Team All-Star (1989-90 & 1990-91). Second Team All-Star (1986-87, 1988-89 & 1993-94). Stanley Cup winner (1988-89). Stanley Cup finalist (1985-86).

6th: Theoren Fleury – 791

Arrival: Calgary’s eighth round selection, 166th overall, in the 1987 NHL Draft
First game: Jan. 3, 1989, in a 5-1 win over Quebec
Last game: Feb. 26, 1999, in a 4-2 loss to St. Louis
Departure: Traded to Colorado (along with Chris Dingman) in exchange for Wade Belak, Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr and 2000 second-round pick (Jarret Stoll) (Feb. 28, 1999)
Notes and awards: Captain, 1995-97. Second Team All-Star (1994-95). Stanley Cup winner (1988-89).

7th: Joel Otto – 730

Arrival: Signed as a free agent (Sept. 11, 1984)
First game: Nov. 23, 1984, in a 3-1 Flames loss to St. Louis
Last game: May 3, 1995, in a 5-3 win over Edmonton [regular season; last playoff game was May 19, 1995, in a 5-4 double-overtime loss to San Jose]
Departure: Signed with Philadelphia as a free agent (July 31, 1995)
Notes and awards: Stanley Cup winner (1988-89). Stanley Cup finalist (1985-86).

8th: Jim Peplinski – 711

Arrival: Atlanta’s fourth round selection, 75th overall, in the 1979 NHL Draft
First game: Oct. 9, 1980, in a 5-5 tie with Quebec
Last game: May 3, 1995, in a 5-3 win over Edmonton
Departure: Retired
Notes and awards: Peplinski’s first Flames game was the first-ever Calgary Flames game. He’s the only player in the top 10 that played their entire NHL career with the Flames. Co-captain, 1984-90. Charlie Conacher Humanitarian Award winner (1983-84). Stanley Cup winner (1988-89). Stanley Cup finalist (1985-86).

9th: Sean Monahan – 656

Arrival: Calgary’s first round selection, sixth overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft
First game: Oct. 3, 2013, in a 5-4 shootout loss to Washington
Last game: Mar. 31, 2022, in a 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles
Departure: Traded to Montreal (along with conditional 2025 first-round pick) in exchange for future considerations

10th: TJ Brodie – 634

Arrival: Calgary’s fourth round selection, 114th overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft
First game: Oct. 7, 2010, in a 4-0 loss to Edmonton
Last game: Mar. 8, 2020, in a 5-3 loss to Vegas [regular season; final playoff game was Aug. 20, 2020, in a 7-3 loss to Dallas]
Departure: Signed with Toronto as a free agent (Oct. 9, 2020)
Which player in the top 10 ranking is the most surprising? Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

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