Top 50 Flames of All Time: #49 Sonia Scurfield
Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
By Ryan Pike8 months ago
The Calgary Flames have had the benefit of some strong ownership during the course of their history, including for several seasons in the 1990s when the Canadian dollar crashed in value and the team wasn’t exactly a great investment. But some of the franchise’s most memorable, important owners were from the 1980s.
Let’s take a look at Sonia Scurfield, #49 on our list, and an individual that made hockey history.
Originally from Hafford, Saskatchewan, Sonia Onishenko earned degrees at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba before meeting her future husband, Ralph, and getting married in Edmonton in 1954. They eventually relocated to the Calgary area.
Ralph Scurfield was part of the original Flames ownership group that partnered with Nelson Scalbania in 1980 (and became the main owners after Scalbania sold his interest in 1981). Sonia joined the Flames ownership group under tragic circumstances following Ralph’s death in a heli-skiing accident in Feb. 1985.
Scurfield remained part of the ownership group until she sold her interest in an ownership shuffle in 1994 that saw her and original owner Norman Kwong sell their shares and six new faces – including current majority owner Murray Edwards – join the group. During her near-decade as an owner, the Flames had incredible on-ice success, including two Presidents’ Trophies, a pair of trips to the Stanley Cup Final, and a championship win in 1989.
She made history in 1989, becoming just the second woman to ever have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup (and the first Canadian woman). To this day, she remains one of just 17 women to be engraved on the Cup. In addition to this, she was a big part of many of the Flames’ philanthropic efforts during this period and helped establish the foundation for what the club does in the community to this day.
Sonia lost her husband to a sudden, tragic accident. Nobody would’ve given her any grief if she had sold the shares she inherited. Instead, she held onto those shares, made an indelible mark on the Flames franchise, and made NHL history, too.
Top 50 Flames of All Time
Honourable mentions | #50 Brad Treliving | #49 Sonia Scurfield
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