Top 50 Flames of All Time: #7 Al MacInnis
Photo credit:Graphic by Mike Gould
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
If you’ve ever seen a blueliner wind up for a slap shot and thought to yourself “Oh man, this is either going to break a bone or break the glass if it doesn’t hit the net,” you probably spent some time in your life watching Al MacInnis play hockey. A gifted offensive talent with a stupendous slapper, MacInnis was at one time the Flame’s all-time leading scorer.
He’s #7 on our countdown.
The pride of Inverness, Nova Scotia, MacInnis played his major junior with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL. MacInnis was the 15th overall pick in the 1981 NHL Draft.
MacInnis spent a couple seasons bouncing between the OHL, the CHL and the NHL for cups of coffee before establishing himself as a regular in the 1983-84 season. He had 45 points in 51 games as a rookie, but didn’t even make the All-Rookie Team. (Flames teammates Jamie Macoun and Hakan Loob both made it, so perhaps it was voter fatigue or a stacked rookie class.)
MacInnis wasn’t a perfect blueliner, but he was built perhaps as the perfect power play point man. He was a good skater and an effective passer, but his calling hard was his incredible shot, which had both power and accuracy. Several times games were delayed because he missed the net and broke the glass behind it. Several players received ugly bruises or welts from getting in the way of shots. But that cannon led him to score 102 power play goals (fourth in Flames history) and 481 power play points (the most of any Flame).
MacInnis was a Norris Trophy finalist three times as a Flame. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 1989 Stanley Cup playoffs. He was voted a first team year-end all-star twice and a second team all-star three other times. He scored 20 or more goals in six different seasons. He was a fantastic offensive blueliner.
Like many standouts from that 1989 team, MacInnis left the Flames for an American market in the early ’90s as economic challenges made it tough for the Flames to pay top dollar. After signing an offer sheet with the St. Louis Blues as a restricted free agent, MacInnis was traded to the Blues in the summer of 1994 (along with a third-rounder) in exchange for Phil Housley and a pair of second-rounders. He played nine seasons with the Blues – finally winning a Norris Trophy in 1998-99 – before retiring in 2005.
The best blueliner, especially offensively, in Flames history, MacInnis had his #2 honoured by the Flames in 2012.
Top 50 Flames of All Time
Honourable mentions | #50 Brad Treliving | #49 Sonia Scurfield | #48 Curtis Glencross | #47 Colin Patterson | #46 Jiri Hudler | #45 Jim Peplinski | #44 Jim “Bearcat” Murray | #43 Nelson Skalbania | #42 Dion Phaneuf | #41 Reggie Lemelin | #40 Joel Otto | #39 Dan Bouchard | #38 Paul Reinhart | #37 Tom Lysiak | #36 Eric Vail | #35 Tim Hunter | #34 Al Coates | #33 Harvey the Hound | #32 Martin Gelinas | #31 Sergei Makarov | #30 Elias Lindholm | #29 Mikael Backlund | #28 Häkan Loob | #27 Matthew Tkachuk | #26 Doug Gilmour | #25 Jacob Markström | #24 Joe Mullen | #23 Robyn Regehr | #22 Gary Roberts | #21 Doug Risebrough | #20 Al MacNeil | #19 Craig Conroy | #18 Daryl & Byron Seaman | #17 Gary Suter | #16 Sean Monahan | #15 Kent Nilsson | #14 Mark Giordano | #13 Joe Nieuwendyk | #12 Mike Vernon | #11 Terry Crisp | #10 Theoren Fleury | #9 Johnny Gaudreau | #8 “Badger” Bob Johnson | #7 Al MacInnis
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