Who are the best single-season Flames of all-time?
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
In hockey, as in life, people aren’t in your life forever. For the Calgary Flames, they’ve had quite a few players suit up for their club for just a single season. Some have been forgettable. Some have been decent.
And a few have been pretty good.
Here are the five best single-season Flames of all-time.
A free agent following the expiry of his previous deal with Anaheim, the Flames brought in Bertuzzi for the same reason a lot of teams brought in Bertuzzi: he could score goals and had a physical bite to his game that a lot of clubs valued.
Bertuzzi was a second-line (and power play) fixture for the 2008-09 season, finishing sixth on the team with 15 goals and 44 points. He was best known for big hits, smart play in the offensive zone, and occasionally giving up the puck with blind no-look drop passes inside the offensive blueline that led to rushes in the opposite direction.
He left the club as a free agent after one season.
Drury had played two years of a three year deal with Colorado before a trade to the Flames before the season began – Drury and Stephane Yelle went to Calgary in exchange for Derek Morris, Jeff Shantz and Dean McAmmond.
Drury was third on the Flames in scoring with 23 goals and 53 points, generally bouncing between the first two lines. He was a restricted free agent at the end of the season and was swapped to Buffalo with Steve Begin for Rhett Warrener and Steven Reinprecht.
The recurring challenge of Brad Treliving’s early tenure as Calgary general manager was finding a quality goaltender. At the 2016 draft, he sent a second-round pick (and a conditional pick) to the Blues for Brian Elliott, who had a season remaining on a three-year deal he signed in St. Louis. (The conditional pick was tied to him re-signing with the Flames.)
Elliott was a really good regular season goalie, posting 26 wins in the regular season and a .910 save percentage playing in a tandem with Chad Johnson. Unfortunately, Elliott was not particularly good in the playoffs, going 0-3 and posting a .880 save percentage. His ugly playoffs was enough for the Flames to look at other options in the off-season.
Gagner was in a period of transition when he arrived in Calgary. He had signed a two-year deal with Dallas, then was traded mid-season to Toronto. Following that season, he was traded to the Flames for a third-round pick.
With the Flames in 1996-97, Gagner was really good. He centred the top line, was second on the team in scoring behind Theo Fleury, and generally contributed in every game situation. He left as a free agent.
Following the departure of Mike Smith in the off-season, Talbot was signed by Treliving to back up David Rittich. He was the Flames’ secondary goalie until mid-season, when Rittich suffered a knee injury (which nagged him for the remainder of the season) and Talbot took over as the team’s top goalie for the balance of the season. He posted a .919 save percentage in the regular season and a .924 in the playoffs.
The Flames liked Talbot and they had discussions about a possible return that off-season, but the Flames jumped on the chance to grab Jacob Markstrom in free agency – allowing Treliving to finally finish his years-long goaltending search – and so Talbot opted to explore other opportunities in free agency.
Which single-season Flames performance do you think was the best overall? Let us know in the comments!
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