This coming May is the 40th anniversary of the Atlanta Flames moving to Calgary. To commemorate this occasion, we’re counting down the Top 40 Calgary Flames in history.
Coming in at #21 is Doug Gilmour.
Gilmour’s time with the Flames was fairly brief, but very impactful. He came to town in one of the best trades the club has ever made, scored a historic goal, and left town in the worst trade in club history.
Acquired in a big trade with St. Louis during training camp in 1988 – the Blues landed 50 goal scorer Mike Bullard, among others – the thought was that Gilmour would make the Flames tougher to play against. Nicknamed “Killer” for his hard-nosed style of play, he was precisely as advertised and gave the Flames a level of functional toughness and grit that they seemed to lack prior to his arrival.
Gilmour spent three and a half seasons in Calgary. He registered three seasons generating more than a point per game – he put up full seasons of 85, 91 and 81 points. While he eventually departed the club mid-season in 1991-92 after a contract dispute, he had 38 points (in 38 games) at the time of his exit. You can definitely say that Gilmour was a consistently dangerous offensive player. He received votes for the Selke and Lady Byng trophies while with the Flames and received Hart consideration the season he was traded.
If nothing else, Gilmour should be best remembered for his role on the 1989 Stanley Cup team. He had 11 goals and 22 points during Calgary’s march to the Cup, and his 11th goal of the post-season was the deciding marker in the Cup clinching game.
Was Gilmour a foundational piece for the Flames? Well, no. And his legacy is unfortunately tied to the wildly disappointing trade with the Leafs that ended up with Gary Leeman as the main return for Calgary. But any player who is as good as Gilmour was during his brief time, and scores the type of goals that he did, deserves a great deal of praise.
He’s #21 on our all-time list.
Arrival: Traded with Mark Hunter, Steve Bozek and Michael Dark from St. Louis for Mike Bullard, Craig Coxe and Tim Corkery (September 6, 1988)
Departure: Traded with Jamie Macoun, Ric Nattress, Rick Wamsley and Kent Manderville to Toronto for Gary Leeman, Craig Berube, Michael Petit, Alexander Godynyuk and Jeff Reese (January 2, 1992)
Awards: 1989 Stanley Cup winner