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 #30 is Carey Wilson.
Wilson took a circuitous path to the NHL. Drafted by Chicago in 1980, he left school after his sophomore year with Dartmouth College and went pro in Finland. While he was playing in SM-Liiga, his rights were traded to the Flames. He played for Team Canada at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, then returned to North America to join the Flames.
Wilson’s first full NHL season was easily his best. But he stayed productive until the end of his NHL tenure. He had 72 points in 74 games in 1984-85 – unfortunately, Mario freakin’ Lemieux had 100 points so he didn’t have much of a chance at the Calder Trophy. Wilson spent another two and a half seasons in Calgary before being flipped to Hartford in 1987-88 in a swap that helped the Flames load up for a Stanley Cup run a year later.
He returned via trade in 1990-91. His last 76 games were injury-riddled and split across parts of three seasons. When he was healthy, he was a half a point per game player – not eye-popping, but respectable. But injuries ended his time with the Flames prematurely.
Wilson’s time with the Flames was short, but productive and distinguished. He’s both a story of what could’ve been and a damn fine hockey player at the same time. He comes in at #31.
Arrival: Traded from Chicago for Denis Cyr (November 8, 1982)
Departure: Traded with Neil Sheehy and Lane MacDonald to Hartford for Dana Murzyn and Shane Churla (January 3, 1988)
Re-Arrival: Traded from Hartford for Mark Hunter (March 5, 1991)
Re-Departure: Left as a free agent (following 1992-93 season)