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 #32 is Curtis Glencross.
It’s probably safe to say that Glencross was not a Johnny Gaudreau or Matthew Tkachuk level talent. But Glencross is the perfect example of what scouts mean when they “he plays the game the right way.” An AJHL graduate who played his college hockey at the University of Alaska – Anchorage, he went pro and signed with the Anaheim Ducks out of college. He bounced around a bit, spending time with the Ducks, Columbus and Edmonton.
He wasn’t re-upped by the Oilers as a free agent and the Flames snapped him up. The initial investment was low-risk: $1.2 million for three seasons for a guy that was at the very least a competent NHL forward. He turned that opportunity into a quietly impressive seven seasons in red.
Glencross wasn’t a highly skilled player, but he was a player who played honestly and gave his all. He would hit. He would forecheck. He would muck around in the corners. He arrived on a Flames team that was entering its twilight and was one of a handful of guys – along with Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund, among others – who were relied upon to set a tone and set the standard as the club rebuilt beginning in 2013.
Glencross played a hard, physically demanding style. He consistently produced and he was one of the players who could be relied upon for reliable minutes as the team made its pivot towards the future. His post-Flames career was virtually non-existent – after he finished out 2014-15 with the Washington Capitals he didn’t land anywhere the following season, so he hung ’em up – but his impact in Calgary can’t be denied.
He clocks in at #32 for his productivity, grit and versatility.
Arrival: Signed as a free agent (July 2, 2008)
Departure: Traded to Washington for 2015 second round pick (traded to Boston in the Dougie Hamilton deal) and 2015 third round pick (traded to Arizona to trade up for Oliver Kylington) (March 1, 2015)
Awards: none