Top 10 Flames players of the decade
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
10. Jiri Hudler
Czech-born Jiri Hudler joined the Flames during the 2012-13 season and solidified himself as a veteran winger on the line with young guns Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
Hudler won the Lady Byng as a Flame in 2015, where he delivered a hilarious speech that soon captured his status as a fan-favourite in Calgary.
Hudler’s first season in Calgary was his only season with the franchise under 30 points (27) and his highest was the 2014-15 season where he got 76 points in 78 games.
9. Dougie Hamilton
Hamilton was a piece of the puzzle that was traded from Calgary to Carolina that brought Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to the Flames.
Although it appears the trade was a good deal for Calgary, Hamilton played two full seasons with 82 games (2015-16, 2017-18) and a nearly full season with 81 games played in 2016-17.
In his three seasons with the Flames, Hamilton had 137 points in a short period of time.
Hamilton had an NHL career-high 50 points (13 goals, 37 assists) in 2016-17 and led all NHL defensemen in goals (17) in 2017-18.
8. TJ Brodie
Blue-liner TJ Brodie has three seasons in the last decade with 30+ goals, and snagging 45 goals and 216 assists for a total of 261 points.
He joined the Flames for three games in 2010-11 and has been with the team ever since. Brodie became an essential piece to the Flames lineup as speed has become an important piece of the game.
Brodie has also expanded his role this decade after joining captain Mark Giordano on the Flames’ top line and powerplay units. He’s also been a consistent member of the lineup, playing in 81 games in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.
7. Mikael Backlund
As one of the most consistent Flames players of all time, Mikael Backlund entered the league in 2008-09 and has been nothing but stellar for the Flames since joining the team.
The 30-year-old has over 340 points in the NHL through a combination of 135 goals and 206 assists.
According to NHL.com, Backlund suffered “multiple stops and starts due to injury (broken finger, shoulder separation, abdominal pull) that slowed his progress,” but I’m sure the Flames are happy they held onto this unsung hero.
6. Matthew Tkachuk
Many think Tkachuk is the future captain of the Flames and it’s hard to argue with them.
The young winger provides a lot of energy and in his short time with the Flames has already proven his capabilities. Last season, Tkachuk racked up 77 points and is already quickly catching up to veteran players with an impressive 212 points since joining the Flames in 2016.
During this offseason, Tkachuk became the highest-paid Flames player after signing a three-year, $21-million deal.
5. Johnny Gaudreau
Johnny Hockey has had his ups and downs over the past decade, but definitely deserves a spot on the list since he has snagged 425 points since he played his first NHL game with the Flames in 2013-14; where he also scored his first NHL goal.
Gaudreau alongside his partner and crime, Sean Monahan has been one of the most dynamic and productive duos in the NHL.
A fourth-round pick in 2011, Gaudreau was a finalist for the Calder Trophy in 2014-15 after scoring 24 goals in 80 games, along with leading all rookies in assists with 40. Gaudreau also helped Calgary to its first playoff appearance in six seasons and led the Flames with nine points in 11 games, according to NHL.com. The 26-year-old left-winger still has a lot left in the tank as he continues to play in the flaming ‘C’.
4. Sean Monahan
Monahan loves to win games, which is evident through his 38 game-winning goals since joining the Flames for the 2013-14 season.
The 25-year-old is on the verge of breaking 400 points and is nearing 200 goals for the franchise. Monahan has been a focal point of the Flames rebuild in the 2010s decade by providing scoring and consistency, especially playing center to his teammate, Gaudreau. As an 18-year-old, Monahan scored six goals in his first eight games. He finished his rookie season with 22 goals and became the first Flames rookie since Dion Phaneuf to reach the 20-goal mark.
NHL.com says Monahan’s responsibilities as a top-six forward quickly began to expand, citing “Calgary began using him to take key faceoffs at both ends of the ice and has relied on him as a vital part of the power play.”
3. Mark Giordano
Giordano won the Norris Trophy in 2019 as the league’s best defender in 2018-19.
The Flames’ current captain ended the award-winning season with an impressive 74 points at the age of 35. Giordano’s defensive play is consistent and clean but has also been matched by his offensive ability as he seems to get better with age.
Giordano is one of the few current Flames players who joined the franchise in the 2000s.
He has a total of 473 points since joining the NHL and the Flames in 2005-06.
2. Miikka Kiprusoff
Kipper played an impressive 576 games in a Flames sweater; the most by a goalie in franchise history.
Although the Finn didn’t play a lot in the 2010s decade, but his legacy continued as a mentor and starting goalie all the way until he retired in 2013.
Kiprusoff holds franchise records for most wins, saves and shutouts as a goalie in Flames history.
The 2006 Vezina Trophy winner definitely left a legacy from joining the team in 2003-04 well into the 2010s. For the remainder of the decade, the Flames went through dozens of goalies trying to fulfill the role left behind.
1. Jarome Iginla
Although the Flames’ captain only played for a few years in the 2010s decade, he is the franchise’s leader in games played, goals and points.
Arguably, Iginla played some of his best hockey in the 2000s and led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, but even as he began to show signs of age, he provided strong leadership for the young players coming up on the team, including current Flames Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano.
Iginla was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012-13 season and also went on to play in Boston, Colorado, and Los Angeles before retiring in 2017. The Flames honoured Iginla by retiring his jersey March 2, 2018, which created an amazing moment for Flames fans in the 2010s decade.