Getty Images (Ed. Word: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer mission, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to determine the best participant of their favourite workforce’s historical past for every main nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Remainder of The World. It’s their standards, as long as they’ll justify it. Learn, debate and enjoy! If you wish to accomplish that on Twitter, it’s #NHLoN.)
By Kent Wilson, Flames Nation
Canada: Jarome Iginla
Easily essentially the most contentious country for the Flames, Calgary has strong contenders in Al MacInnis, Theoren Fleury, Lanny MacDonald, Gary Roberts, Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk, all whom can be justifiable selections.
That famous, one of the best Canadian Flame can also be in all probability one of the best Flame of all time – just lately departed captain Jarome Iginla.
The Edmonton native (irony!) played sixteen seasons in Calgary, led the staff in scoring in nearly all of them and at the moment owns lots of the franchise data, including targets, points and video games played. He is one in all only a handful of gamers in NHL history to attain 30 objectives in 11 consecutive seasons (all of them with Calgary) and although the cup eluded him throughout his time with the organization, Iggy is one of the most embellished Flames of all time with two gold medals, an Art Ross and a Lester B. Pearson trophy.
Beyond all that, Iginla is a sort of messianic determine in Calgary. He arrived at the onset of the organization’s darkest time back in the mid-90’s; a period the place the group had little hope of competing thanks to a mixture of incompetence, bad luck and a funds compromised by hovering league-wide spending and a weak Canadian dollar.
As I famous in my farewell to Iggy when he was traded to Pittsburgh close to the deadline:
Iginla grew right into a towering presence in Calgary, a figurehead who led the franchise out of its dark ages, establishing the Flames group as related in the eyes of its enemies and in the hearts of its followers again.
So, yeah…quick answer: Iginla.
Finland: Miikka Kiprusoff
Although I’d like to vote for Ville Nieminen here, it is clearly inconceivable to not go along with Miikka Kiprusoff. The only other Flame to win a major award except for Jarome in recent reminiscence (Vezina), Kipper was the the primary reason Calgary managed to Cinderella their solution to the cup finals in 2003-04. Past Iginla, Kipper was the opposite purpose the membership was thought-about a contender within the wake of the primary modern lock-out and put up some of the finest single season and playoff performances by a Flames goaltender ever.
Kiprusoff’s (possible) closing season this year was a disaster and an ignominious end to what was in any other case a storied profession, nearly all of it spent in Calgary. He’ll possible retire this summer season and disappear someplace in Finland, mercifully free of dreaded press conferences, nosy beat writers and the endless burden of carrying a complete crew in his again.
USA: Gary Suter
A few noteworthy Americans have donned the Flaming C, specifically: Gary Suter, Joel Otto, Craig Conroy and Phil Housley. Brett Hull was born in Belleville Ontario, however famously identifies as American. Sadly, he additionally solely spent a single season in Calgary earlier than being traded for Rob Ramage, in order that crosses him off my list as a result of he was never actually a Flame.
In absolute terms, Housley and Mullen are pure choices. Mullen gained a cup in Calgary as one of many staff’s significant contributors at the time. He also managed over 500 targets and a thousand factors throughout an extended and illustrious career.
Housley endured his fair proportion of slings and arrows throughout his two tours of obligation in Calgary, but he’s easily probably the greatest American hockey gamers of all time given his resume. The Saint Paul native scored 20-plus objectives five times and 40-plus factors sixteen times. He completed a 21 yr profession with over 1200 points, a formidable complete for a forward, let alone a defenseman.
That mentioned, Calgary was extra of a pit cease for each guys in each of their careers. Mullen spent simply as much time in each St. Louis and Pittsburgh as he did in Calgary, while Housley saw solely about 5 seasons a Flame, lower than 1/4th of his time in the league.
Otto was a helpful player in the Flames cup run and spent his greatest years in Calgary, but was never a excessive octane talent.
That brings us Conroy and Suter. Craig is the sentimental alternative – a Selke candidate who paired with Jarome during some of the erstwhile captain’s (and the staff’s) best seasons, Conroy is an executive with the team presently and still beloved by the fans, partially due to his enjoying days and partially as a result of he is only a really nice guy.
However, this one probably has to go to Gary Suter. A 9th spherical choose in 1984 (the very best draft season in franchise’s history by a large margin), Suter made the Flames as a 21 yr previous in 1985 and began skating with Al MacInnis to form a potent defensive pairing. He received the Calder trophy that 12 months after scoring 18 objectives and fifty eight in his unlikely and surprising debut. Suter would eventually peak in 1987-88 with a 21-objective, ninety one-point effort, a season before he would assist lead the membership to their first – and solely – Stanley Cup.
Suter spent his formative and prime years as a Flame and was one of the towering figures who helped the staff change into a dominant contender and eventual champion within the late ’80s. He played for an additional nine seasons after he left Calgary in 1994, however was mostly shadow of the player he was in Calgary.
Sweden: Hakan Loob
Kenta Nilsson was referred to as the magic man because of his ridiculously comfortable arms. He was also moved for the draft pick that ultimately turned Joe Nieuwendyk, so that you’d assume he’d be the easy selection.
But he is not because, effectively…Hakan Loob.
Funny, gregarious and extremely gifted, Loob remains one of the vital widespread gamers in Calgary to this present day. The one-time 9th spherical decide (the Flames have been pretty good at getting awesome players late within the draft again in the 80s apparently) stands as the one Swedish born NHLer to ever rating 50 targets in the league. After managing that feat (and topping out at 106 factors) he caught round for yet one more season to win the cup after which determined to pack issues up at the high of his sport and head back to Sweden, a hero on either side of the pond. It was the hockey equal of dropping the mic.
Most star athletes have bother knowing when to pack it in, however Loob was the alternative – he quot when he was ahead, spent another 7 years dominating the proceedings within the Swedish Elite League and is now the GM of the SEL workforce he performed for (Farjestad). As such, everyone who meets Loob in actual life ought to give him a high five as a result of he is superior.
Russia: Sergei Makarov
Not even a contest. Sergei Makarov. Full cease.
A twelfth round decide (!) and one of many first “defectors” from Soviet Russia, Makarov arrived as 31 12 months previous “rookie” in the league after being one of the vital celebrated players in his native nation and won the Calder 24-objective and 86-level season. The league changed the foundations governing the rookie of the yr afterwards in consequence.
A corridor-of-famer for his work each in Russia and in North America, Makarov is means forward in race the place second place would probably should go to German Titov.
Slovakia: Ronald Petrovicky
Uhh…Ronald Petrovicky I guess?
Czech Republic: Robert Reichel
Obviously the winner right here is Ales Kotalik…
Hahahah, but severely, it is a fairly short record so Robert Reichel runs away with it. Calgary hasn’t made a behavior of amassing players from Japanese Europe over the years, meaning Reichel and his dual 40-aim campaigns for the organization in the early ‘ninety’s is the one actual selection. Jiri Hrdina (chosen in that 1984 draft) was more of a support man in his 4 seasons with the membership. Roman Horak would possibly populate a list like this 10 years down the road, but that remains to be seen.
The different notable Roman in Flames history – Turek – is more of punchline and cautionary tale than anything.
REST OF THE WORLD CATEGORY
Switzerland: Sven Baertschi
If Sven Baertschi becomes the player many Flames fan suppose (read: hope) he will, the Swiss born winger will probably be talked about in a list like this down the street. Otherwise, nobody else really warrants a mention.