Colton Pankiw The Hockey Writers
Last Flame to Win Each NHL Award
While the Calgary Flames do not have the most decorated history, they have still had some good teams and players since joining the NHL in 1980. As a result of those players, they have won numerous individual awards over the years.
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As is the norm, the NHL has begun to announce the nominees for all of the individual awards amongst the league, although the winners will not be known for some time as they will not be announced until the playoffs (which are set to begin in early August) end. Because of this, I thought it would be a good time to go over the last Flame to win each individual award.
Art Ross Trophy: Jarome Iginla (2002)
The only time the Art Ross has been won in Flames’ history was by no other than the best player to ever don their jersey, Jarome Iginla. That award was won in the 2001-02 season, in which he put up a career-high 52 goals, as well as a career-high and league-leading 96 points. He led the league in scoring by 6 points that year, as Vancouver Canucks forward Marcus Naslund finished in second with 90 points.
On top of that, his 52 goals were also enough to lead the league, and by a very wide margin. Not only was Iginla the only 50-goal scorer that season, but the closest to him were Mats Sundin, Glen Murray, and Bill Guerin, with 41. Unfortunately, despite the great season, the Flames still missed the playoffs that season, marking a sixth-straight season they had done so.
Bill Masterton Trophy: Gary Roberts (1996)
The Flames have had two players win the Bill Masterton Trophy in their franchise history, the most recent being Gary Roberts for the 1995-96 season. The Masterton is an award given to the player who shows the most perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Generally speaking, it is given to a player who has had to overcome a massive obstacle, whether it be an injury or something in their personal life.
That made Roberts an obvious choice for the trophy that season, as he had what was considered a career-threatening neck injury, which limited him to just eight games during the 1994-95 season. Due to nerve issues in his neck, he was unable to lift a two-pound dumbbell above his shoulder with his left arm. However, after two surgeries, he was able to return midway through the 1995-96 season and put up an incredible 42 points in 35 games. The neck injury did force Roberts into a brief retirement, but he returned yet again 1997-98 and went on to play 11 more seasons.
Calder Trophy: Sergei Makarov (1990)
The Flames have had plenty of young talent over the years, which has resulted in them winning three Calder Trophies in their franchise history. However, they have not had a winner anytime recently, with the latest being Sergei Makarov in 1989-90. While Makarov had a fantastic season with 24 goals and 86 points in 80 games, the award was viewed as controversial given that he was 31 years old. As a result, the Calder Trophy has since been changed in that players have to be under 26 in order to be eligible.
Makarov would go on to play three more seasons for the Flames, followed by two more for the San Jose Sharks and a short four-game stint for the Dallas Stars before retiring. Though his NHL career was brief, it was spectacular nonetheless with 384 points in 424 games. As a result of both his terrific NHL career and more so his professional career in Russia, he was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.
Conn Smythe Trophy: Al MacInnis (1989)
Despite being in the NHL for thirty seasons now, the Flames have only been able to win one Stanley Cup, which obviously means they have only had one player win awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy. That player was Al MacInnis.
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The Hall of Fame defenceman was dominant for the Flames during the 1989 playoffs, with 7 goals and 31 points in 22 games. Those 31 points easily led his teammates in scoring, as Joe Mullen came in second with 24.
MacInnis played in 11 seasons total with the Flames before moving on to the St. Louis Blues, whom he spent another 10 seasons with. By the time his career was said and done he had put up an incredible 1,274 points in 1,416 games. Along with the Conn Smythe, he also won the Norris Trophy as a member of the Blues for the 1998-99 season.
Jack Adams Award: Bob Hartley (2015)
The Jack Adams, which is given to the NHL’s top coach, has only been won one time in Flames’ history. That honor goes to former head coach Bob Hartley during the 2014-15 season. Hartley helped lead the Flames, who were projected by many to finish near the bottom of the standings, to a 97-point season. Not only did they make the playoffs, but they were also able to advance to the second round after defeating the Vancouver Canucks.
Unfortunately, they were eliminated in just five games by the Ducks, but it was an extremely impressive season nonetheless. The following season saw the Flames take a major step backward, finishing with just 77 points. As a result, Hartley was fired and has not reappeared in the NHL since. He has spent the last two seasons coaching in the KHL for Omsk Avangard.
James Norris Trophy: Mark Giordano (2019)
The James Norris Trophy is the most recent league award won by a member of the Flames, as Mark Giordano took it home after his brilliant 2018-19 season. The Flames captain, who was 35 years old at the time, had a career season, putting up 74 points in 78 games. Prior to that, his career high was 56 points, and was the only other time he had recorded over 50 in a season.
The fantastic season was historic league-wide, as Giordano became just the fourth player aged 35 or older to win the Norris. He also became just the fifth player aged 35 or older to record 60 points in a season. While the 2019-20 season saw his point total drop, he was still easily the Flames’ best defenceman, which he has been for some time now. The now 36-year-old has appeared in 893 regular season games for the Flames, and will look to continue building his legacy during the upcoming playoffs.
King Clancy Trophy: Jarome Iginla (2004)
The King Clancy Trophy, which has been won by three Flames players in franchise history, is given to a player who demonstrates leadership qualities both on and off the ice and humanitarian contributions within their community. The most recent winner for the Flames was long-time captain Jarome Iginla, who was given the trophy for the 2003-04 season.
This came as no surprise, as Iginla was highly regarded as one of the best leaders in the game over the course of his career. Not only was he known as a great teammate, but he wore his heart on his sleeve every night and would outwork anybody and everybody on the ice. On top of all that, he has always been known to carry himself well off the ice. The Flames truly got a great one in Iggy.
Lady Byng Trophy: Johnny Gaudreau (2017)
The Flames have had a player win the Lady Byng Trophy four times over their franchise history, although only three players have taken home the award, as Joe Mullen won it twice in the mid-to-late 80’s. The latest winner, however, was current Flame Johnny Gaudreau for his 2016-17 season. While that season was actually the second-lowest point total he has had in his six-season career, it is quite something to see a player appear in 72 games and only put up four penalty minutes, especially considering the fact he receives plenty of ice time.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the undersized Gaudreau win another Lady Byng or two before his career is up, as the award is generally given to forwards who are able to put up high point totals and stay out of the penalty box. This describes the 26-year-old to a tee, as his career high in penalty minutes is 26, while his career high in points, set during the 2018-19 season, is 99.
Mark Messier Leadership Award: Jarome Iginla (2009)
The Mark Messier Leadership Award isn’t much different than the King Clancy, as it is given to a player who demonstrates leadership and contributions to society. No surprise yet again here to see that the only time this award has been won in Flames’ history was by Iginla after the 2008-09 season. Not much needs to be said here as it was already mentioned before, but he truly was an excellent ambassador for the game.
Maurice Richard Trophy: Jarome Iginla (2004)
The Flames have seen a player on their roster win the Maurice Richard Trophy twice, and both times it was by a player who is popping up a lot in this article. Jarome Iginla. He won the Maurice Richard Trophy once in 2001-02, and the teams most recent in 2003-04. That season was a very unusual year for the award, as Iginla’s 41 goals tied Atlanta Thrashers’ Ilya Kovalchuk and Columbus Blue Jackets’ Rich Nash. As a result, the award was split in a three-way tie, the first and only time that has ever happened.
Oddly enough, despite winning the Richard Trophy that season, Iginla had three other seasons with a higher goal total. However, the 2003-04 season was arguably the most important as his 41 goals and 73 points led the Flames to the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, the team went on a huge run, led by Iginla, and fell just one game short of the Stanley Cup, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. It was the closest he ever came to winning the Cup.
Ted Lindsay Award: Jarome Iginla (2002)
The Ted Lindsay Award has only been won once by a Flames player, and you can guess who. Once again, it is Iginla. This award came as a result of his fantastic 2001-02 season, which was mentioned above. His 52 goals were a career high for the 625 career goal scorer, and it could be argued that he was robbed from the Hart Trophy that season.
Vezina Trophy: Miikka Kiprusoff (2006)
The Flames have had a goaltender win the Vezina Trophy one time in franchise history, so it makes sense it was their best goalie of all time in Miikka Kiprusoff.
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While Kipper had many fantastic seasons for the Flames, 2005-06 was without a doubt his best, as the Finnish goaltender posted a ridiculous 2.07 goals against average (GAA) and a .923 save percentage (SV%), along with a 42-20-11 record. Those numbers are incredible for a backup goaltender, let alone one who appeared in 74 games.
That season turned out to be the first of what was many brilliant seasons for Kiprusoff in a Flames jersey. Of course, he was part of the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final a season prior, but had only played in 38 regular season games with the team that year as he was acquired midway through the season in a trade. By the time his career was all said and done, he played in 624 regular season games, posting a 2.49 GAA and a .912 SV%.
William M. Jennings Trophy: Miikka Kiprusoff (2006)
On top of that terrific 2005-06 season that won him the Vezina Trophy, Kiprusoff also took home the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is given to the goaltender(s) who gives up the fewest goals in the regular season. While sometimes this is credited as a team award and split between the two goalies, it wasn’t the case that season as Kiprusoff played in 74 games for the team, while Philippe Sauve appeared in eight, and Brian Boucher in three. Simply put, it was an easy job to be Kiprusoff’s backup.
Looking to Add More
While their alumni list and past award winners are impressive, the Flames have an opportunity to add more in the near future. They currently have a very talented roster with many players who are capable of winning league awards. While none of their players had seasons that were worthy in 2019-20, it would not come as a surprise to see one of their players take an award home after the 2020-21 season.
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