NHL Team Profiles: Calgary Flames

The NHL is another of the United States’ most loved sports leagues, hockey is a brutal game that requires so much skill, making it amazing to watch, and with so many skilled players, the NHL odds are always good.

However, most of us know the typical teams, even if you are not a big fan, you will know the Oilers, the Canucks, the Maple Leafs, the Bruins. However, one of the lesser known big teams is the Flames.

The Flames are right up there with the Oilers and the Maple Leafs, but they are not quite as well known by sports fans who may not be super into hockey.

However, we think they deserve a bit more recognition, so we are taking the time today to tell you about them, so next time someone asks you about hockey teams, you know all about the Calgary Flames!

Who Are The Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are a pro ice hockey team who are based in Calgary, Alberta, competing in the NHL Pacific Division in the Western Conference.

They are the third ever pro ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Tigers and the Cowboys.  They are also one of the two teams in the NHL who are based in Alberta, with the others being the Oilers.

Of course, with such close proximity to the Oilers, a rivalry has been born, which has been dubbed as the ‘Battle of Alberta’.

The Flames were founded back in 1972, however, it originated in Atlanta, not Calgary, and thus they were known as the Atlanta Flames, until they relocated to Calgary later on in 1980.

Their first season in Calgary was played at Stampede Corral, before they moved back to the Scotiabank Saddledome in ‘83.

From 85-86 they became the first team in Calgary since the 1923-1924 season to compete for the Stanley Cup, and then in the 1988–1989 season the Flames won their only Stanley Cup title, although their run to the Finals in 2004 gave rise to the ‘Red Mile’.

Later in 2011, they hosted and won the 2nd ever Heritage Classic outdoor game.

History Of The Franchise 

The Flames have quite a rich history, from starting out in Atlanta, to moving to Calgary, and their single Stanley Cup title, and 3 championships. However, in light of recent years, they have somewhat lacked success.

That being said, since 2018-2019 we have seen them take home division titles, so we can hope to see improvements in the team.

But, let’s take a look back at their more successful eras.

‘72 – ‘80: The Atlanta Flames

The Flames were actually a result of the NHL making their first preemptive strike against the WHA. In ‘71, they actually granted a team to Long Island, titled the New York Islanders, simply to keep the World Hockey Associations’ New York Raiders out of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

They, however, then needed to introduce another team in order to balance out their schedule, so they granted a team to the Atlanta group who owned the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, this team became named the ‘Flames’, named after the fire that resulted from the March to the Sea in the Civil War.

The Flames were pretty successful in their early days, the kind of team to rock the NHL spreads. They actually made it to the playoffs in 6 out of 8 of their seasons in Atlanta.

‘80 – ‘85: Calgary Early Years

The WHA’s Calgary Cowboys had folded only three years prior to the Flames moving to Calgary. The Cowboys lacked popularity, but the Flames were immediately loved by the city. The Cowboys had only managed to sell 2,000 season tickets in their final campaign, but the Flames sold 10,000 full and a half season ticket packages in their 7,000 seat stadium.

Over the years after their move, they improved the team progressively, until the team was significantly improved enough to face off with the Oilers. Sadly in ‘84-’85 the Oilers defeated the Flames on their way to their Stanley Cup Championship.

Trophies & Stanley Cup Finals

From their years in 1984-1985 until 1990-1991, the Flames managed to get 90 points in each season bar one. However, they would typically not be able to transform this success into a deeper playoff run, often because they would not be able to beat the Oilers.

In fact, from 1983 until 1990, the Oilers or the Flames, and sometimes both would represent the Campbell Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.

By their season in ‘88-’89 the Flames had improved a lot, and they managed to gain their 2nd Presidents’ Trophy in a row, with 117 points as a franchise record.

The Flames made their way through their opponents, making short work of them all, eventually they would face Montreal at the Stanley Cup Finals, where they defeated them in 6 games. Which is, to this day, their only Stanley Cup win.

Overall – Calgary Flames Recent Years

The Flames have improved a little over the years, however 2022 saw a lot of departures and arrivals of star players, and we cannot help but wonder what will happen next.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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