The Calgary Flames are an NHL franchise in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference.
The Flames began their existence as the Atlanta Flames in1972. The Flames were added to the league as part of the NHL’s attempt to combat the newly created WHA. Atlanta made the playoffs on a number of occasions, but never won the Stanley Cup. In 1980, the franchise was moved to a more hockey-friendly environment in Calgary. The Flames made the playoffs their first season in Calgary, and remained successful throughout the early 1980s. Calgary’s success earned them a solid rivalry with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers were one of the most successful franchises in the mid-‘80s, but the Flames were able to provide them with some serious competition.
Cliff Fletcher was hired as the team’s GM, and Fletcher built the Flames into a powerhouse during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. With Al MacInnis, Mike Vernon and Doug Gilmour leading the way, the Flames won their first Stanley Cup in 1989, after being defeated by Montreal in the Cup Finals in 1986. After Fletcher’s departure to Toronto, the Flames missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly 20 years in 1992. Theo Fleury and Joe Nieuwendyk helped the Flames return to the top of their division in the mid-‘90s. While financial difficulties gave the Flames some problems towards the turn of the century, the drafting of Jarome Iginla gave Calgary a franchise player to build around.
In 2004, Iginla and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff led the Flames through the playoffs to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. Calgary has remained one of the top teams in the league since, making the playoffs in each season since he lockout, but losing in the first round every time.
Calgary plays out of the Pengrowth Saddledome, which holds 19,289 fans.
Stanley Cups won: 1988-89
Notable Players: Theoren Fleury, Doug Gilmour, Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff, Gary Leeman, Al MacInnis, Sergei Makarov, Lanny McDonald, Joe Nieuwendyk Kent Nilsson, Joel Ott, Dion Phaneuf, Gary Roberts, Gary Suter, Alex Tanguay, Mike Vernon