1972–73 Atlanta Flames season

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1972–73 Atlanta Flames
Division 7th West
1972–73 record 25–38–15
Goals for 191
Goals against 239
Team information
General Manager Cliff Fletcher
Coach Bernie Geoffrion
Captain Keith McCreary
Team leaders
Goals Bob Leiter (26)
Assists Bob Leiter (34)
Points Bob Leiter (60)
Penalties in minutes Pat Quinn (113)

The 1972–73 Atlanta Flames season was the inaugural season for the Flames' franchise.

Offseason[edit]

NHL Amateur Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team
1 2. Jacques Richard  Canada Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
2 18. Dwight Bialowas  Canada Regina Pats (WCJHL)
3 34. Jean Lemieux  Canada Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL)
4 50. Don Martineau  Canada New Westminster Royals (WCJHL)
5 78. John Martin  Canada Shawinigan Bruins (QMJHL)
6 82. Frank Blum  Canada Sarnia Sting (SOJHL)
7 98. Scott Smith  Canada Regina Pats (WCJHL)
8 114. Dave Murphy  Canada Hamilton Red Wings (OHA)
9 130. Pierre Roy  Canada Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

NHL Expansion Draft[edit]

Pick Player Position Drafted From
1. Phil Myre G Montreal Canadiens
3. Dan Bouchard G Boston Bruins
6. Kerry Ketter D Montreal Canadiens
8. Norm Gratton LW New York Rangers
10. Ron Harris D Detroit Red Wings
12. Larry Romanchych RW Chicago Black Hawks
14. Bill MacMillan LW Toronto Maple Leafs
16. Randy Manery D Detroit Red Wings
18. Keith McCreary RW Pittsburgh Penguins
20. Ernie Hicke C California Golden Seals
22. Lew Morrison RW Philadelphia Flyers
24. Lucien Grenier LW Los Angeles Kings
26. Bill Plager D St. Louis Blues
28. Morris Stefaniw C New York Rangers
30. John Stewart LW Pittsburgh Penguins
32. Bob Leiter C Pittsburgh Penguins
34. Pat Quinn D Vancouver Canucks
36. Larry Hale D Philadelphia Flyers
38. Bill Heindl LW Minnesota North Stars
40. Frank Hughes LW California Golden Seals
42. Rod Zaine C Buffalo Sabres

Regular season[edit]

When it was first announced that Atlanta would have an NHL franchise many hockey observers thought that a team based in the southern United States was a ludicrous and foolish move, especially since the talent pool had been diluted by repeated expansion and the upstart WHA. Nevertheless, the team quickly began front office operations, naming young Blues assistant general manager Cliff Fletcher as general manager. Soon after, Fletcher had found the team its first coach: former Canadiens star forward Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion.

The team was a pleasant surprise in its first season on the ice, its success built on new star goaltenders Dan Bouchard and Phil Myre, solid defensemen such as Randy Manery and Pat Quinn, and forwards Rey Comeau, (captain) Keith McCreary, Larry Romanchych and Bob Leiter. Despite its inexperience as a team, the Flames were quite successful in the beginning of their rookie season, posting a 20–19–8 record by January 19, 1973, off the success of their young goaltending tandem. However, they lost 19 of their last 31 games, finishing out of the playoffs. Part of the problem as that in defiance of all geographic reality, the Flames were placed in the West Division—saddling them with some of the longest road trips in the league—and ultimately, the team's excellent defense and goaltending were sabotaged by its lack of goalscoring, finishing second worst in the NHL in that category. However, their 65 points were 35 better than the Islanders, who toiled at the bottom of the East Division.

Season standings[edit]

West Division[1]
GP W L T GF GA DIFF Pts
1 Chicago Black Hawks 78 42 27 9 284 225 +59 93
2 Philadelphia Flyers 78 37 30 11 296 256 +40 85
3 Minnesota North Stars 78 37 30 11 254 230 +24 85
4 St. Louis Blues 78 32 34 12 233 251 −18 76
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 78 32 37 9 257 265 −8 73
6 Los Angeles Kings 78 31 36 11 232 245 −13 73
7 Atlanta Flames 78 25 38 15 191 239 −48 65
8 California Golden Seals 78 16 46 16 213 323 −110 48


Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record Attendance [2]
1 W October 7, 1972 3–2 @ New York Islanders (1972–73) 1–0–0 12,221
2 L October 8, 1972 3–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 1–1–0 15,508
3 L October 11, 1972 1–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 1–2–0 N/A
4 L October 12, 1972 0–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 1–3–0 16,002
5 T October 14, 1972 1–1 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 1–3–1 14,568
6 L October 18, 1972 0–6 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 1–4–1 8,852
7 W October 21, 1972 3–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 2–4–1 15,229
8 L October 22, 1972 2–7 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 2–5–1 15,516
9 W October 25, 1972 4–3 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 3–5–1 1,998
10 L October 26, 1972 1–3 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 3–6–1 6,155
11 W October 28, 1972 2–1 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 4–6–1 15,570
12 W November 1, 1972 4–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 5–6–1 11,344
13 L November 2, 1972 1–6 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 5–7–1 12,280
14 T November 5, 1972 2–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 5–7–2 10,732
15 T November 8, 1972 3–3 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 5–7–3 9,073
16 W November 10, 1972 5–1 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 6–7–3 12,066
17 W November 12, 1972 3–1 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 7–7–3 10,486
18 L November 15, 1972 1–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 7–8–3 16,381
19 W November 16, 1972 4–0 New York Islanders (1972–73) 8–8–3 9,820
20 L November 18, 1972 1–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 8–9–3 10,959
21 W November 19, 1972 3–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 9–9–3 9,972
22 L November 21, 1972 1–3 New York Rangers (1972–73) 9–10–3 11,505
23 L November 24, 1972 0–4 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 9–11–3 15,078
24 W November 26, 1972 6–2 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 10–11–3 9,041
25 L November 29, 1972 0–5 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 10–12–3 15,125
26 T November 30, 1972 5–5 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 10–12–4 14,221
27 T December 2, 1972 4–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 10–12–5 16,455
28 L December 3, 1972 2–3 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 10–13–5 17,500
29 W December 7, 1972 5–2 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 11–13–5 11,018
30 L December 9, 1972 1–2 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 11–14–5 18,425
31 L December 10, 1972 4–5 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 11–15–5 11,140
32 W December 13, 1972 2–0 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 12–15–5 11,044
33 L December 16, 1972 3–5 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 12–16–5 11,095
34 W December 17, 1972 4–0 New York Islanders (1972–73) 13–16–5 10,117
35 W December 20, 1972 5–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 14–16–5 12,590
36 W December 21, 1972 5–2 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 15–16–5 17,500
37 L December 23, 1972 1–3 @ Boston Bruins (1972–73) 15–17–5 15,003
38 L December 27, 1972 1–3 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 15–18–5 15,078
39 T December 30, 1972 1–1 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 15–18–6 17,024
40 W January 2, 1973 6–1 @ New York Islanders (1972–73) 16–18–6 10,042
41 L January 3, 1973 1–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 16–19–6 11,144
42 T January 6, 1973 2–2 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 16–19–7 19,065
43 W January 7, 1973 5–2 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 17–19–7 9,206
44 W January 10, 1973 5–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 18–19–7 11,829
45 W January 12, 1973 1–0 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 19–19–7 15,078
46 W January 14, 1973 4–1 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 20–19–7 11,194
47 T January 17, 1973 3–3 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 20–19–8 18,181
48 L January 19, 1973 1–2 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 20–20–8 15,078
49 L January 21, 1973 2–3 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 20–21–8 15,078
50 L January 24, 1973 2–5 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 20–22–8 11,222
51 T January 26, 1973 3–3 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 20–22–9 15,078
52 W January 28, 1973 8–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 21–22–9 15,668
53 W February 1, 1973 3–1 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 22–22–9 14,169
54 L February 3, 1973 0–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 22–23–9 12,862
55 L February 4, 1973 0–6 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 22–24–9 17,500
56 L February 7, 1973 3–5 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 22–25–9 13,186
57 L February 9, 1973 3–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 22–26–9 15,078
58 W February 11, 1973 3–1 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 23–26–9 13,422
59 T February 14, 1973 3–3 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 23–26–10 3,829
60 L February 16, 1973 0–5 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 23–27–10 15,570
61 T February 17, 1973 3–3 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 23–27–11 11,108
62 T February 21, 1973 2–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 23–27–12 16,352
63 L February 25, 1973 2–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 23–28–12 N/A
64 T March 1, 1973 4–4 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 23–28–13 12,730
65 L March 3, 1973 0–3 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 23–29–13 15,512
66 W March 4, 1973 3–2 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 24–29–13 11,565
67 L March 7, 1973 2–5 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 24–30–13 12,632
68 L March 9, 1973 2–3 Boston Bruins (1972–73) 24–31–13 15,078
69 L March 10, 1973 1–2 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 24–32–13 16,600
70 T March 14, 1973 1–1 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 24–32–14 15,078
71 W March 17, 1973 3–2 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 25–32–14 15,078
72 L March 18, 1973 1–7 @ Boston Bruins (1972–73) 25–33–14 15,003
73 L March 22, 1973 1–4 New York Rangers (1972–73) 25–34–14 15,078
74 L March 24, 1973 0–7 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 25–35–14 N/A
75 L March 25, 1973 2–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 25–36–14 13,200
76 L March 28, 1973 3–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 25–37–14 10,081
77 L March 29, 1973 2–4 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 25–38–14 16,600
78 T April 1, 1973 4–4 New York Islanders (1972–73) 25–38–15 13,592

Player statistics[edit]

Skaters[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

    Regular season   Playoffs
Player # GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
Bob Leiter 16 78 26 34 60 19 - - - - -
Larry Romanchych 21 70 18 30 48 39 - - - - -
Rey Comeau 18 77 21 21 42 19 - - - - -
Keith McCreary 9 77 20 21 41 21 - - - - -
Ernie Hicke 12 58 14 23 37 37 - - - - -
Curt Bennett 5 52 18 17 35 9 - - - - -
Randy Manery 7 78 5 30 35 44 - - - - -
John Stewart 17 68 17 17 34 30 - - - - -
Jacques Richard 15 74 13 18 31 32 - - - - -
Leon Rochefort 11 54 9 18 27 10 - - - - -
Bill MacMillan 20 78 10 15 25 52 - - - - -
Pat Quinn 3 78 2 18 20 113 - - - - -
Lew Morrison 8 77 6 9 15 19 - - - - -
Noel Price 4 54 1 13 14 38 - - - - -
Bill Plager 2 76 2 11 13 92 - - - - -
Noel Picard 22 41 0 10 10 43 - - - - -
Norm Gratton 10 29 3 6 9 12 - - - - -
Bob Paradise 6 71 1 7 8 103 - - - - -
Ron Harris 5 24 2 4 6 8 - - - - -
Morris Stefaniw 19 13 1 1 2 2 - - - - -
Kerry Ketter 24 41 0 2 2 58 - - - - -
Arnie Brown 19 15 1 0 1 17 - - - - -
Butch Deadmarsh 10 19 1 0 1 8 - - - - -
Dan Bouchard 30 34 0 1 1 12 - - - - -
Phil Myre 1 46 0 1 1 5 - - - - -
Bill Hogaboam 11 2 0 0 0 0 - - - - -

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Atlanta. Stats reflect time with the Flames only. Traded mid-season

Goaltending[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout losses; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

    Regular season   Playoffs
Player # GP TOI W L T GA SO GAA GP TOI W L GA SO GAA
Phil Myre 1 46 2736 16 23 5 138 2 3.03 - - - - - - -.--
Dan Bouchard 30 34 1944 9 15 10 100 2 3.09 - - - - - - -.--

Transactions[edit]

The Flames were involved in the following transactions during the 1972–73 season.

Trades[edit]

June, 1972 To: Atlanta Flames
Ted Tucker
To: Montreal Canadiens
cash
June, 1972 To: Atlanta Flames
Bill Hogaboam
To: New York Rangers
Bill Heindl
October, 1972 To: Atlanta Flames
Brian McKenzie
To: Pittsburgh Penguins
cash
November 28, 1972 To: Atlanta Flames
Leon Rochefort
To: Detroit Red Wings
Bill Hogaboam
November 29, 1972 To: Atlanta Flames
Curt Bennett
To: New York Rangers
Ron Harris
February 13, 1973 To: Atlanta Flames
Arnie Brown
To: New York Islanders
Ernie Hicke
Future Considerations
(Bill MacMillan; May 29, 1973)
February 14, 1973 To: Atlanta Flames
Butch Deadmarsh
To: Buffalo Sabres
Norm Gratton

Free agents[edit]

Player Former team
D Ed Kea St. Petersburg Suns (EHL)
Player New team

Claimed off waivers[edit]

Player Former team
D Noel Picard St. Louis Blues
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Roster[edit]

Atlanta Flames
Goaltenders

Defensemen

Wingers

Centers

References[edit]