1995–96 Calgary Flames season
|1995–96 Calgary Flames|
|Goals for||241 (16th)|
|Goals against||240 (9th)|
|General Manager||Doug Risebrough (Oct-Nov)
Al Coates (Nov-Apr)
|Arena||Canadian Airlines Saddledome|
|Goals||Theoren Fleury (46)|
|Assists||Theoren Fleury (50)|
|Points||Theoren Fleury (96)|
|Penalties in minutes||Sandy McCarthy (173)|
|Wins||Rick Tabaracci (19)|
|Goals against average||Trevor Kidd (2.78)|
The 1995–96 Calgary Flames season was the 16th National Hockey League season in Calgary. The Flames entered the season with their fifth coach in five seasons, hiring Pierre Page to replace Dave King. Page, who had previously been an assistant coach with the Flames in the 1980s, left his head coaching position with the Quebec Nordiques to move west.
The Flames began the season with a disastrous start, posting a 4–15–5 record through the end of November. The team's poor start was exacerbated by the holdout of Joe Nieuwendyk, who was unable to reach a contract agreement with the Flames. Also, the Flames began the season on a long, seven game road trip while renovations to the Olympic Saddledome were completed. The Flames reached a low point on October 27, 1995, when they set a franchise record for futility, recording just eight shots in a 3–0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice.
The Nieuwendyk saga finally came to a close when the Flames dealt him to the Dallas Stars for Corey Millen, and Western Hockey League star Jarome Iginla on December 19. Nieuwendyk immediately ended his holdout, signing a five-year, $11 million contract with Dallas.
The Flames began to turn the season around, led by Gary Roberts' comeback from neck injuries that had kept him out most of the 1994–95 season. Roberts' comeback lasted only 35 games before he was again sidelined with bone spurs and nerve damage in his neck. Roberts would score an incredible 22 goals and 42 points during that time, earning him the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
The Flames recovered from their woeful start to finish second in the Pacific Division, and as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The Flames were swept, however, by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs, as the team once again failed to win a playoff series since they won the Stanley Cup in 1989. One notable player made his debut during the playoffs: Jarome Iginla, who would become a star for the flames for years to come. The Flames would not qualify for the playoffs again until 2004, missing the post season for the next seven years.
|4||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||82||35||39||8||234||247||78|
|6||Los Angeles Kings||82||24||40||18||256||302||66|
|7||San Jose Sharks||82||20||55||7||252||357||47|
Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points
Bolded teams qualified for the playoffs.
|1||p – Detroit Red Wings||CEN||82||62||13||7||325||181||131|
|4||Toronto Maple Leafs||CEN||82||34||36||12||247||252||80|
|5||St. Louis Blues||CEN||82||32||34||16||219||248||80|
|9||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||PAC||82||35||39||8||234||247||78|
|12||Los Angeles Kings||PAC||82||24||40||18||256||302||66|
|13||San Jose Sharks||PAC||82||20||55||7||252||357||47|
Divisions: CEN – Central, PAC – Pacific
bold – Qualified for playoffs; p – Won Presidents' Trophy
Schedule and results
|1995–96 Game Log|
Despite finishing 2nd in the Pacific Division, the Flames were only the 6th seed in the playoffs. They met the 2nd-place finisher in the Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks. It was the third time Calgary and Chicago had met in the playoffs, as the Flames had previously defeated the Blackhawks in 1989, and 1981. This time around, Chicago had the better of the Flames, sweeping Calgary out in four straight, and continuing the Flames playoff futility.
Looking for a spark, the Flames signed junior star Jarome Iginla to a contract before the third game, allowing him to make his NHL debut at home. Iginla scored a goal and an assist in his first two games.
This series was the Flames last playoff appearance for eight years, as Calgary did not return to the post season until 2004.
|1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs|
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes
†Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Calgary. Stats reflect time with the Flames only.
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
The Flames were involved in the following transactions during the 1995–96 season.
|November 1, 1995||To Calgary Flames
|To Colorado Avalanche
7th round pick in 1997
|November 26, 1995||To Calgary Flames
|To Montreal Canadiens
8th round pick in 1997
|December 19, 1995||To Calgary Flames
|To Dallas Stars
|February 26, 1996||To Calgary Flames
|To New Jersey Devils
|March 20, 1996||To Calgary Flames
|To New York Islanders
6th round pick in 1997
|Rnd||Pick||Player||Nationality||Position||Team (league)||NHL statistics|
|1||20||Denis Gauthier||Canada||D||Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)||554||17||60||77||748|
|2||46||Pavel Smirnov||Russia||F||Samara CSK VVS (RSL)|
|3||72||Rocky Thompson||Canada||RW||Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)||25||0||0||0||117|
|4||98||Jan Labraaten||Sweden||RW||Färjestads BK (SEL)|
|6||150||Clarke Wilm||Canada||C||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)||455||37||60||97||336|
|7||176||Ryan Gillis||Canada||D||North Bay Centennials (OHL)|
|9||233||Steve Shirreffs||United States||D||N/A|
The Baby Flames finished the 1995–96 American Hockey League season in second place in the Canadian Division with a 35–30–11–4 record. The tied the Prince Edward Island Senators in points, but lost out on the division title by virtue of having three fewer wins. The Flames defeated the St. John's Maple Leafs three games to one, then knocked off the Fredericton Canadiens four games to one before falling to the Portland Pirates in seven games. Ladislav Kohn led the Flames with 28 goals and 73 points. Dwayne Roloson was the starting goaltender, posting a 33–22–11 record with a 2.83 GAA in 67 games.
- Flames turn to Page, New York Times, July 18, 1995, accessed January 29, 2007
- Dolezar, Jon A., Say it aint so: Calgary Flames, cnnsi.com, August 8, 2001, Accessed January 29, 2007
- Calgary Flames history, calgaryflames.com, accessed January 29, 2007
- Boxscore: Detroit 3, Calgary 0, usatoday.com, accessed January 29, 2007
- Legends of Hockey player profile: Gary Roberts, legendsofhockey.net, accessed January 29, 2007
- Longtime Flames relish playoff opportunity, cbc sports, April 5, 2004, accessed January 29, 2007
- All-Star Selections, 2006–07 Calgary Flames Media Guide, pg. 22
- "1995-1996 Conference Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". NHL.
- Calgary Flames draft history, hockeydb.com, accessed January 12, 2007
- 1995–96 AHL playoffs @ hockeydb.com, accessed January 29, 2007
- Saint John Flames player stats @ hockeydb.com, accessed January 29, 2007