A Brief History: Calgary Flames

August 6th, 2010 by Mike Stainkamp Leave a reply »
The Flames joined the NHL in 1971, originally playing in Atlanta. They joined the League along with the New York Islanders. The Flames were owned by Tom Cousins, the same man who owned the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. Cousins named the team the Flames after the fire resulting in the "March to the Sea" in the Civil War in which Atlanta was almost destroyed.

The Flames had the early jump on their expansion brethren. They made the playoffs six out of the eight seasons they spent in Atlanta, while the Islanders only won 31 games in their first two seasons combined.

Cousins sold the flames on May 21, 1980 to avoid bankruptcy. Calgary embraced the Flames, unlike the World Hockey Association's Calgary Cowboys, who had folded in 1977. They managed to qualify for the playoffs in their first season in Calgary behind the offense of Kent Kilsson, who put together a 49-goal, 131-point season. In their first playoff run in Calgary, the Flames won a pair of series, beating the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers, before losing to the Minnesota North Stars in the semifinals.

The early success didn't stick, as general manager Cliff Fletcher decided to cl ...

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