They say hindsight is 20/20. So, I’m fairly constructive each single NHL common supervisor seems to be again wistfully at former gamers who merely couldn’t reduce the mustard on his workforce however then discovered stardom taking part in for an additional franchise. Of all positions, it’s no secret that goaltenders are essentially the most tough to judge and develop.
Their development into full-time professionals can take twice so long as skaters and even then, there isn’t a assure of success. That’s why it’s no shock the Calgary Flames have punted a number of notable netminders who flamed out in cowtown, solely to seek out success elsewhere.
Former Flame Jean-Sebastien Giguere Became a Stanley Cup MVP in Anaheim
If you blinked, you may need missed Jean-Sébastien Giguère‘s short stint with the Flames. The product of Montreal, Quebec arrived in Calgary in 1997 via a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes and actually spent three seasons in the organization. However, he only found his way into 22 NHL games, going 7-10-2 with a lackluster 3.07 goals-against average (GAA) and a .902 save percentage (SV%).
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Giguère was initially drafted by the Hartford Whalers thirteenth general within the 1995 entry draft and was thought of a high goaltending prospect. However, over three years, his mixed numbers within the NHL and American Hockey League (AHL) merely weren’t adequate for the Flames, in order that they traded him to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim through the 2000 offseason in trade for a second-round decide. Looking again, former Calgary common supervisor Craig Button in all probability would have preferred to present the lanky “Jiggy” only one extra likelihood.
Once he arrived in sunny California, Giguère’s fortunes turned nearly instantly. He suited up 34 instances in his first marketing campaign in Anaheim and by the 2001-02 season, he was the workforce’s beginning netminder – a job he efficiently held for the subsequent seven years. While he put up some fairly spectacular common season numbers throughout his tenure with the Ducks, it was his otherworldly efficiency within the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs that made the previous Flame a family title.
In an incredible run, Giguère went 15-6 whereas posting a 1.62 GAA and .945 SV%. While Anaheim fell in need of successful the Stanley Cup, No. 35 nonetheless received the Conn Smythe Trophy, turning into solely the fifth player in NHL history to safe the award with out hoisting up the Cup. But, let’s not really feel too badly for “Jiggy,” as he finally received his ring after he led the Ducks to the franchise’s first championship in 2007. After being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2009-10 season, the French Canadian goaltender completed out his taking part in days with the Colorado Avalanche in 2014, recording a 262-216-75 document together with a 2.53 GAA and a .913 SV%. Not too shabby for a man the Flames fully gave up on.
Dwayne Roloson Couldn’t Stick in Calgary But Led Edmonton to a Stanley Cup Final
While the extremely touted Giguère was struggling to discover a place within the Flames group, the workforce was proper in the course of growing undrafted Dwayne Roloson of their farm system. After signing as a free agent and taking part in a few years for the AHL Saint John Flames, Roloson was known as as much as the massive membership through the 1996-97 marketing campaign. For the subsequent two seasons, “Roli the Goalie” put up respectable numbers on a rebuilding Calgary workforce, going 19-30-9 with a 2.89 GAA. However, the Flames then determined to maneuver on from the native of Simcoe, Ontario, in 1998, buying and selling him to the Buffalo Sabres, the place he backed up Dominik Hasek for 2 years.
Roloson could possibly be the textbook definition of a late-bloomer, as he bounced across the hockey world for years earlier than lastly discovering main success. After being picked up within the 2000 Columbus Blue Jackets enlargement draft, “Roli” as an alternative signed with the St. Louis Blues AHL farm workforce. That profitable minor league stint led to a chance to rejoin the NHL with the Minnesota Wild in 2001 and that’s when his profession actually took off.
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At age 34, Roloson not solely appeared in his first NHL All-Star Game, however he additionally recorded the most effective SV% within the league through the 2003-04 marketing campaign. After one other profitable season in Minnesota, No. 35 was traded in March 2006 to Calgary’s arch-rival, the Edmonton Oilers, in trade for a first-round draft decide. Ironically, it was in Oil nation the place the previous Flame actually made a reputation for himself because the beginning goaltender through the Oiler’s Cinderella 2006 Stanley Cup run.
Roloson posted a sensational document of 12–5 via the primary three rounds and was thought of a front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Oilers have been victorious within the remaining. Unfortunately, throughout Game 1 in opposition to the Carolina Hurricanes, the workforce’s playoff MVP suffered a third-degree MCL sprain on his proper knee and was knocked out of the sequence. Edmonton would finally lose the sequence in seven video games, however Roloson had established himself because the franchise’s primary netminder and went on to play three extra seasons in Oil nation.
In the summer time of 2009, Roloson turned an unrestricted free agent and selected to register New York to play for the Islanders, however he discovered himself on the transfer once more simply a few years later after being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the ripe outdated age of 42, the veteran goaltender lastly hung up his skates in 2012. After taking part in 606 NHL video games, he completed with a document of 227-257-82, a 2.72 GAA and a .908 SV%. While he was by no means a famous person, “Roli the Goalie” might have been a reliable puck stopper in Calgary for a few years if the Flames had given him extra of an opportunity.
The Flames Passed on Drafting Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur
OK, I do know this subsequent one is a little bit of a stretch. No, Martin Brodeur was by no means a Flame, however he most actually might have been taking part in in entrance of the C of Red if workforce administration had picked him within the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. Instead, the Flames brokered a take care of the New Jersey Devils to maneuver as much as the No.11 slot to pick the draft’s highest-ranked goalie prospect, the Brandon Wheat Kings’ Trevor Kidd. Meanwhile, the Devils used their No. 20 choice to snag Brodeur, a lesser-known prospect from the Quebec Major Junior league.
Remember once I mentioned hindsight is 20/20? Could you think about if the Flames had been those who took an opportunity on the lower-ranked Brodeur? Talk a few franchise-altering transfer! Kidd was speculated to be the inheritor obvious to the Flames’ Stanley Cup-winning netminder Mike Vernon, and whereas he did finally safe the primary goaltender job, he by no means discovered nice success in Calgary and was traded out of cowtown in 1997. He ended up being considerably of a journeyman NHLer with stops in Carolina, Florida and Toronto. The native of Dugald, Manitoba, was out of the massive leagues by the top of the 2003-04 season and completed with a middling 140-162-52 document, a 2.84 GAA and a .901 SV% in 387 video games performed.
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If we evaluate Kidd’s ode to mediocrity to the spectacular profession of Brodeur, I’m fairly positive the heads of each single Flames fan will begin spinning till they finally pop proper off. I would wish to jot down a very separate article to completely doc the lengthy listing of No. 30’s impressive accomplishments, so right here’s a small sampling to present you an concept of why he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and is within the dialog for being the best goalie of all time.
- Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year
- Three Stanley Cups
- Four Vezina Trophies
- Nine NHL All-Star Game Appearances
- Most NHL video games performed by a goaltender – 1,266
- Most Regular Season Wins – 691
- Most Regular Season Shutouts – 125
- Most Career Saves – 28,508
I’m not even together with his profession playoff information, however I believe you get the image. Brodeur retired in 2015 after 21 stellar NHL seasons and completed with a 691-397-154 document, a 2.24 GAA and a .912 SV%. As I mentioned earlier than, projecting which goaltenders will hit and which can finally miss is an nearly inconceivable process. But, it’s nonetheless a really fascinating train to look again at who the Flames let go or didn’t even draft and wistfully marvel: “What if?”