The 10 best Calgary Flames players in the 2010's

Dec 20 2019, 11:48 am

Transitioning from one era to another doesn’t happen overnight, but looking back on the decade that was it’s easy to see the passing of the torch for the Calgary Flames.

From a team that entered the decade riding stars like Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff, it’s players like Gaudreau, Monahan, and Tkachuk that have become household names in Calgary.

The 2010’s were a rough decade for the Flames as a whole, missing playoffs seven times and only making it out of the first round once.

Despite the lack of team success however, a number of key contributors were able to stand above the pack over the course of the decade.

Evaluating only the work from the past decade, here are the top 10 Flames to hit the ice in the 2010’s.

10. Jiri Hudler, Left Wing

248 GP 68 G 124 A 192 P 69 PIM

Jiri Hudler was never the flashiest player in his three and a half years with the Flames, but he carved out a reputation as one of the team’s most productive forwards.

Helping to bridge the gap between the Iginla trade and the rise of Gaudreau and Monahan, the Czech winger had his best season in 2014-15 with 31 goals and 76 points in 78 games.

Winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy that same season, Hudler was traded at the following trade deadline for a pair of picks that turned out to be prospects Tyler Parsons and Demetrios Koumontzis and retired at the end of the 2016-17 season.

9. Alex Tanguay, Left Wing

183 GP 46 G 99 A 145 P 74 PIM

Primarily known as the left side wingman to Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay was one of Calgary’s top producing forwards in the early part of the decade.

Returning to the Flames in 2010 after two years away from the club in Montreal and Tampa Bay, Tanguay didn’t lose a step and averaged 0.79 points per game in his 183 games over three seasons.

Injuries derailed Tanguay’s final season in Calgary with just 40 games played, however he was able to collect his 500th career assist while wearing Flames colours in 2013.

8. Matthew Tkachuk, Left Wing

260 GP 84 G 119 A 203 P 258 PIM

Calgary’s favourite agitating, trash-talking, goal scoring winger has seen his game rise to elite levels over the past two seasons.

Drafted sixth overall by Calgary in 2016, Matthew Tkachuk has emerged as one of the Flames’ most fearsome weapons using speed, physicality, and offensive acumen to his advantage.

Despite playing far fewer games than other Flames veterans like Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross, Tkachuk has already reached 200 career points and is the seventh-highest scoring Flame of the decade to this point.

7. T.J. Brodie, Defenceman

602 GP 45 G 212 A 257 P 176 PIM

One of the most polarizing Flames of the past decade, there’s no doubting Brodie’s ability to create offence from Calgary’s back end.

Beginning his NHL career as a fresh-faced rookie in 2010, the Chatham, Ontario product sits third in both games played and assists for Flames players this decade.

One of the most consistent defensive producers for Calgary in the 2010’s, Brodie has scored at least 30 points in each of the last six seasons.

6. Mikael Backlund, Centre

656 GP 132 G 203 A 335 P 331 PIM

A player that rarely gets the recognition that the stars he usually plays with receive, Mikael Backlund could some day go down as one of the most under-appreciated Flames of all-time.

Calgary’s first round pick way back in 2007, Backlund is the team’s second-longest serving player still on the roster and has anchored the Flames second line for much of his career.

Sitting fourth in Flames scoring in the 2010’s with 335 points in 656 games, Backlund has also become one of Calgary’s most reliable two-way forwards.

5. Miikka Kiprusoff, Goalie

238 GP 115-88-29 2.53 GAA 0.912 SV% 14 SO

Through his best seasons arguably came in the decade beforehand, you can’t make a top 10 Flames list and not name Miikka Kiprusoff.

Still the winningest goaltender of the decade by a wide margin, Kiprusoff recorded 115 victories between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 when he retired from the Flames.

Even through six years have passed since he left the team, the man known as ‘Kipper’ still holds the decade’s team records for games played, wins, goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts.

4. Sean Monahan, Centre

508 GP 182 G 209 A 391 P 106 PIM

The day Sean Monahan’s name was called at the 2013 NHL Draft was the day the Calgary Flames officially moved from one era to the next.

Already in his seventh year in the NHL, Monahan has emerged as franchise’s premier goal scorer with no other player equaling his 182 goals scored in the 2010’s.

Nominated for the Lady Byng this past season, the Flames top-line centre has also been lauded for his abilities in the defensive zone over his career.

3. Jarome Iginla, Right Wing

277 GP 116 G 128 A 244 P 163 PIM

It might be sacrilege to have the greatest player in Flames history this low on the list but let’s face it, Jarome Iginla’s best days were behind him when the 2010’s rolled around.

That being said, Iginla was still special in his final three and a half years in Calgary before he was moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins ahead of the 2013 trade deadline.

His 116 goals this decade still puts him fifth on the Flames rankings and was able to record the final 40-goal season of his prestigious career in 2010-11.

2. Johnny Gaudreau, Left Wing

431 GP 143 G 273 A 416 P 98 PIM

Hype surrounding Johnny Gaudreau hit a fever pitch in 2014 after winning the Hobey Baker Award and since then he’s done nothing but shatter expectations.

Netting 416 points in 431 career games, Gaudreau holds the best points per game percentage of any Flame over the past decade with 0.97 points per contest.

Winning the Lady Byng himself in 2017, the 26-year-old is coming off his best offensive season of his career with 36 goals and 99 points in 82 games last season. 

1. Mark Giordano, Defenceman

757 GP 124 G 310 A 434 P 632 PIM

If there was any player who best exemplified the Calgary Flames in the 2010’s, it’s easily captain and defensive leader Mark Giordano.

The longest tenured skater on the Flames roster, Giordano sits first in a number of categories including games played, assists and points, and became just the fourth person ever to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy for league’s top defenceman after his 35th birthday.

Known in the community for his charitable work as well, Giordano was honoured at the 2017 ESPY Awards with the Muhammed Ali Humanitarian Award.

Honourable mentions: Olli Jokinen, Curtis Glencross, Olli Jokinen, Mike Cammalleri