Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Calgary Flames

By: Nick Lanciani

I continue to explore an important element of the game and what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

Calgary Flames LogoCalgary Flames

Current Retired Numbers- 9 Lanny McDonald, 30 Mike Vernon

“Forever a Flame”- 2 Al MacInnis, 25 Joe Nieuwendyk

Recommended Numbers to Retire

Jarome Iginla led the Calgary Flames to a successful 2003-2004 season, culminating in a Western Conference championship, despite an eventual Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (CP PHOTO/Frank Gunn)
Jarome Iginla led the Calgary Flames to a successful 2003-2004 season, culminating in a Western Conference championship, despite an eventual Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. (CP PHOTO/Frank Gunn)

12 Jarome Iginla

After Iginla hangs up the skates, it’s only fitting that the team he spent most of his career with retires his number. He played a pivotal role in representing the Calgary Flames and has everything to do with being the rock from which the Flames front office was able to build upon.

Other Notes

It’s hard to predict how long the Flames will be on a hot streak from year to year, but hopefully they keep improving to the point that they’ll become serious Cup contenders. If that’s the case, some of their core young players, like Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and friends might be around Calgary for a long time and therefore rack up enough respect from the fans and organization to have their numbers retired someday as a Flame.

Also, I’ve always liked retiring a number more so than honoring a number (a.k.a. “Forever a Flame”) simply because 1) the grounds for which a number is retired by any organization in hockey is unique and 2) there’s plenty of numbers for everyone else to choose from- you’re never going to have that many spectacular superstars in franchise history such that there’ll be no numbers left. But that’s just me.

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