Why did Calgary Flames GM Ron Wilson take over an NHL franchise?

By Matt Slocum The Calgary Flames had some of the most tumultuous seasons in franchise history, including the Stanley Cup Final and a six-game losing streak in 2010-11.

Now, the Flames are back in the playoffs, and with a revamped coaching staff, some new faces and a new GM, the team is poised to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04.

Here’s a look at the teams that had their ups and downs in those seasons.


Flames 2003-03: After a dismal first season, the Oilers were in need of a turnaround.

Wilson was hired to lead them into the playoffs.

The Flames took a 4-2 series lead against the Oilers before falling to a team with a winning record in the second round of the playoffs: New Jersey.

The Oilers’ young core was a disaster: Jiri Hudler, Mark Messier and Mark Giordano were all injured.

But the Flames, led by their first-round pick, Mark Giordan, held the Devils scoreless in the first period of Game 1 before a 4:38 of ice time was called on goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who had the second of his three goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the game.

The game was a 5-4 Flames victory.

It was the first Stanley Cup final appearance for the Oilers since 1997 and the first since 1992.


Flames 2006-07: The Flames had a terrible season in 2006-08, losing 13 games.

It would be another two years before the Flames would again make the playoffs and their record would drop to 8-18-1.

In a lockout-shortened season, general manager Jay Feaster was fired and replaced by Dave Tippett, who made the team competitive again, but also hired an overhauled coaching staff that included former Buffalo Sabres coach Peter Laviolette.

The overhaul brought in the veteran veteran Brian Burke, who was a big reason for the Flames’ turnaround.

Burke led the Flames to a Stanley Cup in 2011 and helped them to the Eastern Conference Final that year.


Flames 2010-2011: The 2012-13 season was the last time the Flames won a playoff series and the team’s first since 1993.

The franchise made it back to the Stanley Championship Game in 2011, but was swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Western Conference Final.

The following season, after winning the Cup, the Blackhawks were in dire straits and the organization traded away the rights to their superstar Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.

The Blackhawks ended up being a contender again in 2012-2013 but didn’t make the Stanley Final in a decade.


Flames 2011-12: With an abundance of talented players on the roster, the club went on a winning streak in 2012.

However, a lack of depth at forward and goaltender helped lead to the Flames making the playoffs in only their third season.

After a two-game winning streak, the Kings took the Flames down in the Eastern Semi-Finals and defeated them 4-1 in the Conference Final, a game that was played on a snowy night in Calgary.

The teams rematch in 2013 was a three-game series that was decided in the third overtime, with the Flames winning the game on a goal from Cody Franson.


Flames 2015-16: The season saw some ups and down.

The team won the first two games of the series, but fell behind 4-0 after two periods.

In the third and fourth periods, the Canucks scored a goal in regulation to tie it and the Flames responded with a goal at 2:54 of the first.

The two teams battled for control of the game, with Burns putting the Flames up 1-0 in the shootout and the Canucks putting the team up 2-1 with a power play goal at 14:42 of the second.

The fourth goal of the period was scored by Cam Fowler, who would end up with a career-high nine goals in a season.


Flames 2017-18: The 2017-2018 season was an incredible turnaround for the Calgary Flames, who were swept by Nashville in the opening round of playoffs.

They went on to win the Stanley Finals in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,865.

Head coach Randy Carlyle led the way as the Flames took over the franchise and became the first Canadian-owned franchise in NHL history.

They also won the 2017 Calder Cup as the first team in franchise NHL history to win it.

The next season, a new team in-house was put together, and the club was renamed the Calgary Hitmen.

In 2018-19, the Hitmen were in the AHL and finished fifth in the North Division, but went on the road and won the Memorial Cup.

They finished second in the Atlantic Division.


Flames 2016-17: The 2016-2017 season was another Cinderella story for the young Flames.

The first half of the