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1980–81 Calgary Flames season

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1980–81 Calgary Flames · NHL
Division 3rd Patrick
Conference 4th Campbell
1980–81 record 39–27–14
Home record 25–5–10
Road record 14–22–4
Goals for 329 (5th)
Goals against 298 (9th)
General Manager Cliff Fletcher
Coach Al MacNeil
Captain Brad Marsh
Alternate captains none
Arena Stampede Corral
Average attendance 7,217
Team leaders
Goals Kent Nilsson (49)
Assists Kent Nilsson (82)
Points Kent Nilsson (131)
Penalties in minutes Willi Plett (239)
Wins Pat Riggin (21)
Goals against average Rejean Lemelin (3.83)

The 1980–81 Calgary Flames season was the first season in Calgary and ninth for the Flames in the National Hockey League. The Flames came to southern Alberta from Atlanta, Georgia, where the franchise was known as the Atlanta Flames for the first eight years of its existence. The Flames became the third major-league team to represent the city of Calgary after the Calgary Tigers of the 1920s, and the Calgary Cowboys, which had folded in 1977.

The Flames were purchased for $16 million US by Nelson Skalbania in the spring of 1980. Before the sale was even announced, he had already sold 50% of the franchise to a group of Calgary-based investors including Harley Hotchkiss and Normie Kwong. On May 21, 1980, it was announced that the franchise was coming to Calgary.[1] While the Cowboys could not manage 2000 season tickets three years previous, the Flames sold 10,000 full and half-season ticket packages in 1980, selling out the Stampede Corral for every game played there.[2]

The Flames first game was played October 9, ending as a 5–5 tie to the Quebec Nordiques. While still in the East-coast dominated Patrick Division, the Flames finished 3rd, and qualified for the playoffs. The franchise, which had won just two playoff games in Atlanta, won two playoff series in their first year in Calgary. After sweeping the Chicago Black Hawks, Calgary then downed the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games before falling to the Minnesota North Stars in the league semi-final.

Kent Nilsson led the Flames in scoring, and his 82 assists and 131 points remain franchise records to this day. Nilsson was also the Flames lone representative at the 1980 All-Star Game.[3]

Regular seasonEdit

Season standingsEdit

Patrick Division
New York Islanders 80 48 18 14 355 260 110
Philadelphia Flyers 80 41 24 15 313 249 97
Calgary Flames 80 39 27 14 329 298 92
New York Rangers 80 30 36 14 312 317 74
Washington Capitals 80 26 36 18 286 317 70

Game logEdit

1980–81 Game Log


1981 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Player statsEdit


Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

    Regular season   Playoffs
Player # GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
Kent Nilsson 14 8049821312616314174
Guy Chouinard 16 523152832416314174
Willi Plett 25 7838306823915841289
Paul Reinhart 23 7418496752161141516
Eric Vail 27 642836642360000
Bob MacMillan 11 77283563471686147
Don Lever 12 622631575616471120
Pekka Rautakallio 4 7611455664162466
Jim Peplinski 24 801325381081623511
Kevin LaVallee 15 771520351682354
Bill Clement 10 7812203233162136
Ken Houston 6 421515309316781530
Phil Russell 5 80623291041627929
Bob Murdoch 20 7431922541614536
Dan Labraaten 21 2797161351014
Jamie Hislop 17 29691511163035
Brad Marsh 22 801121387160558
Bert Wilson 8 5057129410000
Brad Smith 18 45741165-----
Alex McKendry 26 3636919-----
Earl Ingarfield 21 162356-----
Denis Cyr 9 101450-----
Randy Holt 7 480551651322452
Dan Bouchard 30 140446-----
Dave Hindmarch 18 1101060002
Greg Meredith 29 31010-----
Mike Dwyer 29 4011411010
Gord Wappel 2 70114-----
Rejean Lemelin 1 29011260000
Pat Riggin 31 420117110000
Tony Curtale 3 20000-----
Bobby Gould 19 30000113144
Steve Konroyd 3 40004-----

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Calgary. Stats reflect time with the Flames only. Traded mid-season.
Bold denotes franchise record.


Note: GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout losses; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average

    Regular season   Playoffs
Rejean Lemelin 129162914678823.246366332203.61
Pat Riggin 314224112116415403.8311629633703.53
Dan Bouchard 30147604535104.06-------.--


The Flames were involved in the following transactions during the 1980–81 season.


June 2, 1980 To Atlanta Flames
2nd round pick in 1980 Entry Draft
(Steve Konroyd)
2nd round pick in 1981 Entry Draft
(Mike Vernon)
To Boston Bruins
Jim Craig
June 8, 1980 To Atlanta Flames
Randy Holt
Bert Wilson
To Los Angeles Kings
Garry Unger
June 10, 1980 To Atlanta Flames
2nd round pick in 1980 Entry Draft
(Kevin LaVallee)
To Toronto Maple Leafs
Dave Shand
3rd round pick in 1980 Entry Draft
(traded to Washington Capitals;
Capitals selected Torrie Robertson)
July 1, 1980 To Calgary Flames
To Washington Capitals
Jean Pronovost
October 9, 1980 To Calgary Flames
Alex McKendry
To New York Islanders
3rd round pick in 1980 Entry Draft
(Ron Handy)
January 30, 1981 To Calgary Flames
Jamie Hislop
To Quebec Nordiques
Dan Bouchard
February 3, 1981 To Calgary Flames
Dan Labraaten
To Detroit Red Wings
Earl Ingarfield
February 24, 1981 To Calgary Flames
Future Considerations
To Detroit Red Wings
Brad Smith

Free agentsEdit

Player Former team
LW Mike Dwyer Colorado Rockies
C Bob Francis University of New Hampshire (NCAA)
D Charlie Bourgeois Université de Moncton (CIAU)
Player New team

Draft picksEdit

Calgary's picks at the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, held in Montreal, Quebec.[4]

Rnd Pick Player Nationality Position Team (league) NHL statistics
113Denis CyrFlag of Canada.svg CanadaRWMontreal Junior Canadiens (QMJHL)19341438436
231Tony CurtaleFlag of the United States United StatesDBrantford Alexanders (OHA)20000
232Kevin LaValleeFlag of Canada.svg CanadaFBrantford Alexanders (OHA)36611012523585
239Steve KonroydFlag of Canada.svg CanadaDOshawa Generals (OHA)89541195236863
476Marc RoyFlag of Canada.svg CanadaRWChicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
597Randy TurnbullFlag of Canada.svg CanadaDPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)10002
6118John MultanFlag of Canada.svg CanadaRWPortland Winter Hawks (WHL)
7139Dave NewsomFlag of Canada.svg CanadaLWBrantford Alexanders (OHA)
8160Claude DrouinFlag of Canada.svg CanadaCQuebec Remparts (QMJHL)
9181Hakan LoobFlag of Sweden SwedenFFärjestads BK (SEL)450193236429189
10202Steven FletcherFlag of Canada.svg CanadaLWHull Olympiques (QMJHL)30005

See alsoEdit


  • Player stats: 2006–07 Calgary Flames Media Guide, p. 131.
  • Game log: 2006–07 Calgary Flames Media Guide, p. 141.
  • Team standings: 1980–81 NHL standings
  • Trades: Individual player pages at
  1. Zeman, p. 92.
  2. Zeman, p. 94.
  3. All-Star Selections, 2006–07 Calgary Flames Media Guide, p. 22.
  4. Calgary Flames draft history,, accessed October 8, 2007.

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