With the draft and free agency in the rearview mirror, the NHL offseason has entered a bit of a lull meaning there’s no better time to take a trip down memory lane. A couple years back we took a look at the Flames’ 2003–04 Stanley Cup final team and where they are now. To pick up where we left off we’ll start this series by looking at the Flames’ first post lockout team from 2005–06.
The Flames were a year removed from a trip to the Stanley Cup Final and looking to become an established contender in the NHL following the cancelled 2004–05 season. Despite a successful regular season, the Flames were knocked out in seven games in the first round.
From that team, Jarome Iginla is the only member still in the organization as he was recently hired as special assistant to the general manager. With that said, let’s take a look at where each player is today.
We of course kick off the list with none other than Iginla. Iginla is undoubtedly the greatest Flame in history and the his name is all over the organization’s record books. A testament to Darryl Sutter’s defensive focused system, a 28-year-old Iginla posted just 35 goals and 32 assists in 2005–06. Iginla would be traded by the Flames seven years after the 2005–06 season in 2012–13. He’d play a few more years in the league before retiring in 2017.
In 2020, Iginla was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Since retiring in 2017, Iginla was not directly involved with any NHL team until of course this summer when he was hired as the special assistant to the general manager in Calgary. Needless to say it’s great to have him back in Calgary and part of the organization.
Daymond Langkow’s debut in Calgary during the 2005–06 season came with plenty of expectations as the teams new number one centre alongside Iginla. He became one of the more well known Flames from this era, establishing himself as one of the team’s top forwards.
Langkow was eventually dealt to the Coyotes in 2011 and played one more season before retiring. He’s not currently working in hockey, however his son Colton is teammates with Flames first-round pick Samuel Honzek in the WHL.
Fun fact, Tony Amonte finished the 2005–06 season as the Flames’ third highest scoring forward with just 42 points in his first year in Calgary. At 35 years old, Amonte would play just one more season in Calgary before retiring in 2007. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. Starting in 2010, Amonte served as the head coach of the US High School Prep team Thayer Academy until 2022. He’s not currently working in hockey.
Arguably one of the most underrated Flames of this era, Kristian Huselius was an analytical darling before fancy stats were mainstream. Huselius spent three successful seasons in Calgary before leaving for Columbus in 2008. He’d leave the NHL in 2012 and spend one year in Sweden before retiring due to injury at the age of 34 in 2013.
Huselius was involved in a scary, freak accident in 2019 that led to him staying in the ICU for multiple days. Luckily he escaped mostly unscathed and was most recently a strength and conditioning coach for his daughters’ handball team in Sweden.
Chuck Kobasew was drafted by the Flames in the first round of the 2001 draft and would spend his first four years in Calgary before being dealt to the Bruins in 2007. He’d play in the NHL for another seven years before going over to Switzerland in 2014 where he would play for SC Bern for two seasons before retiring in 2016. After leaving hockey, Kobasew was involved with Highmark Interactive, a firm that uses video games to fight against brain injuries and is currently a licensed realtor in Arizona.
Steven Reinprecht spent just two seasons in Calgary, with the 2005–06 season being his last as a Flame. He’d be dealt at the 2006 trade deadline and would play five more seasons in the NHL , one in the AHL, and six in Germany before retiring in 2018. Soon after he was named a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Denver’s men’s hockey team. In 2019 he joined the Colorado Avalanche—the team he won a Stanley Cup with in 2001—in a player development role.
Matthew Lombardi was a mainstay in the Flames lineup in the 2000s before being traded in 2009 in the first trade that brought Olli Jokinen to Calgary. He’d spend another five years in the NHL after the deal before going over to Switzerland in 2013. He’d play for Geneve Servette for three seasons, winning the Spengler Cup in 2015, and retire in 2016.
A notorious enforcer in his day, Chris Simon spent two seasons as a Flame with the 2005–06 season being his last. Following his exit from the Flames he’d spend two more years in the NHL, and then play five seasons in the KHL before retiring in 2013. In his first year in the KHL, he posted a ridiculous 263 penalty minutes in just 40 games.
Unfortunately Simon has struggled since his playing days ended. Numerous injuries throughout his career have left him unable and he had to file for bankruptcy in 2017. We wish him nothing but the best going forward.
Shean Donovan like many other names on this list only spent a couple seasons in Calgary, with 2005–06 being his final one. After leaving the Flames he’d spend time with the Bruins and Senators before retiring in 2010. Following his retirement Donavan served as an assistant coach for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL in 2014. He’s currently working as a development coach for the Senators.
A defensive juggernaut during his time in the NHL, Stephen Yelle was a Darryl Sutter favourite. Yelle would spend five seasons in Calgary between 2002 and 2008. He’d play two more seasons in the NHL after leaving the Flames and retire following the 2009–10 season. After retiring, Yelle spent one year as a development coordinator with the Avalanche and two as an assistant coach for Valor Christian High School. He’s currently a managing partner at MCE Brand Solutions, helping companies better market their products on Amazon.
Marcus Nilson was acquired by the Flames during the 2003–04 season and would spend four years in Calgary before going over to Europe in 2008. From 2008–09 to 2014–15, he spent his time playing in the KHL and SHL. He’d retire in 2015 and currently does not work in hockey.
Legendary enforcer Darren McCarty was brought to Calgary in 2005 and would post 117 penalty minutes in 67 games during the 2005–06 season. He’d spend one more year with the team before returning to his longtime team the Red Wings in 2007. After two years in Detroit, he’d retire in 2009. McCarty would immediately jump into an analyst role for the 2009–10 season for Versus. He also started a podcast called Grind Time in 2018.
The Flames ninth overall pick in the famously deep 2003 draft, Dion Phaneuf made his NHL debut during the 2005–06 season. He’d make an immediate impact with 20 goals and 49 points in 82 games. He’d finish as a finalist for the Calder trophy in perhaps the most difficult season to ever win the award with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin also eligible.
After just five seasons in Calgary, Phaneuf would be dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2010 in one of the team’s biggest and most questionable trades of the 21st century. Phaneuf would spend another 11 years in the NHL and retired in 2021. In 2022, Phaneuf joined CBD and vitamin supplement company CaniBrands as the company’s strategic advisor.
Despite being brought to Calgary for future considerations, Andrew Ference was a key member of the Flames defence in the early 2000s and had the best season of his career in 2005–06 with 31 points. After four years in Calgary he was dealt to the Boston Bruins in 2007 where he’d win a Stanley Cup in 2011. He’d finish his career as an Edmonton Oiler and retired in 2016. Ference joined the NHL as its first Director of Social Impact in 2018 and is also an avid environmentalist.
The first overall pick in the 1992 draft, Roman Hamrlik signed with the Flames as a free agent during the 2005 offseason. He’d play two seasons in Calgary before leaving as a free agent in 2007. After another six seasons in the NHL, Hamrlik retired from hockey in 2013. He was inducted into the Czech Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019 and has worked with Hockey Quebec and the Montreal Canadiens at various summer hockey clinics in recent years.
One of the only Brazilian-born NHLers ever, Robyn Regehr was a staple on the Flames blueline for a decade in the 2000s. Regehr averaged the most minutes of any Flame in 2005–06 as the team’s number one defenceman. After 11 seasons in Calgary, Regehr was dealt to Buffalo in 2011 for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. He’d spend five more seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup with Sutter and the L.A. Kings in 2014.
After retiring in 2015, Regehr—who is an avid outdoorsman—has spent his time snowmobiling, and wakeboarding in Calgary and teaches kids outdoor safety.
Jordan Leopold was one of the Flames’ most important defenders during the 2005–06 season, averaging the second most ice time on the team behind only Regehr. After three years in Calgary he was dealt in 2006 in the deal that brought Alex Tanguay to Calgary. Leopold would play another nine seasons in the NHL including a short 19-game stint with Calgary in 2009 before retiring in 2015.
He famously ended his career with his hometown Minnesota Wild after his daughter wrote a letter to the coaching staff asking them to sign him. He now runs and owns a wedding venue, Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens, in Minnesota.
Rhett Warrener came to Calgary at the tail-end of his career in 2003 in the deal that sent Chris Drury to Buffalo. He’d spend four years in Calgary before retiring in 2008. After retiring Warrener served as a scout for the Flames for a brief time being moving to radio as a host on Sportsnet960 and is now podcasting.
A legend in Calgary and one of the best Flames of all time, Miikka Kiprusoff had the best season of his career in 2005–06. The workhorse goalie played 74 games that season and took home both the Vezina and William Jennings Trophy. Kiprusoff would finish his career in Calgary following the 2013–14 season. He’s since returned to Finland and has lived a notoriously quiet life away from the spotlight.