We continue our offseason series taking a look back at past Calgary Flames rosters with the 2017–18 squad. After a return to the playoffs under Glen Gulutzan the year prior, the Flames looked to finally be out of their rebuild. Unfortunately they’d continue their roller coaster form by once again falling off and missing the playoffs in 2017–18 while finishing near the bottom of the league.
The disappointing season would cost Guluztan his job as he’d be fired after just two years in Calgary following the season. The Flames would also lose out on the 12th overall pick after trading their first-round pick without lottery protection for Travis Hamonic the prior offseason.
From that team Mikael Backlund, Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane are the only members who still play for the Flames although Andersson and Mangiapane only played 10 games each that year. Michael Stone meanwhile was recently hired in a player development role. No other member of the team still plays or works for the Flames.
After a down year in 2016–17, Johnny Gaudreau would have a career year in 2017–18 with career highs in goals, assists and points. His 60 assists and 84 points would both lead the Flames by a wide margin.
Gaudreau would of course turn into a true superstar in Calgary over the next four years before making the decision to leave in free agency for Columbus in 2022. This past season Gaudreau and the Blue Jackets finished 31st in the NHL with Gaudreau posting his lowest full season point total in six years.
Like Gaudreau, the 2017–18 season would be a career year for Sean Monahan. He’d post career highs in goals and points despite playing just 74 games. His 31 goals led the Flames while his 64 points were second behind only Gaudreau.
Unfortunately a slew of serious injuries would catch up to him over the next couple years and he’d be traded during the 2022 offseason after a couple down years as a Flame. He’s since played with the Montreal Canadiens, which is where he’ll play in 2023–24 after re-signing this past offseason.
Mikael Backlund would continue to operate as the team’s veteran leader at centre in 2017–18, posting 45 points while centring the dominant 3M line. As always he maintained his elite underlying numbers.
Backlund has become one of the best Flames of all time and currently sits third all time for games played as a Flame. At 35 years old, his current status is up in the air as trade rumours swirl but regardless of what happens he’ll always be a fan favourite and all-time great in Calgary.
Now in just his second season in the NHL, Matthew Tkachuk was already showing signs of a true star player in 2017–18. At just 19 years old, he posted 49 points in 68 games, the third highest total on the Flames while always dominating possession.
Tkachuk would develop into one of the best wingers in the entire NHL over the next five seasons in Calgary before refusing to re-sign last summer. He’s currently entering year one of an eight-year extension with the Panthers after posting a career-high 109 points with them last season.
It’s fair to say the 2017–18 season was the true red flag that Sam Bennett may never reach his pre-draft hype. In his third season in the league he once again failed to hit his rookie season total and reached just 26 points and 11 goals in 82 games.
Over his next three seasons as a Flame, he’d fail to make an impact before eventually being traded at the 2021 trade deadline to Florida for a prospect and draft pick, seven years after being picked fourth overall. Bennett’s career has since found a second wind as he’s become a solid second line player for the Florida Panthers.
Now in his third year as a Flame, Michael Frolik’s point production dipped dramatically to just 25 points, but he maintained his strong underlying numbers as a key piece of the 3M line.
Over the next two years in Calgary, Frolik would see his role on the Flames diminish before being dealt during the 2019–20 season. After two more years in the NHL, he’d head over to Europe in 2021 which is where he’s played the last two seasons.
The 2017–18 season would actually be Michael Ferland’s best as a Flame, but also his last. He’d post a career-high 21 goals and 41 points on the Flames’ top line with Gaudreau and Monahan. Following the season, he was included in the Hamilton blockbuster and sent to Carolina.
After two more years in the NHL, Ferland was forced to retire in 2020 at the age of 28 due to a series of concussions. He currently works with the Western Canada Hockey Academy (WCHA) in a development role.
The 2017–18 season would be the rookie debut season for 2012 first-rounder Mark Jankowski. Across 72 games he’d post 17 goals and 25 points. Perhaps his biggest contribution this season was his four-goal game in the final game of the season. Had the Flames lost that game, their first round pick that was sent to the Islanders would’ve ended up becoming the second overall pick.
After two more years as a Flame, Jankowski would leave as a free agent in 2020. He last played in Nashville in 2022–23 but is currently a free agent.
Troy Browuer’s disastrous start to his Flames tenure would continue in 2017–18 as he’d see his production dip even lower than in 2016–17. With just six goals and 22 points, it was clear Brouwer’s best days were far behind him.
Browuer would eventually be bought out following the season just two years into his four-year deal. After two more years in the NHL, he retired in 2020. Brouwer has worked as a scout for the St. Louis Blues the last two seasons.
The 2017–18 season would end up being Matt Stajan’s last as a Flame and in the NHL. Across 68 games in a depth role he posted 12 points. He’d go over to Europe for one season the next year in 2018–19 and retired in 2019. Since retiring Stajan has called Calgary home and has had an active role with the NHLPA as a representative for both Toronto and Calgary. He’s also served as an assistant coach for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen the last two seasons.
After being acquired for a second-round pick at the 2017 trade deadline, Curtis Lazar made his full season debut in 2017–18. He’d bounce around the lineup for most of the year and post just two goals and 12 points in 65 games.
Trading a high pick for Lazar was a massive risk that ended with disaster pretty quickly. He’d play just one single game for the Flames the following season in 2018–19 and left as a free agent following the year. He’s spent the last four seasons bouncing around a few teams in depth roles.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of college in 2014, Garnet Hathaway made his full-time debut in 2017–18 with 13 points in 59 games playing in a depth role.
Hathaway would help form one of the best fourth lines in the NHL in 2018–19 but would leave Calgary as a free agent in 2019. He’s since developed into one of the better fourth liners in the NHL and recently signed a multi year deal with the Flyers.
Mark Giordano would once again log the most minutes of any Flame in 2017–18 with nearly 25 minutes a game. He’d also add on 38 points and play all 82 games that season.
Giordano served as the Flames captain and number one defenceman for three more years until being claimed in the 2021 expansion draft, leaving as the second longest tenured player and captain in Flame history. He’s spent the last two seasons playing for his hometown Maple Leafs. Here’s hoping he signs a one-day contract to retire as a Flame in the future.
Alongside Giordano, Dougie Hamilton would continue his strong play in 2017–18. He’d lead all Flames defenders in points with 44 and goals with 17.
Following the season, questions were raised about his fit on the roster and he would end up being dealt in a blockbuster deal to Carolina at the draft. He’s continued his elite play as one of the league’s best defenders over the last five seasons split between Carolina and now New Jersey where he signed as a free agent in 2021.
Despite playing on the Flames second pairing in 2017–18, T.J. Brodie would log the most minutes of any Flame not named Giordano. He’d also post 32 points in 73 games to finish behind Giordano and Hamilton for scoring from the blueline.
Brodie would remain an integral part of the Flames defence for the next two seasons before leaving as a free agent in 2020. He’d leave the franchise with the fourth most games by a defenceman in franchise history. He currently plays with Giordano in Toronto.
Acquired in a big offseason deal that saw the Flames give up their unprotected first-rounder, Travis Hamonic’s 2017–18 season was less than ideal. He’d post just 11 points in 74 games while getting caved in most nights.
Hamonic would never live up to what the Flames paid for him and after two more years as a Flame he’d leave as a free agent in 2020. He’s spent the last four seasons split between Ottawa and Vancouver and recently re-signed for the Senators.
After being acquired near the trade deadline the year prior, Michael Stone became a regular on the Flames blueline in 2017–18. He played in all 82 games while adding 10 points.
Stone notoriously earned one-year contracts multiple times with the Flames over the next few years and eventually retired this summer after seven years in Calgary. He was quickly hired in a development role after retiring.
A fourth-round pick by the Flames in 2012, Brett Kulak made his full-time debut in 2017–18, logging 71 games and adding eight points while playing on the Flames third pairing.
Despite showing some promise at just 23 years old, Kulak was placed on waivers the next season and was claimed by Montreal, the same spot Paul Byron landed. Like Byron, Kulak became a full time NHLer in Montreal. He’s spent the last two season as a regular on the Oilers blueline.
After the goaltending debacle in 2016–17, the Flames went out and acquired veteran goalie Mike Smith in the offseason to be the team’s starter in 2017–18. In his first season with the Flames, he’d give them their most solid goaltending in years with a .916 save percentage and 2.65 GAA.
Smith would play two more underwhelming years as a Flame before joining the rival Oilers as a free agent in 2019. Smith has spent four years with the Oilers but missed the entire 2022–23 season due to injury.
To backup Smith, the Flames gave 25-year-old David Rittich his first shot in the NHL. He’d provide decent results, posting a .904 save percentage and 8–6–3 record as the backup.
Rittich would spend another three years in a 1A/1B situation in Calgary before being dealt at the 2020 trade deadline to Toronto. He’s spent the last two seasons as a backup in Nashville and Winnipeg and recently signed with the Los Angeles Kings for the upcoming season.