Calgary Flames: It is Time to Retire Al MacInnis’ Number 2

Jul 19, 2023

While the Calgary Flames, have witnessed numerous exceptional players throughout their history, among them stands a true legend – Al MacInnis. And with the announcement that Mikka Kiprusoff’s number 34 is to be retired, we take a look at rectifying an injustice in Flames Nation. The fact that Al MacInness, possibly the greatest Flames defenseman in history, only has his number 2 “honored”. Here are compelling reasons why Al MacInnis deserves this prestigious recognition:


1. Hall of Fame Career

Al MacInnis’ illustrious career speaks for itself. He spent 13 remarkable seasons with the Calgary Flames from 1981 to 1994. During this tenure, he played in 803 games, scoring 213 goals (102 on the power play), and 609 assists for 822 points and he did that while never shying away from the dirty areas of the defensive zone, earning 960 penalty minutes. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.



2. Key Player in Flames’ Success

MacInnis played an instrumental role in the Calgary Flames’ 1989 Stanley Cup victory over the Montreal Canadiens, at a time when the Edmonton Oilers had a dynasty.



While Lanny MacDonald was the emotional leader, no one played a larger role than MacInnes in that championship run. He was an anchor on the blue line, providing a nearly impenetrable defense while leading the team in points with 7 goals, 24 assists, and 31 points in the 22 games it took to hoist the Cup. He was inevitably awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. To this day he is the only Flames player to ever achieve that honor.


3. Records and Achievements

Throughout his career, MacInnis achieved remarkable milestones and shattered records. One of the most notable, he holds the record for the most victories (seven) of the NHL’s hardest shot competition. Zdeno Chara holds the current record (108.8 MPH) but did that with a composite stick.  MacInnis’ fastest shot in any of those competitions was just 100.4 mph, but there is a big “but” here, he used a wooden stick throughout his career.





He was one of the best defensemen of his generation. He was more than just a slapshot. He was their best all-around skater.  He holds the franchise record for career assists and plus/minus and also sits at 3rd overall in franchise scoring. He is the franchise leader in scoring for defensemen, sitting a full 258 points ahead of the next defender, and holds the team record for most PP goals for defensemen.


4. Loyalty and Commitment


Al MacInnis remained a loyal member of the Calgary Flames throughout the prime of his career. Despite attracting interest from other teams, he always chose to stay in Calgary and contributed significantly to the team’s success. His departure to the St. Louis Blues only happened because of a trade where he was sent to the blue notes. On July 4, 1994, Calgary traded  MacInnis and a fourth-round draft pick to the St. Louis Blues, in return for Phil Housley and consecutive second-round draft selections.



5. Impact on the Community

Beyond his on-ice brilliance, Al MacInnis also left a lasting impact on Calgary’s community, participating in various charities and community outreach campaigns. He routinely chose to use his platform to give back to the city that embraced him for all those years. His involvement in community initiatives further solidifies his status as a beloved figure in Calgary.


Since MacInnis, six players have worn his number 2, the last one being Mike Commodore in 2003-04. While no one has worn it in 20 years, just honoring his number seems inadequate. In the end, his on-ice play more than deserves his number to be retired. His leadership and dedication to the team were integral in bringing the city and franchise its only Stanley Cup. His unwavering commitment to the Flames’ jersey and his passion for the game endeared him to the fans, creating a lasting legacy within the franchise.


Blain Potvin

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