23 years ago today, the top song on the radio was Paula Abdul’s Forever Your Girl, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has just opened up in theaters, Dynasty had just been canceled, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was picked up by Comedy Central, and the Stanley Cup made its way into the hands of Lanny McDonald, Jim Peplinski, Tim Hunter, and the rest of the 1988-1989 Calgary Flames for the first and only time in franchise history. In a stunning 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens, in the Canadiens own arena (the first time another team won on the Cup on Habs ice), the Flames triumphed in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This also marks the last all Canadian Stanley Cup Final.
Take a look at the clip:
That August, McDonald decided to end his career on a high note, the second goal of Game 6 and a Stanley Cup was the icing on his 16 season career.
Peplinski retired in the middle of the following season, and at the time held the franchise record for most games played at 711.
Goalie Mike Vernon went on to win the Cup again in 1997 with the Detroit Red Wing, and when he retired Vernon retired 7th all time in regular season wins with 385, 4th among goalies in playoff appearances at 138 and 5th in playoff wins with 77.
Theo Fleury was in his rookie year and racked up 11 points in the playoffs.
Al MacInnis had four goals and five assists in the final series.
So many other players went on to have fantastic careers all over the league, but for those 51 days, 23 years ago, the Calgary Flames were unstoppable. It took until 2003-2004 for the C of Red to rise up again for a chance at the Cup. Here’s hoping those good luck calls from Hakan Loob this past season start working for the Flames, I don’t want to wait another 15 years to see the Flames make a run for the Cup.
To quote my cowriter, Dave, “A raised glass to the Flames. Flawed as they are, they are ours.”
Go Flames Go