Calgary Flames 4 days until the season starts: #4 Brad McCrimmon

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 31: Calgary Flames players wear the
CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 31: Calgary Flames players wear the /

The season starts next week and there’s only one preseason game left before it starts. With four days left, let’s look at a former Calgary Flames player with that number.

Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Every day until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.

Yesterday, we talked about one of the most important players on the current Flames roster – their captain. That was Mark Giordano.

Today, with just four days left, let’s talk about a player who was part of the Flames Stanley Cup winning team and who unfortunately passed away too soon. Let’s look at #4 Brad McCrimmon.

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Who is Brad McCrimmon?

Name: Byron Brad McCrimmon

Birthplace: Dodsland, SK, Canada

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1959-03-29

Height: 5’11″ / 180 cm

Weight: 88 kg / 193 lbs

Drafted by: Boston Bruins, 15th Overall 1979

Stats with all NHL teams, regular season:

Before being drafted, Brad McCrimmon was playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. He also played in two World Juniors, but they didn’t medal in either year. With the Wheat Kings in 1979 serving as captain, McCrimmon had 24 goals and 98 points in 66 regular season games. He also had 28 points in 22 playoff games where the Wheat Kings won the President’s Cup.

McCrimmon made the opening night roster for the Boston Bruins and played with them for the majority of the season. He had 16 points in 72 games in his rookie season. The Bruins made it to the playoffs that year and McCrimmon had one goal and one assist in 10 playoff games

The next year, McCrimmon had 29 points in 78 games and the following year, he dropped quite a bit with only nine points in 78 games. Safe to say that he didn’t gain a good reputation around the league. He was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers as a result.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

But head coach of the Flyers, Bob McCammon, came to McCrimmon’s defence. He argued that Brad had basically been influenced by fellow teammate, Ray Bourque, who was somewhat bringing him down.

The next few seasons with the Flyers, he definitely improved. He had 25 points in 79 games with the Flyers in 1982-83. He kept improving season after season. In 1984-85, he hit a career high of 43 points and had an impressive +/- of +52, which was fifth in the league. The Flyers made the playoffs that year, but McCrimmon’s post-season was cut short because he suffered an injury. The Flyers went all the way to the finals, but were beat by the Edmonton Oilers (boo).

The following season, he again improved. He set career highs again in goals with 13 and points with 56 in 80 games. His +/- was at an ultimate high with +83 and he was second for the best in that category, right after his defensive partner.

After some contract disputes the following season, there was some hostility between McCrimmon and the Flyers management. So after the 1986-87 season, they traded him to the Calgary Flames (yay!). In his first year with the Flames, he had 42 points in 80 games. He also had a +/- of +48, which earned him the Bud Light Trophy for best +/- in the league.

McCrimmon played two more seasons with the Calgary Flames and won a cup with them in 1989. Following their win, McCrimmon was named captain of the team. But following the 1989-90 season, he and Terry Crisp had some disagreements and the Flames decided to trade him to the Detroit Red Wings. After the Red Wings, he played with the Hartford Whalers and the Phoenix Coyotes, but he never quite had the same seasons he had with the Flyers and the Flames.

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After his retirement in 1997, he still stuck with hockey. He became an assistant coach with the New York Islanders. He then went on to become the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL for two years before returning to Calgary and being an assistant coach with them for three years.

After that, he became an assistant coach with the Atlanta Thrashers, then returned to Detroit again, and became an assistant coach there. When Brad McCrimmon got the opportunity to be the head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL in May of 2011 after the Red Wings season ended, he took it with the hopes it would lead to an NHL head coach job in the near future.

But that opportunity was cut short, and he never ended up coaching a game for them, or for any team again.

On Sep. 7th, 2011, the team got on a plane to start their season. But that’s the end of it. The plane ended up crashing, and among the 45 people on the flight, 43 died on site, including Brad McCrimmon. One was taken to the hospital, but passed away a few days later. The lone survivor of the crash was a crew member.

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McCrimmon, along with everyone else on that flight, was unfairly taken way too soon. They had their careers and lives ahead of them. While McCrimmon still had quite a successful career, it could have been so much more.