Greatest Calgary Flame to Wear No. 10

*This was originally published in Aug. 2022

In case you missed one of the most significant transactions of the NHL offseason, former Florida Panthers’ all-time leading scorer Jonathan Huberdeau was traded to the Calgary Flames on July 22, 2022. The deal included a first-round pick in 2025, along with teammates Cole Schwindt and MacKenzie Weegar, for a package that included all-star Matthew Tkachuk and a 2025 fourth-round pick. 

The deal sent shockwaves through both fanbases because no one expected such a blockbuster from either franchise. No one knew for certain that the Panthers were on Tkachuk’s preferred destination list, let alone Florida’s willingness to part with one of its cornerstones who just set several club records in 2021-22. 

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As the ink dries on their paperwork, the players involved in the transaction are settling into their new environments and gearing up for training camp, which is right around the corner. After this season, Huberdeau would have been a free agent; however, he committed to his new team with an eight-year extension worth $84 million. When signing his deal, he announced that he had switched numbers from No. 11 to No. 10. Throughout his career, the star left-winger wore No. 11 with the Panthers. But, in Southern Alberta, Mikael Backlund currently wears the number, so Huberdeau honored the claim one of the longest-tenured Flames has on this number.  

When fans order new jerseys, they’ll probably think back to all the Flames players who have worn the No. 10. The most synonymous player to don this number has to be Gary Roberts. Many members of the Flames Nation fondly remember Roberts skating up and down the ice, throwing hard body checks, and racking up penalty minutes. As of today, he remains the only player in club history to lift the Stanley Cup while wearing No. 10, so why don’t we find out where he ranks among the 19 players who have worn the jersey before and after him?

Gerry Meehan (1974-1976), 62 Games

Gerry Meehan was a journeyman NHL center who played with six teams during his 670-game career, suiting up for 62 games as a member of the Atlanta Flames. By this early stage of the franchise, Meehan became just the fourth player to wear jersey No. 10. 

In the Georgia state capital, Meehan scored 41 points across two campaigns thanks to 11 goals and 30 assists. He collected just eight penalty minutes while scoring four power-play goals and collecting two game-winners. 

Kris Versteeg (2016-2018), 64 Games

The Boston Bruins originally drafted Kris Versteeg in 2004, but he never played a game for the franchise. Eventually, he found himself in Chicago and was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams before finishing his 11-year career with two seasons in Calgary. 

In a Flames uniform, Versteeg dressed for just 64 games over his final seasons and scored 45 points (18 goals and 27 assists). He would collect 52 penalty minutes with nine power-play goals and two game-winners.  

Niklas Hagman (2011-12), 79 Games

Hagman started his career with the Florida Panthers and moved to Dallas and Toronto before landing with the Flames in late 2010. He chose No. 11 for that first season before switching to No. 10 for the final 79 games of his stint in southern Alberta. 

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As the only Finnish player to wear the number, Hagman scored 31 points (12 goals and 19 assists) with 26 penalty minutes, one game-winner, and five power-play goals. 

Blake Comeau (2012), 91 Games

Blake Comeau began his 16-year NHL career in New York with the Islanders. After the team placed him on waivers, he joined the Flames, where he suited up for 91 games over two seasons. 

Although he was only six years into his career, which lasted 909 games, Comeau didn’t produce in red and white, scoring only 22 points. Those numbers are thanks to nine goals and 13 assists. He collected 38 penalty minutes and just one game-winner. 

Tony Amonte (2006-2007), 161 Games

The New York Rangers initially drafted Tony Amonte in the sixth round in 1988. As a young star in the 1990s with the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, he would finish his career in Calgary after bouncing around several other cities. 

Tony Amonte Chicago Blackhawks
Tony Amonte, a former member of the Chicago Blackhawks (Getty Images North America)

The native of Hingham, Massachusetts, skated in 1174 NHL games and collected 900 points. Amonte suited up with the Flames in 161 games and scored 72 points in his only two seasons north of the border. On the scoresheet, he had 24 goals and 48 assists, along with 83 penalty minutes. He only had four power-play and game-winning goals while a member of the Flames. 

Derek Ryan (2019-2021), 192 Games

Derek Ryan is the most recent Flames player to wear jersey No. 10, last putting it on in 2021. The undrafted center from Spokane, Washington, joined the team after starting his career with the Carolina Hurricanes. When his contract expired, Ryan departed southern Alberta with 192 games to his credit to sign as a free agent with the Flames’ northern rival, the Edmonton Oilers. 

In three seasons with the Flames, Ryan collected 80 points thanks to 25 goals and 55 assists. He also notched three power-play goals, one game-winner, and had 50 penalty minutes. 

Dave Lowry (2001-2004), 193 Games

Lowry was a cagey NHL veteran when his career took him north of the border (again) in 2000. Initially drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the sixth round, the left-winger moved to St. Louis, Florida, and San Jose before his final stop in Calgary. 

Lowry surpassed the 1000-game mark for his NHL career as a member of the Flames. In 193 games, the bearded warrior collected 69 points (31 goals and 38 assists) while compiling 131 penalty minutes, tallying eight power-play goals and six game-winners.

Dan Quinn (1984-1987), 222 Games

Dan Quinn was drafted 13th in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and played the first four seasons of his 14-year career in Calgary. Although his best years came as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins (1986-90), he managed to play in 222 games with the team that drafted him, finishing his Flames career with 191 points. 

One of just three players to score over 100 points while wearing the jersey, the high drafted center scored 73 goals and had 119 helpers. Quinn had 98 penalty minutes, 36 power-play goals, and seven game-winners on his resume. 

Bill Clement (1976-1982), 444 Games

After winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the Broad Street Bullies (Philadelphia Flyers) in 1974 and 1975, Clement moved on to the Washington Capitals shortly after the parade. Halfway through the following season, Clement found himself in Atlanta, where he would play the next six seasons of his career. 

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The former ESPN broadcaster had the distinction of being the last player to wear the number in Atlanta while being the first to wear it in the Flames’ new home, Calgary. In 444 games, Clement scored 85 goals and 139 assists for 224 points. He managed to collect 197 penalty minutes along with six power-play goals and 12 game-winning goals. 

Gary Roberts (1988-1996), 553 Games

Gary Roberts may be the best player to wear the No. 10 with the Flames organization (so far). Although today’s generation may know him more as the trainer of today’s hockey stars, he was a force to reckon with in his playing days. The native of North York, Ontario, scored and hit with the best of his generation. 

Gary Roberts Calgary Flames
Gary Roberts, Calgary Flames (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images)

When Roberts first joined the Flames, he wore No. 32 during his rookie season of 1986-87. It wasn’t until the 1987-88 campaign that he found his home with No. 10. After a quiet first year (15 points in 32 games), Roberts would go on to play in 553 games, tallying 490 points while wearing the No. 10 jersey fans still talk about today.

Tim Hunter may be the franchise’s leader in penalty minutes (2405), but Roberts is right behind him with 1736 and 1651 coming after he changed his number. The rugged left-winger had 252 goals and 238 assists, 27 game winners, and 51 power-play goals in his nine years with the jersey. 

The Future

According to research, Huberdeau wore No. 11 for most of his adult life, including his time with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL and Team Canada at International events. It is safe to say he probably inquired about the number upon arriving in Calgary but respected the fact a senior member of the club already had his claim to it. 

That same player (Backlund) currently has two years left on his contract, but there is no guarantee that he will re-sign and finish his career with the Flames in the number. That possibility leaves the door open for Huberdeau to opt to claim the number for himself and finish the back end of his eight-year deal in No. 11. 

Numbers mean a lot to an athlete, whether an amateur or a professional. When selecting a favorite number to wear, sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. Huberdeau has embraced the number change on his new team and looks forward to the challenge of carving his name into the team’s record book alongside all the players who wore it before. 

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