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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CVIII: 58-57

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A pair of defencemen are up in this edition of the countdown: Steve Konroyd and Denis Gauthier.

58. Steve Konroyd

Konroyd was born on February 10th, 1961 in Scarborough, Ontario. He was a 6'1", 195 lb. defenceman. Konroyd played two seasons for the OHA's Oshawa Generals before being drafted in the second round, 39th overall, by the Calgary Flames in 1980. Konroyd returned to Oshawa for another season after his draft year, recording 68 points and 232 penalty minutes over 59 games before joining the Flames for his first four games, scoring four penalty minutes at the start of his NHL career.

Konroyd split time between the CHL's Oklahoma City Stars and the Flames in 1981-82, but he spent most of his time with the Flames, playing 63 games for them. Over this time he scored three goals over 57 shots, added 14 assists for a total of 17 points, and recorded 78 penalty minutes. He finished a minus-6 rating while the Flames ended with a 29-34-17 record, making the playoffs but falling in three games to the Vancouver Canucks. Konroyd played all three games, recording 12 penalty minutes.

In 1982-83 Konroyd scored four goals on 80 shots, and once again had 17 points. He also had 73 penalty minutes, and improved to a plus-3 over 79 games. The Flames played to a 32-34-14 record and made it to the second round of the playoffs before falling to the Edmonton Oilers. Konroyd played in all nine of the Flames' games, scoring two goals, one assist, and 18 penalty minutes.

The 1983-84 season saw Konroyd play a career-high 80 games. Over those games he scored just one goal on 94 shots, and had 13 assists. He also played to 94 penalty minutes and a minus-8 while the Flames improved to a 34-32-14 record. The Flames once again lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round, and of their 11 games, Konroyd played in eight of them, scoring a goal, two assists, and eight penalty minutes.

In 1984-85 Konroyd scored three goals on 121 shots, and added 23 assists for one of his best offensive seasons, resulting in 26 points. He also had 73 penalty minutes, and finished a plus-12. The Flames finished at 41-27-12 but fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs. Konroyd played all four games, scoring a goal and five assists, and recording two penalty minutes.

Konroyd's best season may have been in 1985-86. In 59 games for the Flames, he scored seven goals on 111 shots and had 20 assists. He also recored 64 penalty minutes and finished a plus-20 over that timeframe before the Flames traded him, along with Rich Kromm, to the New York Islanders for John Tonelli. Konroyd added five assists, 16 penalty minutes, and increased to a plus-24 as he finished the season with the Islanders.

After leaving Calgary, Konroyd split time between the Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators over nine seasons. During that time he played 545 games, scoring 135 points and recording 477 penalty minutes.

Konroyd finished his career when he came back to the Flames as a free agent. He played one last game for them in the 1994-95 season, as well as spending 16 games playing for the IHL's Chicago Wolves that same year, before retiring.

All-Time Statline: 350 games, 18 goals, 83 assists, plus-21 rating, 386 penalty minutes, 17.37 point shares.

57. Denis Gauthier

Gauthier, a 6'3", 224 lb. defenceman, was born in Montreal, Quebec on October 1st, 1976. He played three seasons for the QMJHL's Drummondville Voltigeurs before the Flames drafted him in the first round, 20th overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Gauthier returned to the Voltigeurs for another season in 1995-96, scoring 74 points in 53 games, before joining the AHL's Saint John Flames for his first five games of professional action, as well as 16 playoff games.

Gauthier played 73 games for the AHL Flames in 1996-97. During this time he scored three goals and 28 assists for 31 points, as well as recording 74 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating. He appeared in five playoff games as well, but was held scoreless.

Gauthier spent the majority of the 1997-98 season once again playing for the AHL Flames. He played 68 games in the minors, scoring four goals, 20 assists, 154 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating. He also made the jump to the NHL, playing his first 10 games but failing to appear on the scoreboard, aside from recording 16 penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating. Gauthier played another 21 AHL playoff games this season as well, managing to rack up four assists and 83 penalty minutes.

The 1998-99 season was when Gauthier finally made the jump to the NHL. While he played 16 AHL games, he played 55 in the NHL, averaging 12:41 on the ice. He started appearing on the scoreboard, recording three goals on 40 shots, as well as four assists. Gauthier also registered 68 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. The Flames finished with a 30-40-12 record, failing to make the playoffs.

Gauthier played just 39 games for the Flames in the 1999-00 season, but his ice time jumped up to an average of 19:21. Over those 39 games he recorded just one goal (on 29 shots) and one assist. He also amassed 50 penalty minutes, and finished a minus-4. The Flames had a 31-36-10-5 record that season and, once again, did not make the playoffs.

In 2000-01 Gauthier rebounded to 62 games, this time averaging 16:37 on the ice. He scored two goals on 33 shots, and six assists gave him eight total points. He rounded out his stat line with 78 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating, helping the Flames to a 27-36-15-4 record, but again, missing the playoffs.

Gauthier played 66 games in the 2001-02 season, scoring a career-high five goals on 76 shots while averaging 19:19 on the ice. He also had eight assists for a total of 13 points, 91 penalty minutes, and a plus-9 rating. The Flames once again missed the playoffs, this time wiht a 32-35-12-3 record.

In 2002-03, Gauthier scored just one goal - this time on 50 shots - and 15 assists over 72 games. While averaging 19:52 minutes on the ice he also amassed 99 penalty minutes and finished a plus-5 while the Flames played to a 29-36-13-4 record, yet again missing the playoffs.

Gauthier's patience with the Flames would pay off in 2003-04. Despite his drop in ice time - he averaged 18:43 a game - it was a career season for him, as he scored one goal on 90 shots, added 15 assists for a total of 16 points, recorded 113 penalty minutes, and finished a plus-4. The Flames had a 42-30-7-3 record, but lost Gauthier early in their run to the Stanley Cup Final. He appeared in six games, recording an assist and four penalty minutes, before his playoffs were prematurely ended by an ACL injury.

Despite finally making the playoffs with the team he'd spent his entire career to date with, Gauthier was traded before the lockout. He and Oleg Saprykin went to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Daymond Langkow. Gauthier played 45 games for the Coyotes before he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers, whom he played with until the end of the 2006-07 season. He spent the 2007-08 season playing for the Philadelphia Phantoms in the AHL, but made an NHL comeback, playing 65 games for the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008-09 season before retiring.

All-Time Statline: 384 games, 13 goals, 45 assists, plus-15 rating, 515 penalty minutes, 17.44 point shares.

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