The 1988–89 Calgary Flames season was the 9th NHL season in Calgary. The Flames once again dominated the regular season, capturing their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular season club, dropping only four games at home all year. In 80 games that season, the Flames finished with 54 wins, 17 losses and 9 ties for 117 points.
Calgary’s only serious challenge in the playoffs came in the first round against the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks, who finished 43 points behind the Flames, took Calgary to overtime of the seventh game of the Smyth Division semi-final before the Flames finally eliminated their Western Canadian rival. Goaltender Mike Vernon’s glove save off a Stan Smyl partial breakaway in overtime of the seventh game remains a defining moment in Flames history. Calgary would sweep the L.A Kings to win the Smythe Division title, before defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in five games to win their second Clarence S. Campbell Bowl.
The Calgary Flames would than became the only visiting team to defeat the Montreal Canadiens in the Montreal Forum to win the Stanley Cup. Al Macinns won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and at 31 points, became the first defenceman to lead the NHL in post-season scoring.
Lanny Mcdonald, the sentimental favourite to win the Cup, scored the go-ahead goal for the Flames in the clinching game, giving the Flames a lead they would not relinquish. McDonald, who scored his 500th career goal, and 1000th point during the season, announced following the season that he was retiring a champion after 16 seasons in the National Hockey League.
The off-season also featured the surprising retirement of former 50-goal scorer Hakan Loob, who announced during the season that he had chosen to return to his native Sweden so that his son could grow up in his homeland. On the flip side, however, Soviet star Sergei Pryakhin played three games with the Flames in 1988–89. Pryakhin was the first player from the Soviet national team to ever be permitted by the Soviet government to play in the NHL, helping to pave the way for the “European invasion” of the NHL that would follow.
Joe Mullen captured his second Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly conduct, while also being named an NHL First Team All-Star. Al Maninnis and Mike Vernon were named to the Second All-Star team. Four players represented the Flames at the 1989 All-Star Game: Gary Suter and Joe Nieuwendyk joined Mullen and Vernon on the Campbell Conference squad.