In the history of the Flames franchise, 606 players have tugged a red sweater over their heads and suited up for a regular season game. Of those, 22 played just a single game for either the Calgary or Atlanta Flames. We call them One Game Wonders.
Let’s talk about another One Game Wonder, Finnish forward Tomi Maki.
Originally from scenic Helsinki, Finland, Maki played his minor hockey with hometown Jokerit and turned some heads. He was drafted by the Flames in the fourth round of the 2001 NHL Draft and he signed an entry level deal, making the trek across the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 to try his hand at the smaller ice surface and his NHL dreams.
Maki peaked in his first season in the AHL. He had 12 goals and 29 points for the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, good for fourth among forwards on the team. He was riding that momentum the following season when he was called up for NHL fill-in duty when Marcus Nilson suffered a knee injury.
Maki made his NHL debut on Dec. 12, 2006 against the Minnesota Wild. He played 10:56, playing primarily on the fourth line with Darren McCarty and Jamie Lundmark. But Brandon Prust returned from the injury reserve following the game and so Maki didn’t have a roster spot – the Flames were carrying eight defenders that year for some reason.
Maki went back to Omaha and was… fine. He had four goals and 11 points that entire season, followed by eight goals and 13 points the following season – his first AHL season he had more points than his next two combined. With no real path back to the NHL, Maki went back home in 2008.
He ended up playing 11 more seasons with his hometown team between SM-Liiga and the KHL. He became a development coach for Jokerit following his retirement in 2019. All-told, Maki’s hockey career was pretty cool: he got to play for his hometown team for years, he won international medals for Finland, and now he’s coaching.
His NHL dreams were kind of a bust, but he got to suit up for a game and got to try out North America for three seasons. All-told, that’s not a bad couple decades in hockey for him.