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Flames Flashback: The 1989 Friendship Tour

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- In 1989, the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals embarked on a trip to Europe dubbed the Friendship Tour or the European Tour, playing against the likes of Färjestad BK, Brynäs IF, CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow, Dinamo Riga, Khimik Voskresensk, Krylya Sovetov Moscow, SKA Leningrad, Sokol Kiev, and Spartak Moscow.

The games against Soviet teams were of particular importance to the Flames as Sergei Pryakhin, who was selected by Calgary in the 12th round (252nd overall) in the 1988 NHL Draft, was the first Soviet-born player the Soviet government allowed to play in the NHL. Pryakhin ended up playing 46 games in Flames silks, posting three goals and 11 points.

The Flames preceded the Friendship Tour games with two tilts against the Czechoslovakia national team. This gave forward Jiri Hrdina, who was drafted by the Flames in the eighth round (159th overall) in the 1984 draft, a unique opportunity to play in his country despite making the leap to the NHL. Hrdina played 157 games with the Flames, scoring 36 goals and 91 points in that span.

Date City Team Team Score
September 10 Prague, Czechoslovakia Calgary Flames Czechoslovakia 2–4
September 11 Prague, Czechoslovakia Calgary Flames Czechoslovakia 1–4
September 14 Voskresensk, USSR Calgary Flames Khimik Voskresensk 4–2
September 16 Kiev, USSR Calgary Flames Sokol Kiev 5–2
September 18 Moscow, USSR Calgary Flames Krylya Sovetov Moscow 3–2 (OT)
September 20 Moscow, USSR Calgary Flames CSKA Moscow 1–2 staff found several photos from the Flames practice and game in Kiev, USSR which can be viewed HERE.

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