HANOVER, N.H. - Former Dartmouth men’s hockey All-American and current member of the Calgary Flames Lee Stempniak ’05 became the program’s all-time leader in National Hockey League (NHL) games played Friday night in San Jose by appearing in his 553rd contest.
Stempniak, now in his eighth NHL season and his second with the Flames, passed Carey Wilson ’83 who played in 552 games over 10 seasons (1983-84 through 1992-93) with three teams.
The former Big Green captain tied Wilson’s mark on April 3 as Calgary played its provincial rivals from Edmonton with the forward registering an assist in the contest. He would set the new program standard two days later in the Bay Area, playing opposite another former Dartmouth player in the Shark’s T.J. Galiardi ’10.
Stempniak began his NHL career in 2005-06 with the first of three seasons in St. Louis with the Blues before stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes and now in Calgary. He has currently appeared in 554 career games after the Flames played Saturday night in Vancouver where Stempniak picked up another assist, the 300th point of his career (136g/164a).
To date this season, Stempniak has played in 37 contests and has seven goals and 18 assists to rank third on the team in scoring with 25 points.
In his four years in Hanover, Stempniak suited up in 135 games for Dartmouth, the second-highest total in the program’s 107-year history. His 135 points rank fourth all-time, while his 88 assists are the third-highest total for any Big Green player. Stempniak also registered 63 goals in a Dartmouth sweater, the 10th-best figure all-time.
He led the team in points and assists in each of his final three seasons in the Upper Valley and was a two-time All-America selection in 2004 (First) and 2005 (Second), becoming the first Dartmouth player in more than five decades to earn the distinction twice in a career.