Ian Watters Retires
After 4 seasons with the Flames, Canadian forward Ian Watters is retiring from hockey.
The 5’11”, 200lb skater opened his stint in Flames gear by leading the team in goals as the only club member to get to 30 between league and cup strikes during 2017-2018. He made his mark early on, putting up a 3 goal night during the Flames first ever Elite league success when he helped lead the charge on home ice against Cardiff Devils on September 10th, 2017, during an 8-4 win.
He went on to post 40 goals and 73 points in the 2018-2019 season and led the team and league lead in Cup points with 16 all while helping with the Patton Conference title. In 2019-2020 he again was the only team member with 30+ goals, finishing with 32, and again led the club in Cup points. After a year out for a pandemic pause, the 30 year old returned to post a final 48 point term. In 239 Flames starts, the Ontario native had 114 goals, including 42 on the powerplay, and 217 points.
“Time doesn’t stand still for any of us, so with every player who arrives here, we know that one day they will not return,” conceded Paul Dixon, “but for some it seems like time goes by far too fast. Ian is one of those. He had an immeasurable impact on and off the ice over the course of his stay.”
“Every single day in practice, and every single game night, he brought every bit of his ability and passion to the ice, and this club was rewarded time and again, year after year, for his dedication to that.”
“None of what he achieved was an accident, but there is an interesting irony to his success with us. 99.99% of players we get, we recruit and usually a pretty long process through agents and other means precedes getting a guy close to a contract. In Ian’s case, he sticks out in our minds because we knew nothing of him until an email directly from him, without an agent, out of the blue, arrived in an inbox asking if we might be interested in him. After taking a thorough look at him based on his message, we felt good about proceeding. By the time we signed him there was never any doubt he would be able to play at a level to help the club, but in our wildest dreams we would have never, ever thought that he would be the extremely impactful player he was. To our recollection, he is literally the only player in club history we have ever signed on this basis, and boy are we glad we didn’t dismiss the message as spam! Sometimes you just get lucky, and we really did with Ian and we will forever be so grateful that he reached out to us in that way.”
“Ian is a quality player and an even better person to have in the dressing room, and he will surely be missed. We cannot thank him enough for his contribution to this club. We are grateful for his stay in Guildford, and we wish him and Charlotte nothing but great success at home as they move fully into the next phase of their lives.”