Then and Now: Tony Amonte

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The Philadelphia Flyers acquired Tony Amonte in March of 2003 from the Phoenix Coyotes, rescuing the Boston native from an underwhelming free agent situation.

In exchange for the veteran forward, Philly gave the Coyotes Guillaume Lefebvre, a third-round pick in the 2003 NHL Draft (with which they chose Tyler Redenbach), and a second-round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. The 60th overall pick eventually landed in the hands of the New York Rangers, who selected Brandon Dubinsky from the Portland Winterhawks.

In 59 games with Phoenix during the 2002-2003 regular season, Amonte accrued 36 points. In just 13 regular season games with the Flyers to finish out that season, Amonte produced seven goals and eight assists.

In his first game with the Orange and Black, Amonte registered the game-winning goal as well as an assist. After he recorded the primary assist on Keith Primeau’s go-ahead goal 59 seconds into the final period, Amonte potted the eventual game-winner a little less than 11 minutes later. Radim Vrbata beat Roman Cechmanek 68 seconds later to make Amonte’s decisive tally, while Dmitry Yushkevich put home the empty-net goal to finalize the Flyers’ 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on March 13, 2003.

Two days later Amonte had a three-assist performance in Philly’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The forward proceeded to deposit a goal in four of the Flyers’ next five games and also registered a two-goal game against Steve Shields and the Boston Bruins in a 2-2 tie on March 27, 2003.

During the Flyers’ 2003 postseason run, Amonte took part in all 13 playoff games, as he posted a goal and six assists in the process. His lone goal in the 2003 playoffs was the first goal in the Flyers-Senators Eastern Conference Semifinals’ meeting, as he opened the scoring in Philly’s 4-2 Game 1 loss to Ottawa. Amonte also registered a pair of two-assist games in the Flyers’ 4-1 Game 5 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 to the Sens.

Amonte returned to the Flyers for the 2003-2004 campaign and registered a 20-goal season, as he posted 53 points in 80 games. Although he registered several two-point games throughout that season, Amonte’s lone three-point game on March 3, 2004 against the Nashville Predators. The right winger had a goal and a pair of primary assists in Philly’s 5-2 victory. Kimmo Timonen had the primary assist on Scott Walker’s goal in the third period that ended Robert Esche’s shutout.

Similar to the 2003 postseason, Amonte took part in every single game for the Flyers’ during their lengthy 2004 postseason run. In the 18 playoff games, the winger had three goals and five helpers. His first goal was the Flyers’ second goal in their 4-2 Game 3 loss to the New Jersey Devils during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. His second opened another playoff series, as he scored the first goal in Philadelphia’s 3-1 Game 1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. His final tally was the Flyers’ lone score in Toronto’s 4-1 Game 3 victory.

This marked the end of Amonte’s time in an Orange and Black sweater, as he signed a contract with the Calgary Flames in August of 2005.

In his first season with the club, Amonte recorded 42 points in 80 games to finish fourth on the team in scoring behind Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, and Dion Phaneuf.

The Flames were upset in the 2006 playoffs, as they were eliminated by the sixth-seeded Anaheim Mighty Ducks in a seven-game Western Conference Quarterfinals. Iginla led the team with five goals in the seven-game defeat, but Amonte, Kristian Huselius, and Darren McCarty all contributed two goals in the brief postseason appearance. Amonte opened the scoring in yet another playoff series, as his second-period marker was the first tally in Calgary’s 2-1 overtime win in Game 1. His second goal of the 2006 playoffs opened the scoring in the Flames’ 3-2 Game 5 win, as he potted a short-handed tally with Andrew Ference in the sin bin during the opening stanza for charging.

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The 2006-2007 campaign marked the end of Amonte’s playing career, as he participated in 81 games for Calgary. He recorded 10 goals and 20 assists in 81 games, as the Flames reached the 2007 postseason as the eight-seed in the Western Conference.

His final goal in the NHL came in a Flames’ 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on April 7, 2007. Amonte also had an assist in the loss for a two-point performance.

As for the 2007 NHL playoffs, Calgary lost in six games to the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings. Amonte didn’t record a goal during the series, but his lone assist came on Iginla’s game-winning goal in the Flames’ 3-2 Game 3 victory.

Image courtesy of Dave Arnold and Maxpreps.com

In June of 2010, Amonte agreed to become the head coach of his alma mater, Thayer Academy, in Braintree, Massachusetts. He coached the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons for Thayer Academy and is still the head coach for the 2012-2013 season.