Honoured Members Menu
9/16/1953 Timmins, Ontario
Atlanta's 3rd, 21st overall, in 1973
Eric Vail, the "Big Train", was born in Timmins, Ontario on September 16, 1953. Vail played his junior career with the Niagara Falls Flyers, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and the Sudbury Wolves from 1970-71 to 1972-73. His NHL career started in 1973-74 with the Atlanta Flames. However, he shared the season between the Flames and the Omaha Knights of the CHL.
The 1974-75 season marked Vail's first complete season with the Flames, where he would stay for eight years. He played for the Atlanta Flames from 1973-74 to 1979-80 and the Calgary Flames 1980-81 and 1981-82. He spent the 1981-82 season with four teams; the Calgary Flames, Oklahoma City Stars (CHL), Detroit Red Wings, and the Adirondack Red Wings (AHL).
He then finished his professional career with the Adirondack Red Wings in 1982-83. His NHL totals are 591 regular season games played, 216 goals scored, 260 assists and 476 total points. He ended up his career with 281 penalty minutes.
He was nicknamed "Big Train" by his Niagara Falls coach Paul Emms. He will be best remembered for the World Championships in Vienna, when he hit defenceman Sergei Bobinov over the head with his stick.
Transferred to Calgary after Atlanta franchise relocated, June 24th, 1980.
Awards and Trophies
Calder Memorial Trophy 1974-75