As a young man, Jim Peplinski found his skating legs in the centre of Ontario's hockey culture. He played his early games in the greater Ottawa area and then went south to skate with the Toronto Marlboros of the OHA. With the Marlies, Peplinski was a standout who was drafted by the Atlanta Flames in 1979.
By the time he joined the club, they had already transformed themselves into the Calgary Flames thus making Peplinski an original team member. From that point forward, the Ontario boy that became a man of Alberta, his adopted home.
Over his nine seasons with the club, he established himself as a solid and consistent performer who missed only 21 games during that time?five of which were lost so that he could play in the Calgary Olympics in 1988. During most of his career as a Flame, he was a team leader, skating alongside his co-captain and linemate, Lanny McDonald. Together, they lead the Flames through the great battles of Alberta that were waged against their provincial rival, the Edmonton Oilers.
The sad irony of Peplinski's career is that when the Flames finally won the Stanley Cup in 1989, he was scratched from the club's lineup for the final game. It was one of the toughest decisions ever made by coach Terry Crisp who was choked up at the thought of denying his team captain the final stroke of his long journey to the top.
Peplinski came back for six more games the following season before retiring to the broadcast booth where he established himself as an articulate colour analyst for the CBC. Five years later, however, at age 34, he inexplicably attempted an ill-fated comeback with the Flames that lasted only six games.