Jarome Iginla: The Greatest Moments and Achievements of His Career
Iginla has won just about everything at every level, except of course the Stanley Cup. Joining the Penguins gives him a great opportunity to do just that.
And while that would no doubt be the highlight of his career, Iginla has had a number of other memorable moments during the course of his hockey career.
He has great offensive talent, is a well-respected leader and a class act both on and off the ice.
With that in mind, here are some of the greatest moments of Iginla’s hockey career thus far.
Back-to-Back Memorial Cups
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Iginla had the unique experience of winning back-to-back Memorial Cups in his first two seasons with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.
The first came in 1994, when he was just 16 years old. The following season, Iginla played a much bigger role on a team that also featured the likes of Darcy Tucker and Shane Doan. Iginla had 71 points in 72 regular-season games and 18 points in 21 playoff games.
Iginla captured the George Parsons Trophy as the Memorial Cup’s most sportsmanlike player in 1995.
World Junior Gold
Iginla’s third year of junior hockey was by far his best, as he finished with 163 points in the regular season and 29 in the playoffs. While the Blazers’ bid for a third consecutive Memorial Cup came up short, Iginla was instrumental in helping Team Canada win gold at the 1996 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Iginla led a dominant Canadian squad that went undefeated to win gold for the fourth straight year. Iginla was the leading scorer in the tournament, finishing with five goals and 12 points to earn the award for best forward.
First NHL Game
Iginla is one of the few players to make their NHL debut in the playoffs.
Originally an 11th overall pick of the Dallas Stars, Iginla and Corey Millen were traded to the Calgary Flames in December of 1995 in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk.
With the Flames down 2-0 in their first-round series with the Blackhawks, Iginla was called up for the third game and recorded an assist in the loss. He scored his first goal in the next game, but the Flames were swept from the playoffs.
They wouldn’t return to the postseason for another eight years.
2002 Olympic Gold
Team Canada ended a 50-year gold medal drought at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Iginla played a crucial role in the gold medal game, notching two goals and an assist as Canada defeated the United States 5-2.
Iginla scored to give Canada a 4-2 edge with four minutes remaining and got the lone assist on Joe Sakic’s second goal of the game, which secured the win.
2002: A Season to Remember
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Iginla was one of the best players in the NHL in the early to mid-2000s. In 2002, he left his mark on what was the most successful campaign of his career.
The league leader in goals (52) and points (96), Iggy took home the Rocket Richard and Art Ross trophies. He was also awarded the Lester B. Pearson Trophy (since renamed the Ted Lindsay Trophy) as league MVP, as voted on by his fellow players. He missed out on the Hart Trophy, finishing second to Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore.
2004 Playoff Run
Despite losing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, it’s a season Calgary Flames fans will likely never forget.
Iginla took over as captain at the start of the season and led by example the rest of the way. His offensive skill and physicality were on full display as the Flames eliminated the top three seeds in the Western Conference.
He was the leading goal scorer in the playoffs with 13 goals, which included three game-winners and two shorthanded markers. He also led Calgary with 22 points, which was the third most in the playoffs.
Two particularly memorable Iginla moments came in the Cup Final. The first was his fight with Vincent Lecavalier in Game 3 and the second was the role he played in the OT-winner in Game 5, which is known simply as "The Shift."
"Iggy!" Sidney Crosby shouted as he skated toward the slot. Moments later, Sid scored the goal that gave Canada an overtime win over Team USA in the gold-medal game of the 2010 Olympics.
As he fell along the boards, Iginla set up Crosby to score one of the most memorable goals in hockey history.
What’s often forgotten is that while Jonathan Toews was Canada’s MVP and Crosby was the hero, Iginla finished with a tournament-best five goals and was tied for second on Team Canada in points with seven.
Iginla has always given his best effort when representing his country. Along with his World Junior and Olympics gold medals, he also won gold with Canada at the 1997 World Championship and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
On April 1, 2011, Jarome Iginla became just the 77th player in NHL history to record 1,000 career points, in what was his 1,103rd game.
With the Flames tied 2-2 with the St. Louis Blues late in the third period, Iginla got a partial breakaway and made no mistake, beating Jaroslav Halak stick side with a quick snap shot.
The only other Flames player to hit that mark is Lanny McDonald.
One of the great goal scorers of his generation, Iginla became the 42nd player to reach 500 career goals and the most recent to do so.
It wasn’t pretty, but on January 7, 2012 against the Minnesota Wild, Iggy threw the puck on net and got the right bounce to become just the 15th player to score 500 goals with one team.
He now sits 32nd on the all-time goals list and could pass a few more players next season. It’s only a matter of time before he reaches 600, although these milestones would have come sooner if it weren’t for the 2004-05 lockout.
Class and Consistency
You won’t find the video on this slide on any highlight reel and it doesn’t represent a milestone or other achievement.
The video shows Jarome Iginla and the rest of the Flames demonstrating their respect for an opponent on a rival team who’s just played his final NHL game.
After beating the Canucks at the end of the 2008 season, the Flames waited on the ice to shake Trevor Linden's hand. It was a simple gesture, sure, but it exemplifies the type of player Iginla is.
Finally, there are a few other notable achievements worth mentioning as Iginla moves on to the next chapter of his career.
Iggy had appeared in 441 consecutive games before being scratched Wednesday. He leaves the Flames as the team's all-time leader in goals (525), points (1,095) and games played (1,219). And he is only the seventh player to record 11 consecutive 30-plus goal seasons.
Iginla will be remembered as one of, if not the greatest player in the history of the Calgary Flames.