Jarome Iginla to Set Calgary Record Tonight With 804th Game

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Jarome Iginla to Set Calgary Record Tonight With 804th Game
Icon Sports MediaWhen the Calgary Flames host the Anaheim Ducks at the Pengrowth Saddledome this evening, captain Jarome Iginla will set a new Calgary Flames record.

Tonight will be Iginla’s 804th game, passing Calgary Flame legend and recent inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Al MacInnis.
 
The St. Albert born player played his AAA Midget days for the St. Albert Raiders, but at the age of 16, was given a roster spot on the Kamloops Blazer WHL squad.  He would go on to play for the Blazers for three seasons, helping the team capture the Memorial Cup championship in the 1994-95 season where he also captured the Most Sportsmanlike Player award.
 
On July 8th 1995, the Dallas Stars made Iginla’s dream of playing in the NHL come true, as the Stars drafted him 11th overall.  That year's draft just happened to take place his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, making the day that much more memorable for the soon to be NHL star.
 
In Jarome’s last season with the Kamloops Blazers (1995-96), he achieved some incredible numbers as he scored 63 goals, assisted on 73 goals, and accumulated a point total of 137 in his final season in the WHL.
 
A sudden twist of events slightly altered Jarome Iginla’s path and the start to his NHL career, as a dispute within the Calgary Flames would bring the rookie to Calgary.

Talks between Joe Nieuwendyk and the Calgary Flames broke down as they attempted to re-sign the long time Flames forward.  The Flames decided to cut ties with Nieuwendyk, and on December 19, 1995 sent him to the Dallas Stars.  Calgary picked up Corey Millen and, the man we now call Captain, Jarome Iginla.

Over the years Iginla has become quite a force to reckoned with within the NHL.  His play on the ice has earned him number of awards such as two Maurice Richard Trophy’s (Top Goal Scorer In The NHL), the Art Ross Trophy (Top Point Scorer In The NHL), and the Lester B. Pearson Award (Most Outstanding Player Award).

He also has a gold medal playing for team Canada in the 2002 Olympics that were held in Salt Lake City.
 
As an absolute die hard Calgary Flames fan, this sports writer has seen Jarome Iginla play in his best of times and worst of times.

The most heart breaking moment watching Iggy play in his prime was in 2004 when Calgary fought through every battle to make it to the Stanley Cup finals.  The Flames and Iginla played their hearts out, left nothing behind, but came up short of a Stanley Cup championship.  I felt so many mixed emotions for the team and Iggy as they tried so hard to bring the cup home to the fans in Calgary.
 
The best games I have seen Jarome Iginla have come as of late, as his start to the 2007-08 NHL season marks the best start to a season in his career thus far.  He currently sits with 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists).  He also sits among the top of the NHL All-Star voting results for this season’s game in Atlanta during the last weekend of January.

Tonight the Flames organization and their fans will give credit where credit is due to number 12, the captain.  There isn’t a doubt in my mind that there will not be an filled seat in the Dome as all 19,200 fans will be on their feet applauding one of the greatest players to ever lace up the skates—not just within the Flames locker room, but within the NHL.  
 
Congratulations, Jarome Iginla. Here's to many more games as the Calgary Flames captain. 
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