Canadian power forward Jarome Iginla, who racked up a great number of personal awards and was revered as a powerful leader on the ice, today formally retired as a Calgary Flame, spending 16 of his 20 pro seasons in Calgary.
Iginla, the 11th overall pick for Dallas at the 1995 Draft, was flipped to Calgary for Joe Nieuwendyk before ever playing for the Stars, debuting for the Flames in the 1996 playoffs. Iginla quickly became a renowned player, feared adversary and fan favourite in Calgary, racking up 50 points in his first full regular season and leading the team in scoring by 1999. Iginla became captain in 2004, wearing the “C” for nine seasons, pulling his team to within one game of the Stanley Cup in 2004. Iginla left the Flames in 2013 after 16 seasons as a trade deadline acquisition in Pittsburgh, spending his final four seasons bouncing around between Boston, Colorado and Los Angeles. Iginla was a seven-time NHL All-Star, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy twice, along with an Art Ross Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, King Clancy Trophy and Messier Leadership Award, ending his career with 625 goals and 1300 points in 1554 career games.
Iginla first joined the national team at the junior level at the 1996 World Junior Championship, being named the tournament’s top forward and leading Canada to Gold. He was then promoted to the senior team for the 1997 World Championship, also capturing Gold in his only Worlds appearance. Due to his playoff successes in Calgary, Iginla would only suit up for Canada four more times – thrice at the Olympics (2002, 2006, 2010) and at the 2004 World Cup, winning Gold at all but the 2006 Games. He played an instrumental role in both his Olympic medal wins, scoring twice in the 2002 final and feeding Sidney Crosby the legendary “IGGY!” assist to capture Gold in overtime at the 2010 Vancouver Games. His 2002 victory marked the first time a black man of any nationality had won Winter Olympic Gold.
Iginla won the IHLC seven times during his career, starting at the 1996 World Juniors and ending at the 2010 Games, winning the title at every tournament played in except for the 2006 Turin Olympics. We wish Jarome and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!