I’ve been watching Jarome Iginla play hockey since the days he and the Kamloops Blazers dominated the Western Hockey League and won two-straight Memorial Cups.
While watching the World Junior Hockey Championship for the first real time in 1996, he led the tournament in scoring with 12 points and helped Canada win gold.
Add World Championship gold a year later, 2002 Olympic gold in Salt Lake City (where he scored twice in the gold medal game), gold at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and Olympic gold again in Vancouver last year, and you’ll notice his resume is pretty impressive.
What an accomplishment it was Friday night, then, when he scored twice and added an assist to become the 77th player in NHL history (after Daniel Alfredsson and Alex Kovalev earlier this year) to hit the 1,000 career point mark, during the Flames’ 3-2 win in St. Louis.
If Iginla, who was drafted No. 11 overall by Dallas in 1995 (thanks again to the Stars for trading his rights to Calgary later that year), unforeseeably doesn’t return to the NHL after this season, his legacy is secure. He will officially go down as one the best to ever play the game.
The Flames’ captain since 2003, Iginla is not only known for his prowess on the ice (at least 30 goals in each of the past 10 seasons speaks for itself), but also for being one of the more genuine and polite players in the NHL. He’s well known off the ice for participating in various community projects and still donates $2,000 to charities for every goal he scores.
He was one missed call (Martin Gelinas’ infamous “no goal” in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning) away from winning the Stanley Cup in 2004. Lord Stanley’s mug remains the only major hockey trophy he hasn’t won.
Unfortunately, it’s not looking like that will change this year. And, at age 33, you have to wonder how many more shots he’ll get at the elusive title.
Regardless, he will already go down as one, if not THE greatest Calgary Flame in history. The feat of 1,000 career points just adds to his repertoire and his continuing historical imprint.
We’ve even overlooked the fact he was born in Edmonton.