Tomorrow night represents a special evening in an otherwise dull season for the rebuilding Calgary Flames when the franchise’s former captain and most important player of the last two decades returns home for the first time as a member of the Boston Bruins.
Jarome Iginla, his contract nearly up, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at last season’s NHL trade deadline. Despite having a no-trade clause, Iggy made himself available for trade under the right circumstances, because he wanted to win his first Stanley Cup last year. It didn’t quite work out in Pittsburgh, and now he finds himself a member of the 2013 Eastern Conference champs, ready to give it another go.
To better understand Iginla’s importance to the Flames’ organization, understand this: He is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (1,219), goals (525), points (1,095), even-strength goals (351), power-play goals (161), and game-winning goals (83), among holding other club records. Iginla’s club records as a member of the Calgary Flames courtesy of Hockey Reference dot com.
Iginla accomplished much with the Flames, including two 50 goal seasons, an Art Ross in 2002, Maurice Richard in 2002 and 2004, and a 2002 Lester B. Pearson award.
In 2003-04 he was part of a leadership core that carried the Flames to within one win of what would’ve become the franchise’s second Stanley Cup title, only to lose a heartbreaker to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game seven.
Simply put, Iginla is a legend in Calgary. He is one of those rare players who has captured the imagination of a city and earned a reputation that will resonate far longer than his playing days.
The Globe And Mail shares this quote from Iginla, regarding tomorrow night’s return to Calgary:
“It’s something – I knew it would be a little bit different. It’s something – I don’t know what to expect, but I kind of like surprises. I’m just going to try and enjoy it. I’m not extremely sentimental or emotional, but I expect it’ll be neat. It’s so familiar, the whole area – playing against Calgary, against Edmonton, the places where I grew up, the teams you played against for so long on a regular basis. So it is cool and I’m looking forward to it.”
Quote courtesy of The Globe And Mail. Read full article here.
More on Iginla’s return, courtesy of Twitter’s hockey people:
Jarome Iginla talked *a lot* about going back to Calgary tonight. You never would've known he scored a goal.
— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) December 9, 2013
My conversation with Jarome Iginla, on the eve of his return to Calgary as a member of the Boston Bruins: http://t.co/4V8zrjZvOJ
— Eric Duhatschek (@eduhatschek) December 9, 2013
Jarome Iginla couldn't watch homecoming for Lecavalier or Alfie as he "wants to be surprised" Tuesday in Calgary: http://t.co/mtsCCmqopF
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) December 8, 2013