Personally I was sad to see Iginla leave his beloved Calgary Flames after 16 years. But the "Boston trade" was just sitting wrong with me, it didn't feel right in some way? As I was working at my computer, I overheard it was official Jarome Iginla was a Pittsburgh Penguin? What? I had to take a look.
I had just spent the entire Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche game listening to TSN talk about how Iginla was not skating with his team for the first time since April 2007. 441 games in a row Iggy had donned his #12 "C" jersey with the Flames and now it was rumoured he was being traded. The Bruins looked like they were going to get the Edmonton born hockey player. Something about it just didn't feel right. Woman's intuition, who knows but I wasn't buying it 100%. Then news came Iggy was a Pittsburgh Penguin, it was official! Now this, this trade felt right. Still sad to see Iggy leave his fans and teammates in Calgary but this trade just got very exciting.
Let's start out with why two teams like the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins wanted Iginla so badly. I bet they weren't the only two in the mix who made phone calls to Calgary. Iginla is one of those players drafted in the 1st round. The Dallas Stars picked him 11th overall in 1995. Iggy wasn't with the Stars franchise for long. In December 1995 he was traded to the Flames and the story begins. The stats for Iginla are long and so are his awards he has won!
Iggy has played 1,188 games in the NHL all with the Flames. Iggy has scored 516 goals and assisted 557 others for 1073 points. Which makes him almost a point a game player! In the Playoffs Iginla has played 54 games scoring 28 goals and assisting 21 others. Again almost a point a game! Twice Iggy has scored over 50 goals in a season. In the 2003-04 season Iginla became the Captain of the Flames and he wore the "C" well. Proving he had leadership, goal scoring ability plus Iggy is one of those old fashion Captains who has the grit to drop the gloves and stand up for his team,
Iginla has also won a slew of awards both in his juniors years as a Kamloops Blazer and in the NHL. His NHL awards just to name a few are
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy in 2002 and 2004
Art Ros Trophy in 2002
Lester B. Pearson Award in 2002
King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2004
NHL Foundation Player Award
Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2009
1) Stanley Cup (handed out annually)
2) Olympic Gold (handed out every 4 years)
3) World Cup (randomly handed out. Last time was 2004 and before that 1996)
4) World Championship (handed out annually)
5) World Junior Championship (handed out annually)
6) Memorial Cup (handed out annually)
When I was looking at Iginla's bio and trying to connect the dots for the trade to Pittsburgh a light went off.
Iginla won the Memorial Cup with the Kamloops Blazers in 1994 and 1995. Iggy won Gold at the World Juniors in 1996. Iginla was also on the World Championship team in 1997 for Canada what won Gold. In only the 2nd time the World Cup happened Iginla was on Team Canada and won Gold on 2004. Finally Iginla has been on the Canadian Olympic Gold medal winning team not once but twice. First was in Salt Lake City in 2002 and second was 2010 in Vancouver. The only one Iginla is still in search of is the Stanley Cup! This really is amazing. Now the trade makes sense. Pittsburgh is a team with skill and grit to win the cup. Jarome will have a great shot at the Cup this year!
10 years ago I was working as a Youth Worker in Calgary when I met Jerome Iginla in a bar and told him about one of my kids, Crystal, a 15 year old at risk youth, whose world revolved around him. He agreed to put some stuff together for Crystal's upcoming birthday and took my card. That was in March. Her birthday came and went and I eventually forgot about it. In August of that year, I got a phone call from him. He was driving back from the airport after an off-season in Phoenix. He had left a package with an assistant who had never dropped it off and he felt terrible. He put me on with his girlfriend, because he was driving, and we arranged to pick it up. The package was full of of extremely valuable rookie cards and pics all personally signed: To Crystal, Happy 16th, Iggy. Crystal was soooo frickin happy!
There was no press involved in this and no reason whatsoever for him to make that call. Just class. Pure class. Thanks Iggy! I can't wait to see you line up with your old pal Sid The Kid. I hope you guys make the final!
And there you have it ladies. Another reason why Jarome Iginla is the tops when it comes to Hearts of the Week and Fantasy Friday!