Alongside our annual FlamesNation Prospect Rankings, which look to the future, we’re going to be spending the next few weeks looking back at the past. With that in mind, we’ve begun unveiling our first-ever FlamesNation All-Time Greatest Flames Team, featuring 23 players from yesteryear who combine – like a red-jersey-clad Voltron – to create the best possible Flames squad.
Let’s be blunt here: Jarome Iginla is the best player in the history of the Calgary Flames.
When we began putting together the All-Time Flames Team, he was the first person that came to mind. He’s the leader in basically every offensive category that matters. He’s the only player to score 500 goals and 1000 points wearing the Flaming C. He captained the team to a Stanley Cup Final appearance and served as the team’s on-ice leader longer than anybody else in franchise history.
Outside of the magical last 12 months, the most important Flames moments during this century all involve Jarome Iginla.
Iginla led the Flames in scoring for 11 consecutive seasons. He was amongst the NHL’s leading goal-scorers for the majority of his tenure in Calgary, particularly after his game took a big leap forward in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
He led the NHL in goal-scoring twice and in points once.
He was originally acquired by the Flames in December 1995, along with forward Corey Millen, in a trade with the Dallas Stars for Joe Nieuwendyk. He left the Flames in March 2013 in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski and a first round pick the Flames used to select Morgan Klimchuk.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)
- 1st in All-Time Flames Games Played (1219)
- 1st in All-Time Flames Goals (525)
- 1st in All-Time Flames Points (1095)
- 1st in All-Time Flames Game-Winning Goals (83)
- 2nd in All-Time Flames Assists (570)
- 13 consecutive seasons scoring 20+ goals (1998-99 to 2011-12)
- 11 consecutive seasons scoring 30+ goals (2000-01 to 2011-12)
- Led NHL in goal-scoring in 2001-02 and 2003-04
- Led NHL in points in 2001-02
- Longest-tenured captain in franchise history (2003-04 to 2012-13)
What can we say about Jarome Iginla? He’s the best Calgary Flames player of all-time, and second place isn’t really all that close. He managed to put up a lot of points in the clutch-and-grab era, and consistently scored goals, played a strong physical game without resorting to goonery, and maintained a reputation league-wide as a strong leader and an intense competitor. He was one of the best NHL players of his era.
He’s a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer, and that’s on the strength of his tenure with the Calgary Flames alone. Anything he does before he hangs his skates up will only serve to strengthen his resume.