20 years ago, Jarome Iginla made his NHL debut

In something that will no doubt make many of us feel quite old, today’s the anniversary of a pretty noteworthy event in Calgary Flames – and National Hockey League – history. Twenty years ago today, highly-touted Western Hockey League product Jarome Iginla was whisked from Kamloops (where the Blazers had just been eliminated from the post-season) to Calgary to make his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Flames’ first round series with Chicago.

Iginla was +2 with three shots on goal (and an assist), but the Flames lost the game 7-5 en route to a series sweep by the Blackhawks.

Iginla and the Flames wouldn’t return to the post-season for another eight years, when the radically-different Flames would march into the seventh game of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final (and sadly fall short). All-told, Iginla has played 1,474 regular season (and 81 playoff) games between Calgary, Pittsburgh, Boston and his current home in Colorado. He scored his 600th career goal in January.

He currently stands:

  • 21st in NHL history in games played (and 2nd among active players behind Jaromir Jagr)
  • 16th in NHL history in goals (and 2nd among active players behind Jagr)
  • 36th in NHL history in points (and 3rd among active players behind Jagr and Joe Thornton)

And it all began 20 years ago today.

    • PrairieStew

      3 years after he quits playing he will be elected on the first ballot – anything else would be a travesty. Although he is “only” 16th in all time goals – if you adjust for scoring era, using the formula at hockeyreference.com – he is 6th all time behind only Howe, Jagr, Gretzky, Selanne and Brett Hull.

  • Backburner

    22 Goals and 25 Assists this year, not bad for a 38 year old.

    I’m sure he’s got a year or two left in him.

    I still think it would be cool if he retired in Calgary.

    • SmellOfVictory

      This is true, but from what I’ve read about him recently I don’t think he’s too concerned about it at this point, so I’m okay with this fact. Still hoping he miraculously ends up on a cup-winning team, but he’s got a max of about two years for that to happen and I don’t even know if he’s going to leave Colorado.

    • PrairieStew

      What he will most definitely be is the highest scoring player in the HOF to have never played significant time with another HOF player. Think about that one a while. The only guy he played with that is or will be in the Hall is Housley ( and toward the end of his career age 34-36) .

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Now and forever my favorite hockey player of all time. Classy, classy guy, tough as nails and during his prime he absolutely dominated games. Oh what might have been with some better drafting and management…. sigh…..

  • redwhiteblack

    He was the best player in the NHL here for a few seasons. The best player in the world. If he had a better supporting cast we would have won more.

    We will probably never have another Iggy, but we do have a chance to add a very good player to our current young lineup. Maybe one of the young lads can become the best player in the world and with lots of help this time. Please accept our application for help hockey gods!!