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Photo Credit: Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press

The top 5 Jarome Iginla moments

Flames fans have enjoyed an incredible season thus far and it sets up for the team’s best chance for a deep playoff run since 2004. And yet, when all is said and done, Saturday, March 2 might be the most memorable night of the year, and it’ll have nothing to do with the team’s on-ice exploits.

Jarome Iginla’s jersey gets retired Saturday night and I’ve got my top five Iggy moments right here.

5. THE BOSTON RETURN

We all got duped on Iginla’s initial trade destination and he was on a different team when he made his first of seven appearances at the Saddledome as a visitor. The night was Dec. 10, 2013 and Iginla was about two months into his career with the team we all thought he was going to a few months prior. The game happened and the Bruins beat an outmatched Flames team 2-1, but that was all immaterial.

Instead it was all about before and after. Despite not recording a point, Iginla was named the third star and the result was the awesome moment above. Prior to the game, no one cared about anything other than chanting “Iggy, Iggy, Iggy”. Oh, and we got the ridiculous Dancing Iginla song, which completed a pretty perfect night.

4. THE TRADE

March 27, 2013 was a surreal night for most Flames fans. Does anyone even remember who Calgary played, let alone the score or how the game went? When Iginla was announced as a healthy scratch an hour before puck drop, you’re excused from answering “no” to all of the above. To refresh, the Flames played one of their best games of the season, Mike Cammalleri scored twice, and they beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. But that was all just the undercard for the main event later on.

It was after 11:30 p.m. Calgary time when general manager Jay Feaster finally hit the podium and shocked many with the revelation Iginla had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Remember, we all thought he was destined for Boston originally, so Pittsburgh was a WWE-style swerve.

Unfortunately, the return for Iginla was underwhelming at the time and is even more so six years later. Ben Hanowski played his only 16 NHL games with the Flames, while Kenny Agostino played 10 of his 67 with Calgary. Finally, first round pick Morgan Klimchuk is still stuck on one NHL appearance and is no longer with the organization.

3. THE MILESTONES

I’ve exercised a little creative license to make sure we get this down to a tidy “top five” list, so come at me bro. Iginla hit a pair of milestones in a span of less than a year, so I thought it would be okay to combine. We’ll start with the one above, as Iginla’s 1,000th career point ended up being the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. It was vintage Iginla and kept the team’s slim playoff hopes alive a little longer.

Less than a year later, on Jan. 7, 2012, Iginla would become the 42nd player in NHL history to reach 500 career goals in a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. I’ll remember two things vividly from that night. First, how Peter Maher made Iginla’s 500th sound like a million bucks despite it being a complete laugher on Niklas Backstrom; hell, I didn’t even know if he scored it, but that’s why Maher is in the Hall of Fame!

Second, the timing of the game was memorable, too. Calgary’s home win over Minnesota came after one of the most demoralizing losses of Iginla’s career; just two nights earlier the Flames were embarrassed 9-0 in Boston. Iginla’s 500th helped heal those wounds pretty quickly.

2. THE OLYMPICS

Yeah Sidney Crosby scored perhaps the most famous goal in Canadian/Olympic hockey history… but that pass from Iginla, though. Like, go watch that thing! He’s got Ryan Suter all over him and still has the presence of mind to feed Crosby on the backhand. No wonder Ryan Miller was completely surprised by Crosby’s shot… how did the puck even get on his stick?!?

But 2010 wasn’t Iginla’s only resounding Gold Medal Game performance. Eight years prior, Iginla scored twice and added an assist in Canada’s 5-2 win over the United States in Salt Lake City. Iginla’s first period goal gave Canada their first lead, while his third period marker extended that lead to two for the first time. I know the guy never won a Stanley Cup, but man, he sure knew how to show up when it mattered most.

1. THE 2004 RUN

So, I’ve included “The Shift” from game five of the Stanley Cup Finals as the video piece here, but Iginla’s 2004 playoff performance was so much more than one shift, game, or series. Think of all this guy did to get Calgary within a couple shots of a 16th postseason win. When you start to reflect, it goes down as one of the most legendary individual playoff performances I can remember.

He fought Matthias Ohlund, Derian Hatcher, and Vincent Lecavalier. He had “The Shift” against the Lightning. What about two goals against the Canucks in game seven? He was the face of the team that put together one of the most stunning runs to game seven of a Cup Final in recent memory. That has to be number one.

  • Alberta Ice

    The assist on the golden goal was astoundingly awesome. Thanks for all the memories Jarome for Calgary and for Canada. A class act and an extremely gifted hockey player. So glad he will be honored Saturday night and get the recognition so deserved.

  • redwhiteblack

    That clip reminds me of how 2004 was so awesome. We were one win away. It felt like it was happening.
    Getting the cup now, the year Iggy is honored, would be so incredible. This team is better than the 2004 team was. Hoping for good Karma.

    • freethe flames

      Yup; if we had a PFWD like him on this team I think we it would put us over the top. Imagine if he had played with a squad as talented as this. Instead of playing of playing with swoopy.

  • Jobu

    When Nieuwnedyk left we got Jarome Iginla. When Iginla left, we got shafted. Thanks Feaster, you dunce…

    Can you imagine how much better our squad would look like if we had a decent return?

    • Baalzamon

      I don’t know that it would, actually. If the Flames had received a better return for Iginla they probably wouldn’t have been bad enough to draft Tkachuk.

        • Baalzamon

          That’s a long time to be in the minors. I think maybe you’re forgetting how long ago that trade was. You know who was in the minors that whole time? Klimchuk. He uh… wasn’t a good return.

          Basically, if the return didn’t make an impact between 2013 – 2016… it wasn’t a good return.

          Unless you’re suggesting the Flames should have traded Iginla for a draft pick two or three years in the future… which, why? And really, is that a better return than they actually received? Remember, Klimchuk was originally a first round pick. So you’re suggesting that, instead of a first round pick, the Flames should have received… a first round pick.

          Do you see the problem?

          • Baalzamon

            I do realize I’m being a mite unfair to the hypothetical Klimchuk alternative here (after all, that’s how long Dube has been cooking). But how different would this Flames team be if they had drafted a Dube in 2013, really? Basically it would mean they’d have another Bennett and maybe no Neal. Which… I mean that’s a better team, I guess, but how much better really?

            And if the Flames had this older Bennett, would they have made the trade for Lindholm? So would they even be better?

          • Jobu

            If we had the same return we got for the Nieuwendyk deal as we did on the Iginla deal you would absolutely be certain that wed be a better team. I’m mean were talking about a franchise record setting hall of famer who carried the team single handedly on his shoulders for almost a decade.

            Tkachuk is a good player, but he’s no Jarome Iginla.

          • Baalzamon

            If we had the same return we got for the Nieuwendyk deal as we did on the Iginla deal you would absolutely be certain that wed be a better team.

            Actually no, you can’t. A lot of things happened between that trade and now, and almost all of them would have been completely different if the return from that trade had been Iginla-esque.

            Iginla was in the WHL his first year in the organization. So okay, cool, they still get Monahan. But the following year, Iginla was a 50 point scorer. Do you think the Flames in 2014 with another 50 point forward would have finished 4th from last? So no Bennett. Who knows who the Flames would have gotten instead? Maybe it’s Pastrnak or Larkin. Or maybe it’s Honka or Milano.

            That means the Flames would have been a better team in 2015 too… which means no Hamilton. And therefore, no Hanifin/Lindholm today. So the Flames would still have Ferland (or maybe they would have traded him for a defenseman). Maybe at some point they would have traded the young, promising prospect named Gaudreau for a goalie or some rental to improve their chances at a deep playoff run.

            Do you see what I’m getting at? Getting a better player then doesn’t guarantee they would be a better team now, because everything would have gone differently. It’s far more likely that they would be entering the mediocrity phase before a rebuild at this point than contending. Sure, Tkachuk isn’t Iginla… but Tkachuk is on a better team than Iginla ever played on. A great player doesn’t guarantee a great team.

            Just ask McDavid.

          • Jobu

            And getting 1 better player doesn’t necessarily mean you finish higher in the standings either. Maybe that better return was a stud goaltender – they dont start to come into form until their 25 anyway.

            Jobu is making a wild claim that our team would have been better off. Maybe it would have been and maybe it wouldn’t. Neither you nor I can prove each other wrong.

            The real point Jobu is trying to make is that Feaster sucked, and that trade brought us nothing.

    • Albertabeef

      Mony came in the next year so you could consider him Iggy’s replacement. Feaster got what he could out of that trade. It’s not entirely his fault those late round draft picks didn’t turn out. They both looked like decent picks for the spots they were taken. But technically Mony has replaced Iggy, stats wise.

      I’ve been tracking year by year totals and Mony is 13 points behind(with 18 to play) where Iggy was at after the same amount of seasons played(6). But then Johnny is currently 103 points ahead of Iggy’s five seasons totals with 18 games still left. Chucky is 20 points ahead of Iggy after 3 seasons. Benny is 84 points back of year four career totals lol. At least Benny has more points than Gio. Backs, Brodie, and Ferland after their fourth seasons.

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    A fired up Iginla was truly a sight to behold. Could take over a game on sheer will alone.

    A very good guy too, humble, and an excellent captain.
    He did a lot of good things in the community, and set the tone all around.

  • Cheeky

    There’s only 1 Iggy, who took the team on his back each and every year (along with Kipper). Thanks for the memories and will be enjoying the Jersey raise…

  • Derian Hatcher

    Loved watching Iginla and I always cheered for him. Class act all the way. I forgot whose book I read (Did Iggy write a book??) the following story in and I really hope I have it accurate…

    Iginla and some other players were in Vegas after one season and over some pops the boys made a bet that if Iggy donned his own jersey and walked one lap around the hotel pool that nobody at the pool would recognize him. Some of the boys thought that someone WOULD recognize him. The bet was on and Iggy put on his own jersey and walked one lap around the pool. The closest someone came to recognizing him was the comment “That guy looks like Jerome Iginla” I always laughed at that story.

    Iggy could do everything on the ice, whatever was needed. I have had many people tell me that he was the nicest and classiest guy off the ice. Is it possible to be an Oiler fan and be so proud of Jerome because he played in Alberta? Well I am, and I also appreciate the times I got to watch him perform. What a hockey player!

  • Justthateasy

    All fine and dandy but I do remember one incident when he returned to the saddledome in his last game here. He picked a needless fight with Derek Engelland. He was trying to pick his team up but really the show was over by then.

    • SouthernFlame

      I remember that, it was a good fight and I’m pretty sure Engelland was honored by the invite. I believe he was the 1st star of the night of that game? Last game he played in the dome I believe.