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Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

The Flames have retired Jarome Iginla’s #12

The Calgary Flames have officially retired Jarome Iginla’s jersey number. In a ceremony prior to Saturday’s game, the Flames raised a #12 banner to the Scotiabank Saddledome rafters.

The ceremony ran roughly an hour and was emceed by Hockey Hall of Fame honouree Peter Maher. It featured a testimonial from Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy, video tributes and gifts from Flames ownership, as well as a lengthy speech from Iginla where he thanked his family, teammates and fans for his lengthy, successful career.

It culminated with Iginla’s banner being raised between Lanny McDonald’s #9 and Mike Vernon’s #30.

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Ten other Flames players wore 12 before Iginla, we’ve bolded the most notable of them:

  1. LW Ernie Hicke [1972-73] — claimed in the 1972 expansion draft from the California Golden Seals, then was traded to the New York Islanders — 58 games, 37 points
  2. C Tom Lysiak [1973-79] — Atlanta’s 2nd overall pick in 1973, then was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks — 445 games, 431 points
  3. C Ivan Boldirev [1979-80] — acquired from Chicago (and inherited Lysiak’s number), then was traded to the Vancouver Canucks — 65 games, 52 points
  4. LW Don Lever [1980-81] — acquired from Vancouver (and inherited Boldirev’s number), switched numbers with Denis Cyr prior to the 1981-82 season — 90 games, 87 points
  5. RW Denis Cyr [1981-82] — Calgary’s 13th overall pick in 1980, originally wore 9, swapped numbers with Lever prior to 1981-82 season, then traded to Chicago in Nov. 1982 — 56 games, 24 points
  6. D Howard Walker [1982] — acquired in a trade from the Capitals, called up in Nov. 1982, went back to minors and left team as a free agent — 3 games, 0 points
  7. RW Tim Harrer [1983] — Atlanta’s 148th overall pick in 1977, called up in Feb. 1983, went back to minors and left team as a free agent — 3 games, 0 points
  8. RW Hakan Loob [1983-89] — Calgary’s 181st overall pick in 1980, left back to Sweden as a free agent — 450 games, 429 points
  9. LW Paul Fenton [1991] — acquired from Washington mid-season, then traded to Hartford in the summer — 31 games, 12 points
  10. LW Paul Kruse [1991-96] — Calgary’s 83rd overall pick in 1990,  traded to the Islanders midway through 1996-97 season — 246 games, 53 points

Iginla began his Flames tenure wearing #24 during the 1995-96 playoffs. He began wearing #12 at the beginning of Jan. 1997, roughly five weeks after Kruse’s trade to the Islanders.

By the time he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins near the end of the 2012-13 season, Iginla was the Flames’ longest-tenured player, their longest-tenured captain and the franchise leader in goals, points, power play goals, even strength goals, game-winning goals and even strength assists. (The only meaningful offensive categories he doesn’t lead are assists and power play assists, which are led by Al MacInnis.)

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Iginla finished his NHL career with over 600 goals and 1300 points, as well as two Memorial Cups and gold medals at the Olympics (twice), World Championship, World Cup and World Juniors. He will be eligible for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

  • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

    I’m glad they changed the retired number banners for this. They used to have that bland white background for the 9 & 30. These new ones look way better with the red backgrounds.

  • Chucky

    Jarome is a great representative of Calgary. I am so glad that I was privileged enough to live in the area and have tickets to watch him play. It was so great to see the fan base turn out to say thank you.

    • Chucky

      Tonight we saw why Calgary makes people from all over the world adopt it as their home town. No matter how long I live somewhere else and even though I did not grow up there it is where my heart lives.

      • Off the wall

        Same here Chucky!
        I spent over 20 years in Calgary, and still consider it home.

        Being a Flames fan, transcends borders, and although I live on beautiful Vancouver Island, I’m still a Calgary boy!

        • Chucky

          As a golfer I had to move to Vancouver Island but still cherish having to play at Crossfield because Carstairs was closed with snow on August long weekend. These aren’t real mountains that we live beside.

  • I just wanted to get something off my chest. Here goes:

    When Darryl Sutter was named coach and then put together a better than expected second half of the 2002-03 (though still missing the playoffs) with some new goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff from the Sharks, I knew in summer 2003 that the next season would be fun.

    Then the Flames revealed the new look jerseys with the black Flaming C. Iginla was captain and he led the way to snapping the long playoff drought in March 2004. Even that was a huge thrill and everything that followed that spring was gravy. Dammit they came close to winning the franchise’s second Stanley Cup and many still believe the puck crossed the line in Game Six in Calgary versus the Lightning and will say “It Was In.”

    Following that the NHL went into a lockout year and in 2005-06 Iginla, Kiprusoff and the rest won the Northwest Division so there was a new banner raised to complement the Western Conference Champions 2004 banner. As he was also general manager, Darryl Sutter he set to work on retooling the Cup-contender Flames. The 2006 playoff looked like we might have an Oiler vs Flames matchup in the playoffs but it was not to be. The Flames lost in the first round four straight years: 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. At times it seemed they were just a player or two away from recreating 2004 (and 1989) but it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll always have the feeling Darryl Sutter and scouting staff let Jarome Iginla and the fans down with a series of questionable trades and signings in those year. Other decisions might’ve made all the difference in those four playoff years.

    Nobody questioned Jarome Iginla’s heart, work ethic, nor off-ice contributions in those years. He remained the face of the team even as those first round exits from the playoffs turned into a five season drought starting in spring 2010. Sutter resigned. Players of that 2002 to 2006 era were being traded away or retired. The rebuild was on, the Stanley Cup window was closed.

    But even then it was difficult to let go of Jarome Iginla. He stayed around, he got the assist on the golden goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He was still elite and would fight and bleed for his teammate and most Flames fans wanted him to stay. Pundits and logic said it was probably now time to get the best possible value for him in a trade. That finally went through in 2013 and we watched him and cheered for him as he chased the dream of winning the Stanley Cup in other teams’ colors for a few seasons like Bruins fans who cheered on Ray Bourque as a Colorado Avalanche in 1996. Dammit, he deserved a ring.

    Now it is 2019. He has retired as an NHLer. Next stop is the Hockey Hall of Fame. He seemed grateful for the cheers and speeches on the night his jersey was raised to the rafters. Thank goodness it was a jersey retirement rather than the “Forever a Flame” nonsense shown to Al MacInnis and Joe Nieuwendyk. Their jersey numbers 2 and 25 should also be permanently retired by the Flames just like Lanny McDonald’s 9 and Mike Vernon’s 30.

    For many fans, especially the current generation under 30 years old too young to remember the 1980s, 12 will be the greatest Flame of all time and deservedly so.

    • Slight edit: because Jarome Iginla played as hard as he could, Michael Cammallerri and a few other skaters had decent seasons here and there, and Mikka Kiprusoff was pretty solid in net throughout his time as a Flame it was easy to think the team was just a player or two away from another Cup run after 2004.