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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

10 years ago today, Jarome Iginla scored his 500th NHL goal

During his time with the Calgary Flames, Jarome Iginla was one of the most feared players in the National Hockey League for many reasons.

Iginla’s one-timer was the stuff of legend and he had surprisingly soft hands for a power forward. He also had a knack for punishing his opponents with hard, clean hits and standing toe-to-toe in fights with some of the league’s heavyweights.

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Over his 1,219 games with the Flames, Iginla became the franchise’s all-time leader in both goals (525) and points (1,095). How many of those goals came off heavy slap shots from the left side or a deadly accurate wrister off the rush? Your guess is as good as ours.

10 years ago today, Jarome Iginla scored his 500th career goal. He became the 42nd NHL player to reach that milestone and just the 15th to do it with one team. (He would later go on to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Los Angeles Kings).

Iginla’s 500th goal didn’t come as a result of his trademark one-timer. He didn’t even shoot the puck into the net. It was one of the flukiest goals the future Hall of Famer would ever score — and, because of the circumstances, it’s still one of his most memorable.

On Jan. 7, 2012, the Flames played host to the Minnesota Wild at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Neither team had scored in the first two periods, but Lance Bouma scored his first NHL goal to give Calgary a 1–0 lead 2:02 into the third.

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Then, just over six minutes later, the magic happened.

Iginla took a pass from Curtis Glencross in the neutral zone and carried the puck across the blue line, being forced to the right boards by Wild defenceman Nick Schultz. He then sent a pass toward the front of the Wild net, where Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester had jumped up into the rush.

The puck never reached Bouwmeester’s stick, nor did it find its way to Glencross on the other side of the net. Instead, it bounced off the skates of Marek Zidlicky and Mikko Koivu before beating Wild goaltender (and future Flame) Niklas Backstrom.

A “milestone moment,” indeed.

Glencross would later score a goal of his own to put the Flames up 3–0. Wild forward Dany Heatley would respond with just over six minutes remaining to cut the lead to 3–1, a score that would remain until the final buzzer. Iginla’s 500th goal stood as the game-winner.

In 1,554 career games with the Flames, Penguins, Bruins, Avalanche, and Kings, Iginla scored 625 goals, 675 assists, and exactly 1,300 points.

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