The 20-year NHL veteran announced yesterday in a ceremony in Calgary that he is retiring from the NHL.
Drafted 11th by the Dallas Stars in 1995
Jerome Iginla never played a game with Dallas and instead was traded on December 19, 1995, to the Calgary Flames along with Corey Millen for Joe Nieuwendyk.
He went on to play 16 seasons with the Flames totaling 1,219 games, 525 goals, and 1.095 points. He threw in 161 power play goals and 83 game-winning goals for good measure.
During his best season in the NHL during the 2001/02 season Iginla won three major awards. He took the Art Ross Trophy for the most points (96), the Maurice Richard Trophy for the most goals (52), and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player.
What else did he do that year?
He tallied 35 even strength goals, 16 power play goals, and shot at a 16.7% accuracy rate. In other words, he dominated the NHL.
He went on to win the Maurice Richard Trophy again in the 2003/04 season lighting the lamp 41 times. His best offensive showing was the 2007/08 year when he had 50 goals, 48 assists.
At the start of the 2003–04 season, Iginla was named the 18th captain in Flames' franchise history, and 14th since the team moved to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980.
He was one tough dude
Iginla was never one to back down from some fisticuffs if that's what it came down to helping his team. In his 20 seasons, his totaled 1,040 penalty minutes and most who dropped the gloves with him regretted that decision.
He was one tough competitor and the game will miss him. He was respected by his teammates as well as opposing players.
He never won a Cup
Even with his illustriously long NHL career, he never hoisted the Cup, and it may be the one regret he has as he hangs 'em up. There is no real doubt that he will be Hall of Famer.
So, along with others like Shane Doan, who bumped heads with him on occasion some players just never get to experience that which all players play the game for... to win a Cup.
Still, a player of Iginla's ability doesn't come along all that frequently and it makes the fans of the NHL appreciate them when they do retire.
The consummate power forward at 6'1", 210lbs of pure muscle was almost impossible to deal with in the corners as he used his size and strength to snag the puck from opponents with what seemed like ease.
He almost was able to be reunited with the Flames last season when during the retirement ceremony yesterday, president of hockey operations Brian Burke mentioned that they nearly signed him before finally deciding to take a chance on Jaromir Jagr instead.
Too bad, Jarome would have looked great again in his Flames' jersey.
All good things must come to an end... for Iginla, he's there now.
Were you a Jerome Iginla fan? What did you like best about his NHL game? Let us know in the comments section below.