In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, longtime team captain Jarome Iginla will have his fantastic career rewarded on Monday night, as he is set to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Andrew Mangiapane is also being rewarded for his great play as of late, as he confirmed this past week that he was named to Team Canada’s long list for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. While his start to the season has been great, the same cannot be said for Juuso Valimaki, who has been healthy scratched for eight straight games and recently voiced his frustration about it. Last but certainly not least, Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow continues to be an inspiration, as him and his family have now raised over $500,000 to help fund ALS research.
Iginla Set to Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame
To anybody who had the chance of watching Iginla during his time with the Flames, it was very clear that he was a Hall of Fame caliber player. On Monday night, he will have that honour, as he will be inducted alongside Kevin Lowe, Doug Wilson, Marian Hossa, Kim St-Pierre and Ken Holland.
It was a no-brainer to put Iginla into the Hall of Fame, as he had a fantastic career, and his arguably the best Calgary Flame of all time. In 1219 career games with the Flames, he scored 525 goals and 1095 points, both of which sit number one on franchise history. As if that wasn’t good enough on it’s own, he was also a tremendous leader and was the Flames captain for nine seasons.
Unfortunately for Iginla, he came extremely close to both a Stanley Cup Championship as well as a Hart Trophy, but fell just short in his quest for each. He was asked about that recently, but doesn’t seem to have any regrets.
“No, it’s sports,” Iginla answered. “I wasn’t (robbed). With the Hart Trophy, I would have loved to have won it. It’s an opinion. When I saw how close it was, that I was tied (with winner Jose Theodore, in 2001-02), I was still thrilled to be there. What an honour.
“The Stanley Cup obviously hurt more. That was a stinger.”
Iginla came closest to winning a Cup during his time with the Flames, as he led them all the way to Game 7 of the Cup Final versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, though they ultimately fell short. Though he wasn’t able to win it all, he is highly regarded as one of the best leaders as well as one of the most dominant power forwards of all time.
Mangiapane Hopeful for Olympics
After a great performance at the World Championships for Team Canada this offseason in which he was named tournament MVP, Flames fans started discussing whether or not Mangiapane had a shot at cracking Team Canada’s roster for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It seemed like a major long shot at the time, but with how he has started out the 2021-22 season, it isn’t quite as crazy of a suggestion.
Through 15 games this season, Mangiapane has been red hot with 10 goals and 12 points. This past Wednesday, the 25-year-old confirmed to reporters that he was named to Team Canada’s long list recently, and made it clear his goal is to make the team.
“Obviously, my goal is to make the team,” Mangiapane said. “Maybe I’m a dark horse … There are some pretty good players and options they can go with there. But I’m just trying to go out every game and play my game and play hard, and, maybe a long shot, maybe I make the team.”
What a story it would be if he were able to do so. His path to the NHL hasn’t been an easy one, as he wasn’t taken until the sixth-round of the 2015 draft, and had to pay his dues in the American Hockey League before being given a shot with the Flames. He is seemingly getting better each and every day.
Valimaki Voices Frustrations
It hasn’t been the start to the season Valimaki had envisioned. After signing a two-year extension with the Flames this summer, he and many others believed he would take a step forward and earn a bigger role with the club in 2021-22. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, as he has been held out of the lineup more than he has been in it so far this season, and he spoke with a Finnish news outlet recently about how frustrated he is becoming.
“There have been so many games in recent years due to injuries that now it feels pretty stupid that I am healthy and would be able to play, but it is not given,” Valimaki explained. “I think the games went really well. I have also received feedback from many different directions that my playing looked much better than last year.”
Through the seven games he has suited up in this season, Valimaki has just one assist while averaging 15:44 in ice time. The 2017 first rounder has plenty of potential, but he has yet to play a consistent game at the NHL level.
Since being diagnosed with ALS over two years ago, Snow has been extremely inspirational as he continues to bravely fight on. Both he and his family have done a fantastic job at raising awareness around the terrible disease, and on Friday they hit a huge milestone, as Chris himself announced that they have officially passed their goal of raising $500,000 towards ALS research.
Snow was originally given a timeline of 6-12 months at the time he was diagnosed with ALS back in June of 2019. He never let that get to him however, and is continuing to battle on for his wife, Kelsie, and their two children. What an incredible story.
Up Next for the Flames
The Flames were able to put a halt to a three-game losing streak on Sunday night, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-0. They will now prepare for four games this upcoming week against the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and the Boston Bruins. It has been a nice bounce back season for them to this point, as they sit with an 8-3-4 record through their first 15 games.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.