Jarome Iginla will most likely forever be remembered for his time as one of the greatest players in Calgary Flames history. However, even though many people may not recall, he also spent one season as a member of the Boston Bruins near the end of his storied career. Bruins fans certainly remember.
You should be proud of yourself, the way you play the game and the positive effect you had on every team you played for, and every player you played with.Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, in a June 24 Tweet reacting to Iginla’s Hall of Fame election.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Iginla has been selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s a well-deserved honor for a player who was a fan, and teammate, favorite no matter where he played.
Making His Mark
A total of 61 of the 1,300 points Iginla amassed over the course of his 20 seasons in the NHL came when he played for the Bruins in 2013-14. He played 78 games in that 30-goal, 31-assist campaign. The 61 points he scored in the Spoked-B was his personal high from the period of the 2012-13 season — Iginla’s last as a Flame — through the final season of his career in 2016-17.
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While in Boston, Iginla played alongside center David Krejci and left wing Milan Lucic, taking the right-wing slot left open by the departure of Nathan Horton. With Iginla’s production and willingness to mix it up in the trenches, the line that led the Bruins to their Stanley Cup victory in 2011 didn’t skip a beat.
Before coming to Boston, Iginla played at least part of 16 seasons in Calgary. He wrapped up the 2012-13 campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins after an in-season trade. He signed with the Bruins as a free agent after that brief stop in Pittsburgh. After the Bruins, he joined the Colorado Avalanche for the next two seasons, as well as a majority of the 2016-17 season. He finished his career with 19 games as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
Now, two years after announcing his retirement in July 2018, Iginla has become the 58th member of the Bruins organization to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. First-ballot inductee Iginla joins Bruins legends such as Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely, Willie O’Ree, Milt Schmidt, Eddie Shore and Tiny Thompson in hockey perpetuity, to name just a handful of Boston inductees.
Iginla may have only donned the Spoked-B for a blip on the radar of his professional hockey career, but he made an indelible mark on the franchise in that time nonetheless. Chara, who has served as the Bruins’ captain since 2006, shared a special message of congratulations to his former teammate.
Former Bruins’ winger Milan Lucic, who played with Iginla in Boston and now plays for the Flames, also offered his own words of congratulations to the man who is about to become one of the Hall of Fame’s newest members.
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In fact, playing with Iginla had such an impact on Lucic that the latter agreed to waive a no-movement clause and accept a trade to the Calgary Flames after a conversation with the Flames legend. Iginla’s putting in a good word for his old stomping grounds as a fantastic hockey city was reportedly a key factor in Lucic’s decision.
What A Career
Iginla was drafted in the first round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars. However, he never played for the Stars. Dallas traded him to the Flames, and he started his NHL career in Calgary directly out of junior hockey.
Not surprisingly for any first-ballot hall-of-famer, Iginla’s NHL resume is filled with awards and accolades. According to his NHL.com player profile, he was awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, which recognizes the league’s top goal scorer, following the 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons. For the 2001-02 season, he also received the Art Ross Trophy, which is given to the NHL’s top point scorer, and the Ted Lindsay Award, which is voted on by the players and awarded to the colleague they deem to be the Most Outstanding Player.
Iginla also was selected to the NHL All-Star Game six times in his career. In addition, he put up 11 straight 30-goal seasons, beginning with the 2000-01 campaign.
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Although he never won a Stanley Cup, his Flames fell just one-win shy of that goal in 2004, as part of a playoff run in which Iginla led all other players with 13 goals scored. He also played on the Penguins team that the Bruins eliminated in a four-game sweep on Boston’s way to a Stanley Cup Final showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. After that season, Iginla chose to sign with the Bruins.
Settling in Boston
Clearly, the city of Boston made as much of an impact on Iginla and his family as he did on its hockey fans. In 2017, Iginla and his wife bought a house in Brookline, Mass., where they still live today. Iginla’s two sons are walking their father’s footsteps, playing youth hockey in the Boston area.
Iginla was a Calgary Flame, through-and-through, but he certainly made an impact everywhere he played after his time with the Flames ended. Fortunately for Bruins fans, that included one very special season in Boston.
I am a 46-year-old journalist living in the greater Pittsburgh area with my husband and two cats. I am a proud Penn State University alum. Hockey is life. Not much else needs to be said.