NHL News & Notes: Iginla, Bjork & More

In today’s News & Notes, the Calgary Flames are going to retire Jarome Iginla’s jersey number, Anders Bjork underwent surgery that will end his season and Braden Holtby is healthy and returning to action.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Niederreiter Trade, Byron, Alzner & More

Iginla’s Number to Be Retired

The Flames are set to retire the jersey of Iginla, a former captain of the team and a legend in the franchise, on March 2 ahead of the team’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Iginla officially retired from the NHL on July 30, 2018.

“It’s humbling, a huge honour, a thrill and to be honest, a little bit surreal,” Iginla said of the jersey retirement. “I am extremely grateful to the Flames ownership and organization for bestowing this tribute on me and my family.”

Jarome Iginla
Former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla announces his retirement from the NHL, after playing 20 seasons, at a news conference in Calgary on July 30, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

“I’m looking forward to it but I don’t know what to expect or how I’ll handle my emotions. I’m obviously very excited but I think now that my kids are really into hockey and the NHL that it’s going to be so neat to share it with my family.”

When thinking of the Flames, it’s nearly impossible to not think about Iginla. When thinking about Iginla, it’s nearly impossible to not think about the Flames. Though Iginla wouldn’t end his career in Calgary, he was and will forever remain a huge part of the franchise and his jersey being retired will solidify his name in stone as one of the greatest to ever do it. Not only for the Flames or the NHL but in the history of hockey.

Iginla would finish his career with 625 goals and 1,300 points in 1,554 games. He’d add 37 goals and 68 points in 81 postseason games as well. He would score at least 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons from 2000-01 to 2011-12 and is one of 20 players to have scored 600 goals or more in the history of the NHL.

Bjork Out for Season

The Bruins will be without Bjork for the remainder of the season. The second-year forward underwent surgery on his left shoulder that carries an expected recovery time of five to six months which would put him on track to be healthy around July at the earliest.

This is the second consecutive season that Bjork saw his season end due to a shoulder surgery as his rookie season ended the same way.

Anders Bjork Bruins
Anders Bjork, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In 20 games with the Bruins this season, Bjork scored a goal and added two assists. He also scored one goal and 10 points in 13 AHL games with the Providence Bruins and was seemingly finding his groove after a bit of a slow start in the NHL.

Though Bjork’s NHL totals haven’t yet indicated that he could be a top-six contributor, the players he’s skated alongside in the Bruins’ bottom six are as much to blame for his lack of production as anything. If Bjork can get healthy and make an impact in Boston next season, it will likely have to come in a top-six role.

Holtby Returns to Action

After missing the Washington Capitals’ past two games with an eye injury, Holtby is healthy and set to start in net for the team against the New York Islanders on Friday.

“It’s not a thing that’s going to get worse,” Holtby said of the injury. “It’s just a matter of when it calms down. So now it’s good.”

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 11: Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Red Wings on December 11, 2018, at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Holtby suffered the injury when he took a high stook through his face mask courtesy of Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Cam Atkinson. He would leave that game and miss the team’s next two contests as a result.

“It was one of those things where you don’t really know what it’s going to be like in a game,” Holtby said. “There was a bit of doubt what was going to be like. It wasn’t close enough to 100 percent where it felt comfortable it was for the betterment of the team.”

This is good news for the Capitals as Pheonix Copley allowed 11 goals on 66 shots in Holtby’s absence. The Capitals are also looking to get back on track and snap their three-game losing skid.