ICYMI; Jarome Iginla is Really, Really Good
A touch of fortune provided Jerome Iginla with his 600th career goal last night, with the puck banking off Los Angeles defenceman Jake Muzzin and in to the net to make the 38-year old the nineteenth player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
It’s hard to begrudge one of the modern games best goal scorers a bit of luck from time to time, having excelled at the games highest level for almost two decades – and then some.
Since making his debut for the Calgary Flames in 1996, Iginla has only failed to score 20 goals in a season twice: his sophomore year and the truncated 2012/2013 season, in which he split time between Calgary and Pittsburgh and still netted 14 goals in 44 games.
The Edmonton native has twice hit the 50 goal marker, with a further two forty goal campaigns to his name despite rarely having what would be termed ‘elite’ line mates.
Iginla is the second highest goal scorer among active players (three guesses whose first) and third highest active points scorer behind Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr (who is also the answer to question one, if you hadn’t figured it out by now).
All time, Iginla is likely to pass Jari Kurri (601 goals), Dino Ceccarelli (608) and ‘The Golden Jets’ Bobby Hull (610) before the year is out, with Joe Sakic’s 625 career goals under threat assuming the 6’1″ winger sees out his contract with Colorado – which it seems almost certain he will.
Dare we even suggest that Dave Andreychuk’s 640 goals might be surpassed before the summer of 2017 as well? A feat that would move Iginla in to 14th on the all time list for goals scored, and 33rd on the all time points list.
Not bad for someone who spent the best parts of his career playing in what became known as the ‘dead puck era’.
Though a Stanley Cup ring continues to allude Iginla, he seems a virtual lock to be inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame when he become eligible and will retire with two Olympic gold medals, two Memorial Cup rings, a World Championship gold, World Junior gold, World Cup gold, two Maurice Richard Trophies, an Art Ross Trophy and a Lester B. Pearson Award.
The veteran has also been recognised as one of the finest role models in the sport, winning both the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and NHL Foundation Player Award in 2004 whilst leaving last legacies everywhere he has played thanks to his work with local communities.
An almost perfect blend of elite skill and toughness, Iginla will go down as one of the finest players of the modern game.
As much as there is an amount of misty eyed nostalgia and marvel at the way Jaromir Jagr defies Old Father Time, the way in which Iginla has so consistently performed from year to year should receives its own share of appreciation, as the 11th overall pick ion 1995 enjoys the autumn of his career too.
And while Alexander Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos’ scoring exploits may now eclipse this grizzled warrior, it should never be forgotten just how deadly Iginla was during one of the most offensively restricted periods in NHL history.
Posted on January 5, 2016, in Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, Hockey Hall of Fame, NHL and tagged Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, Jarome Iginla, NHL. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.