Calgary Flames great to have number retired

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Calgary Flames are retiring Jarome Iginla’s #12 jersey on Saturday, March 2 in a ceremony prior to their game versus the Minnesota Wild.

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

“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. To have them there, and friends, alumni and of course with the fans will really make the day special.”

Iginla played 20 NHL seasons, registering 625 goals, 675 assists, 1,300 points and 1,040 penalty minutes in 1,554 games.

READ MORE: Flames legend Jarome Iginla closes book on storied career

But few players have made an impact on one franchise the way Iginla did for 16 seasons in Calgary.

Only two players’ jerseys have been retired. Mike Vernon’s #30 and Lanny McDonald’s #9.

Two other players, Joe Nieuwendyk and Al MacInnis have been recognized as part of the ‘Forever a Flame’ program.

Iginla scored 525 goals and had 570 assists as a Flame from 1996 to 2013.

READ MORE: Big Read: How Iginla became the beating heart of Calgary

The six-time all-star is the franchise leader in goals, points (1,095), games played (1,219) and game-winning goals (83).

Iginla was dealt to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline in 2013, signed with Boston the following season and capped his career with Colorado and L.A.

He guided Calgary to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004, his first season as captain, when it dropped a seven-game series to the Tampa Bay Lightning and led all scorers that post-season with 22 points in 26 outings, including 13 goals.

The Dallas Stars drafted Iginla 11th overall in 1995 and traded him to Calgary that December along with fellow forward Corey Millen for centre Joe Nieuwendyk.

READ MORE: Jarome Iginla bids farewell to NHL after 20 seasons

Iginla made his NHL debut in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs, collecting a goal and an assist in two games. He scored his first regular-season goal on Oct. 5, 1996, and played all 82 games that season to finish runner-up to New York Islanders defenceman Bryan Berard in Calder Trophy voting for top rookie honours.

Internationally, he will be remembered for his pass that set up Sidney Crosby’s Olympic overtime winner in the gold-medal game against the U.S. in Vancouver in 2010.

Iginla, a three-time Olympian, also won Olympic gold in 2002 and captured titles with Canada at the world championship (1997), World Cup (2004) and world junior championship (1996).

In a statement, club president Ken King said, “We are all so proud of Jarome, a gentleman and extraordinary player. On behalf of the Flames ownership and the organization, we congratulate Jarome on an amazing career.

“For 16 years Jarome was the centerpiece of our Flames culture. He set the standard and established a legacy that will be cherished for years to come. He conducted himself with grace, humility and dignity matched with fierceness and passion in his play”.

“We are honoured to have his number twelve retired and proudly displayed in the Scotiabank Saddledome rafters to be celebrated with Flames fans for all-time.”

— With files from the Canadian Press

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