It was February 28th, 1999. I was interviewing Theo Fleury at a news conference at the Saddledome in Calgary. He had just been traded from the Flames to Colorado.
At the time, Fleury said since he was being traded, the Flames would tbe “Jarome Iginla’s team.” Iginla was 20 at the time and had only played two full seasons in the NHL. His leadership abilities were already being realized.
Sure there were stints in Pittsburgh, Boston, Colorado and Los Angeles, but the Alberta product will always be linked to the Flames. Most fans remember how important he was in Calgary’s 2004 trip to the Stanley Cup final.
On Monday there will be a news conference in Calgary, where Iginla will make his retirement official.
Iginla was a throwback. Before the evolution of the instigator, stars fought and defended themselves.
Iginla brought that style to the modern game. He could score, check and fight if needed.
He was dangerous in many forms. He’s also a player that had a style we may not see again for a long time.