There really isn’t too much to post about hockey right now; the Flames are still struggling, the Bruins are still doing well, so not much has changed. I’ve named Jarome Iginla as my favorite player in the NHL on several occasions, and I’d like to share one memory I have of him which has earned him that title from me.
On April 5, 2008, the Calgary Flames played the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver in what was the season’s final game for both teams. Jarome Iginla scored his 50th goal of the season, reaching the iconic mark for the second time in his career. He also finished the season with 98 points, which remains his personal best to this day. The Vancouver fans cheered for his success, respectfully recognizing his accomplishments. It was a great moment for Iginla in his career.
This game was also to be the last for Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden. Although he never said he was retiring, it was obvious for the entire hockey world. Linden had a great career with the Vancouver Canucks, and was arguably one of the best players to play for that franchise.
At the end of the game, the crowd gave Trevor Linden a well-deserved standing ovation. While the crowd paid homage to their hero, Jarome Iginla led the victorious Calgary Flames across the ice and shook hands with Trevor Linden. Iginla even called out the players who had already gone to the locker room, and the whole team shook hands with Linden. It was an extremely classy gesture, one that is very rarely seen in professional sports. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a move as respectful and classy as the one Iginla pulled here; this act was the epitome of his character. I’ve often heard people who aren’t Flames fans (even some Edmonton Oilers fans) say that they respect and like Iginla; when you consider an act like this, it isn’t hard to understand why.
Jarome Iginla has had a long and illustrious career in the NHL, and the only thing missing from his wide collection of trophies is a Stanley Cup ring. I sincerely hope he can win it soon with the Boston Bruins, as he’s living out a Ray Borque storyline. Of all the great Iginla memories I have, this one certainly highlights everything he was, and still is; an incredibly great player, but an even better person off the ice.