Calgary Flames legend Jarome Iginla has officially announced his retirement and his accomplishments in hockey are canon. But the man could also throw a punch.
We all know about his pass to Sidney Crosby at the 2010 Olympics, we all know that he was jobbed out of the 2004 Hart Trophy in favor of Montreal’s Jose Theodore. So why not do something different? Ken Campbell waxed rhapsodic about ‘Iggy’ already, so I’m going to remember his career in a different way – through his fights. Strap in.
Dec. 31, 1996 vs. Dody Wood
Iginla’s rookie season with the Flames after being acquired in the Joe Nieuwendyk trade with Dallas one year prior. Wood was a tough guy that spent parts of several seasons with San Jose; Iginla would finish his rookie campaign with a very respectable 21 goals and 50 points while playing all 82 games. This was his first NHL fight.
Oct. 10, 2001 vs. Darren McCarty
The 2001-02 campaign will best be remembered as the year Canada broke its Olympic curse, winning gold over Team USA on American soil in Salt Lake City. Iginla was a key part of the offense on that Canadian squad, winning his first of two gold medals. Back in the NHL, he was showing why he was such a good teammate, taking on Detroit bruiser Darren McCarty after a dodgy hit on Marc Savard.
May 29, 2004 vs. Vincent Lecavalier
This is the legendary tilt. Two leaders showing their respective teams what they’re willing to do to win the Stanley Cup. Fighting doesn’t play a big role in the playoffs, but no one will forget this battle in the final between Iginla and Lecavalier. Tampa Bay would go on to win, but Iginla crafted an iconic moment here.
Jan. 30, 2010 vs. Sheldon Souray
Fun fact: Iginla fought six times in 2009-10, which tied for the most in a season for him (2000-01). Furthermore, half the fights were against the Edmonton Oilers, his hometown team and Calgary’s blood rival. Souray got the call in this particular bout, though naturally 2010 will be remembered for Iginla’s pass to Sidney Crosby in overtime at the Olympics, garnering him his second gold medal.
March 18, 2013 vs. Cody Eakin
Iginla’s final fight as a member of the Flames. At the time it was strange to think of him in any other uniform, but Iginla had been a trooper for so long and really, the whole hockey world just wanted him to get another shot at the Cup. He was traded to Pittsburgh, but the Penguins fell to Boston in the conference final. Ironically, the Bruins thought they had a trade in place for Iginla before he landed in Pittsburgh.
March 29, 2017 vs. Deryk Engelland
In a bit of kismet, Iginla’s final fight ever was against his old team, the Flames. Now playing for Los Angeles, the writing was on the wall as Iginla finished out his brilliant career with 27 points in 80 games, split between Colorado and the Kings. He never did win a Cup, but we all know the Hall of Fame awaits.