11TH OVERALL; 1995 TO DALLAS
Jarome Iginla is a terrific player. He is a great leader on and off the ice, doing a bit of charity work on his off days and the off-season. But he didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be a terrific player. This started at a young age. Psychologists say that people turn out the way they do based on the kind of childhood they’ve lived. For example, psychopaths grew up in abusive homes. Athletes grew up in homes with supportive family and friends, given every opportunity there was. Jarome has that kind of story. This is “Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Jarome Iginla”
Jarome had a childhood like most people today have. His father was a lawyer from Nigeria. His mother Susan was a massage therapist and music teacher from Oregon. His father changed his name from Adekunle to Elvis among arriving in Canada. His last name means “big tree” in Yoruba, Elvis’ native language. After his parents divorced at the age of one, he lived with his mother and grandparents. He played catcher for the Canadian National Junior Baseball Team as a young man. He credits his grandfather for this, since without him, his parents wouldn’t be able to take him to sports on their busy schedules.
After baseball, he started to admire other black hockey players. One in particular caught his eye. Now I’m a huge Oilers fan, and I definitely see why he admired this one. Edmonton Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr was Iginla’s idol. He took the goaltender position for his first two years of playing organized hockey. After that, he realized that he wanted to score and assist. He switched to the right wing position, and became famous ever since.
I just became a fan of the NHL Draft. I watched my first draft last year, as I watched Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put on the Oilers jersey for the first time. And this year, I got to watch Nail Yakupov from the Sarnia Sting put on the Orange and Blue jersey. I know a bad deal when I see one when it comes to the draft. In 1995, the Dallas Stars took Jarome Iginla in the first round at 11th overall. This is a pretty good position to get drafted in. Take a look at Anze Kopitar of the new Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings. He was taken 11th overall in 2005. He, in my opinion, led the Kings to their first Stanley Cup championship.
“Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames — that’s just the way it goes,” Craig Conroy said Thursday, speaking in glowing terms about his close pal. “He’s just such a recognizable face for the franchise. For the city.” (Faceoff.com)
I found a website of quotes said by the one and only Jarome Iginla. I saw this quote and thought this is exactly a quote that refers to what I was talking about. Here it is:
“I love playing here. There have been some growing pains over the years, and I want to be here for the good times, and I think they’re coming; I really believe in what the ownership is doing and the commitment they’ve made and I’m very thankful for that and also with our teammates. It’s amazing who we brought in and who we have.” (MY QUOTATION BOOK). Even though he knows the Calgary Flames aren’t the best team, he wants to be there when they are. I was a Flames fan when Dion Phaneuf was on the cover of NHL 09. It sounds like a bandwagon thing, which it was. But I’ve always admired Jarome. He is a great leader and he wants to help a team that is struggling.
Cait Platt, a writer for the Fansided website, Flame For Thought, is a die-hard Calgary fan. She is a tremendous journalist and a great person to chat with. She said a few nice words about Mr. Iginla.
“In his time with Calgary, Jarome Iginla has become a landmark, much like the oil rigs, the Stampede, and the Plus 15. When you think Calgary, the first name that comes to mind is Iginla. Iginla’s legacy surpasses his time on the ice with the Flames and extends in to the community. Iginla is the whole package when it comes to looking for the perfect captain. As his career goes on, there’s been talk of relocating him to a new team, not because the Flames organization has a problem with him on the ice or in the locker room, but because they love him so much, they want him to lift the Stanley Cup, even if it’s not with the Flames. If that isn’t love of your captain, then I don’t know what is.” I think Cait put it perfectly. He is a landmark. He is really all the city has for hockey. No one else is the face of Calgary.
Craig Conroy, former Flames captain, actually relinquished his captaincy to Iginla. He said that his experience and leadership was the reason he decided to turn it over to him. I don’t blame him. Craig Button, a former Flames general manager, had a few nice words about Iginla, too.
“He doesn’t carry himself with any attitude or arrogance. He’s confident in his abilities. He’s self-assured. He’s genuine. He’s a better person than he is a player, and we all know what kind of player he is.” (JAROME IGINLA WIKI PAGE).
Here are some milestones Jarome has achieved. He recorded his 900th point on January 30th, 2010. He played in his 1,000 career game against the Florida Panthers on February 5th, 2010. He reached 500 career assists on January 11th, 2011. On March 6th, 2011, he became the 10th player in NHL history to record 10 consecutive 30 goal seasons while playing against Nashville. Some others were Jaromir Jagr, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, and Jari Kurri. He also scored his 500th career goal on January 7th, 2012 on Minnesota Wild’s Niklas Backstrom.
I’m going to throw out a few tables to show you all his awards, between the juniors, NHL, and his Flames Team awards. These are just to show you his accomplishments.
|Memorial Cup||1994, 1995|
|George Parsons Trophy||1995|
|WHL (Western First All-Star Team)||1996|
|Four Broncos Memorial Trophy||1996|
|CHL (First All-Star Team)||1996|
|NHL All-Rookie Team||1997|
|First Team All-Star||2002, 2008, 2009|
|Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy||2002, 2004|
|Art Ross Trophy||2002|
|Lester B. Pearson Award||2002|
|ESPY (Best NHL Player)||2002, 2004|
|Second Team All-Star||2004|
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy||2004|
|NHL Foundation Player Award||2004|
|Mark Messier Leadership Award||2009|
Iginla won the 3rd annual Mark Messier Leadership award, following Hall of Famers Chris Chelios and Mats Sundin. Is this a hint that Jarome is going to be a Hall of Famer? Possibly a hint, but he will be for sure.
It’s great to have team awards. It boosts confidence and helps players realize who is there to help them and who they could help. Here are the three awards Jarome has won for the Flames.
Calgary Flames Team Awards
|Molson Cup||2001-2004, 2008|
|Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award||2001, 2002|
|J.R. McCaig Award||2008|
I believe Jarome Iginla is a powerful player. He not only scores goals, but assists. He leads his team through the best and worst, and as he puts it himself, he wants to be there for the good times, which are soon to come, I’m sure. It’s been fun researching Jarome because he is such a touching player and a key player in the National Hockey League. It’s going to be a great moment when he can finally hoist the Stanley Cup, whether it’s with Calgary or not. I’m looking forward to see this.
Next up in the Beyond the ‘C’ series is Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, which gets published on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012. Thank you for stopping by and reading my piece.
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