Some expected it, other hoped that his long and wonderful career would continue. However, it has been revealed that the Calgary Flames will be holding a press conference on July 30th, to announce the retirement of Jarome Iginla from the National Hockey League.
Back in February, just a few weeks before the trade deadline, hopes were high as Iginla had begun to skate with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League just four months after undergoing hip surgery. It was good news seeing that many expected him to part of the Canadian team at the 2018 Winter Games Olympics in South Korea, but the veteran had failed to go because of his injury.
At the age of 41, Iginla is a 20-year veteran of the NHL and a lock to be nominated to the Hockey Hall of Fame upon his official retirement. A winner of the Art Ross Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, King Clancy Memorial Trophy, as well as the Maurice Richard Trophy on two occasions, Iginla’s resume speaks for itself and illustrates the vast achievements of one of the game’s greatest goal-scorers.
Unfortunately in his great career, Iginla failed to hoist the Stanley Cup, which many thought would have him stick around the league until he did. However, it now seems like a great ride is coming to an end.
Besides the Flames, Iginla also put on the colours of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings in his great career.
Here are some statements from Iginla himself from NHL.com:
"It's been a fun adventure, for my family and I. Some great cities, great people. To be back in Alberta, though, will feel like home."
"You know, there were some disappointments, losing in 2004, for example,'' he says. "Being so close, that was tough. But it was amazing, too. The way the city embraced us. The Red Mile. And each series was so close. Beating Vancouver and then Kipper standing on his head against Detroit.
"I don't know if I ever told you this story but I remember sitting on the bench near the end of Game One against Detroit, we're getting beat 5-1, you look at the strength of their team, (Brett) Hull and all those guys, and a part of me goes: 'Well, at least we made it here …'
"And somehow we pulled that series off. Then reached the final.
"For sure, it took me a while to just let it go, losing. From seven years of missing the playoffs to almost winning it. And it does still sting a little bit. I've always dreamt of being on a Stanley Cup-winning team. That always stayed with me.
"I know now that dream isn't coming true.
"But if you said when I started that I was going to play 20 years, experience what I have, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat. I did the best I could, played as hard as I could.
"And all my dreams came true, more than I ever could've imagined, except that one dream.
"It just wasn't in the cards for me."
Iginla played 20 NHL seasons, 16 with the Flames, in which he collected overall 625 goals and 1300 points in 1554 games.