Jarome Iginla set to announce retirement in Calgary

The Calgary Flames are likely already planning the jersey retirement ceremony for the No. 12 of Jarome Iginla, who will announce his retirement from the NHL on Monday at a press conference in the city where he spent most of his 20-season career. Iginla was the face of Flames hockey for more than a decade, leading the franchise in scoring and bringing them closer to winning the Stanley Cup than any Canadian team since 1993, and he leaves behind a legacy that goes beyond his statistical achievements.

Not that his stats aren’t impressive, with 1,300 career points and more than 1,000 of those with Calgary. Iginla was a prolific scorer during the league’s notorious dead puck era, winning the Rocket Richard trophy twice prior to the 2004 lockout and subsequent rule changes that allowed for more scoring. Despite a physical style that translated into 1,040 career penalty minutes, Iginla was well-liked and respected around the league as a good teammate and leader.

That leadership nearly paid off when Iginla was named captain of the Flames in 2003. Calgary advanced to the Stanley Cup final in his first season wearing the C, and Iginla scored a playoff-leading 13 goals, but the Flames lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. Unfortunately for Iginla, that was the closest he would ever get to lifting the Cup, as Calgary struggled to make it past the first round of the playoffs in the years following the lockout.

The Flames traded Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the deadline in 2013, and he and the Penguins were swept in the conference finals by the Boston Bruins, who then signed Iginla in the offseason. He had the final 30-goal season of his career with Boston, but the Bruins were eliminated in the second round of the 2014 playoffs, which was the last postseason action Iginla would ever see. Three disappointing seasons in Colorado and a brief stint with the Los Angeles Kings brought Iginla’s career to an end in 2017, and after a year without a contract, he’s ready to make his retirement official.

Iginla won’t retire as a Stanley Cup champion, but he is a two-time Olympic champion, winning gold medals with Canada in 2002 and 2010. He was one of the younger members of a 2002 team studded with future hall of famers like Mario Lemieux, Al MacInnis, Scott Niedermayer, Joe Nieuwendyk, Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, and Steve Yzerman, and Iginla was a leader eight years later with a team-high five goals when Canada won gold on home soil.