I haven't posted a hockey related blog yet. The middle of Summer seems like the perfect time to start, right?
Jarome Iginla announced his retirement this week. 1554 games, 625 goals, 1300 points, and over 1000 PIMs. 11 straight 30+ goal seasons. 2 Maurice Richard trophies, and an Art Ross, too. The Flames will surely retire #12 soon, and the Hall of Fame should be calling the Iginla household in 3 short years.
Oh yeah, he also set up Sidney Crosby for that goal that one time......
What a fantastic career. When you look at everything Iginla accomplished, there's really only one glaring omission. Unfortunately, it's the biggest one. Jarome Iginla never won the Stanley Cup. (He should have 2004, that goal was in. But that's a topic for another day). I was listening to the radio yesterday, and they were having a debate about who the greatest hockey player to never win the Stanley Cup was, and whether or not "Iggy" was now on the top of that list. It was a really interesting conversation.
There's a few candidates that really stick out in my mind. Marcel Dionne is probably his biggest competition for the dubious distinction. Dionne has over 1700 points, and he's 6th in League history for career point totals. But, he also played in a much MUCH higher scoring era than Jarome Iginla did. I think that closes the point gap significantly. That said, 6th ALL TIME in scoring....
Mats Sundin came up yesterday, too. I never thought of him, but I'd totally listen to that argument as well. As much as I despise the Maple Leafs, I always liked Sundin. He was a class act, a great hockey player, and being the all-time leading scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs carries a little bit of weight, too.
Jeremy Roenick is another one of my favourites. He had a great career but he never won the Cup. Shane Doan, Paul Kariya, the Sedins.....If you want to include goalies, I think Curtis Joseph enters the discussion. If Eric Lindros hadn't gotten hurt, he'd be a contender, too. Although, I guess you could argue that if he hadn't gotten hurt, he very probably would have won a Cup...
I'll be honest, I'm biased. My two favourite "non-Habs" in NHL history are Teemu Selanne, and Jarome Iginla. I was so happy to see Selanne get his Cup in '07, and I wanted Iginla to win one so bad that I would have been completely fine with the Bruins winning while he was there. But sadly, he didn't. And he gets my vote for the greatest player to never win a Stanley Cup. At least until Joe Thornton retires, anyways. Thornton might get the edge just based on his beard.
I hope a team brings Iginla on in an office role, and they win the Cup. When I think of that trophy and about how much you have to sacrifice to win it, the prototypical player that comes to my mind is a Jarome Iginla. Because I'm sure he'll read this, congratulations on one hell of a career, Sir. You have a fan for life in this guy.