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My Iggy Moment: The Shift



(Hello, in light of the events of last night, I will be publishing a few of these articles about Flames fan's (or perhaps in some cases, former Flames fans) favourite Jarome Iginla moments. If you are interested in contributing to the series, please email Hayley).

For me, the defining Iggy moment wasn't his first 50 goal season, his 500th goal, his 1000th point, his contributions on the 2002, 2006 or 2010 Olympic teams – no, it was The Shift.

See, the thing with legendary moments is that you can describe them in the most generic way possible, yet the moment itself is able to be simultaneously identified with an amazing, exacting specificity. I say “The Shift” and every Flames fan on the planet immediately knows what I’m talking about.

1:32 of the best hockey of his career led to the flames having the chance to clinch the Stanley cup at home, in front of the crowds that had suffered for so long. 1:32 of having his helmet ripped off, slashed, crosschecked, held and abused. 1:32 of pure power leading to a slap shot. 1:32 of work for a single reward: the goal by Oleg Saprykin.

My friends and I would celebrate the moment by riding around the town of Canmore on our bikes for what seemed like hours with every conceivable piece of Flames memorabilia possible – flags, jerseys, horns: one kid even had a bobble head he had taped onto the handlebars of his Kona. In reality, it probably only lasted 20 or so minutes – but sometimes time has a funny way of being relative.

I choose to look at that shift as the perfect encapsulation of Jarome Iginla’s career: for so fucking long, he was the stick and the stone, the ying and the yang. Everything offensively and defensively he had the potential to be – he was.

He was everything to this team.

For 1:32 on June 3rd, 2004 – he played like it.

by Richard Hammond