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Flames legend Iginla hits Hockey Hall of Fame

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Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla

He didn’t get THE ring. But he did get A ring. And for Calgary Flames legend Jarome Iginla, it is a fitting cap to a career destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Presented with his Hockey Hall of Fame ring on Friday afternoon in Toronto before the Flames/Leafs contest, the former Flames captain finally got to put on something that captures the essence of his efforts. It wasn’t the Stanley Cup ring Iginla chased for 20 NHL seasons. But the HOF honour is all encompassing – one that rewards him for his impact at the highest levels of the sport of hockey.

“Honestly, I never imagined that I would one day I would be in the Hall of Fame,” Iginla told reporters at the ring ceremony in Toronto on Friday. “You go around, you look at the plaques, you listen to the stories. To be here with the guys, it’s truly humbling and it wasn’t on the radar. It’s so neat.”

Humbling isn’t something Iginla needs. But you wouldn’t have known it from the way the now 44-year-old played on the ice. And now he’s taking his place among the greats.

Former Calgary Flames was sure-fire first-ballot Hockey Hall of Famer

“It’s hard to believe. The whole 20 years getting to play in the NHL, getting to be in the Hall of Fame, seeing a picture when I looked a little younger,” Iginla said of his plaque. “To see it beside the different players and stuff, it’s really, really cool. Reflecting back and you think of all the people, all the memories, all the players you played with and different personalities. It’s such a cool game and it’s been so fun.”

Iginla was a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer after hanging up his skates after the 2016-17 season. His entry is delayed a year because of the pandemic. Originally selected in June 2020, Iginla already has his No. 12 Calgary Flames jersey hanging from the rafters at the Saddledome.

He won gold at the world juniors, the world championships, and earned two Olympic gold medals at the international level. Iginla also has an Art Ross trophy, two Rocket Richard trophies and lost the Hart Trophy to Montreal’s Jose Theodore in a tiebreaker in 2002. He also led the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers to two Memorial Cups.

And now, one HOF ring.

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