This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.
1. Jarome Iginla – 765 Votes
2. Lanny McDonald – 552 Votes
3. Other – 349 Votes
Jarome Iginla played his last game with the Calgary Flames on March 26, 2013, but “Iggy” will likely be associated with that franchise for the rest of his career. While he never managed to win a Stanley Cup with the Flames like mustachioed icon Lanny McDonald did, he did just about everything else for the franchise.
Games Played: 1,219
Game-winning goals: 83
(He’s second all-time in franchise assists to McDonald.)
While pleading with fans to exalt Iginla upon his return with the Boston Bruins in 2013, the Calgary Herald made the greatest Flames player ever argument succinctly:
Choosing a ‘greatest’ anything is, naturally, a precarious exercise. Everyone who follows the big team in this town has a favourite player from over the years, places differing weights on criteria determining impact and influence, idealizes whatever era he or she was most emotionally invested in the fate of the Flames.
But as someone who has chronicled his rise from the beginning, Iginla, more than anyone else, stands up to scrutiny in every meaningful department: Longevity. Durability. Star shine. Production. Image.
For some Flames fans, there’s the lingering “What if?” of that Martin Gelinas no-goal from Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, but no one needs computer animations or multiple camera angles with this one. Iginla is clearly the Flames’ greatest player.