The Calgary Flames will hold a press conference on Monday where longtime captain Jarome Iginla will announce his retirement.
The 41-year-old Iginla last played during the 2016-17 NHL season with the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings. He continued skating this past season while hoping to catch on with a team after his Olympic hopes were dashed due to a nagging hip injury.
While he also played with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, ultimately, Iginla will forever be linked with the Flames.
Drafted 11th overall in 1995 by the Dallas Stars, Iginla was on the move six months later after being acquired by the Flames in the Joe Nieuwendyk trade. His NHL debut actually came during the 1995-96 Stanley Cup Playoffs where he played two games. The following season he made quite the impression scoring 21 goals and recording 50 points during a rookie campaign that saw him finish as runner-up for the Calder Trophy.
Iginla’s star began to shine even brighter in Calgary over the next several seasons. He would score 52 goals and record 96 points during the 2001-02 season, which would see him win the Rocket Richard Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and the Lester Pearson Award. He lost out on a tiebreaker for the Hart Trophy that year, which was awarded to Jose Theodore.
Two seasons later, Iginla would win another Richard Trophy after scoring 41 goals and he would help the Flames reach the Cup Final, where they would fall in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would lead all players in goals scored that spring with 13 and finish with 22 points in 26 games. That final series would also see the Flames captain drop the gloves in a legendary Game 3 scrap with Vincent Lecavalier.
Two games later, Iginla had what is now known as “The Shift” in overtime of Game 5. After being abused an entire two-minute shift, a helmetless No. 12 helped set up Oleg Saprykin’s winner to give Calgary a 3-2 series lead.
That was as far as Iginla’s Flames would go in the postseason, and when it became clear the team was going through a rebuild, it was time to move on.
On March 27, 2013, Iginla was held out of a game as reports of a trade heated up. Many went to bed believing he had been dealt to the Bruins only to wake up and find out a trade had been finalized with the Penguins, his preferred destination. The two teams would meet in the Eastern Conference Final later that spring with the Bruins advancing to the Final after a sweep. Months later, Iginla-to-the-Bruins would happen for real after he signed a one-year contract.
One season in Boston led to two and a half seasons with the Avalanche before a final bow with the Kings.
“I don’t sit here now and think: ‘Man, it flew by. I wish I’d enjoyed it more,'” Iginla told George Johnson of the Flames’ website. “When I started, you have a dream about making in the NHL, how good it’s going to be and what it’s like. I enjoyed it while it was happening.”
Internationally, Iginla represented Canada in five different competitions, winning gold medals at the Olympics (twice), World Championship, World Junior Championship and World Cup of Hockey. His most famous moment wearing the maple leaf was assisting on Sidney Crosby‘s golden goal during the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Along with his many honors, which includes back-to-back Memorial Cups in junior, Iginla finishes his NHL career with 625 goals, 1,300 points, 1,554 games, 12 hat tricks, and six All-Star Game selections.
After he speaks during Monday’s press conference, the next big stage we’ll likely hear from him will be at the podium in Toronto in three years when he’s delivering his speech at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.