Jarome Iginla: A Flame for Life
Jarome Iginla came home tonight.
After playing with the Flaming C emblazoned on his chest for 16 years, Igina walked down the visitor’s tunnel tonight and led his new team, the Boston Bruins, onto the Saddledome Ice.
It was a surreal moment to say the least.
This was the send off fans deserved and the send off the Iggy earned.
He led the Bruins onto the ice. He participated in the ceremonial face-off with new Flames Captain Mark Giordano. Then, a minute long tribute played on the Jumbotron. This was followed by one of the longest standing ovations I have ever seen. Iggy waived to the crowd numerous times, trying to keep his emotions in check while 19,000 fans chanted his name and cheered him on. You could tell he didn’t know how to react. And then, to boot, he gets named the third star of the game and does a couple laps of the ice. He tried to head down the tunnel but his teammates pushed him back out on the ice for a third lap all the while being serenaded by the fans.
If there was any question as to what kind of reaction he would receive upon his return, I think we have our answer.
There may have been some who were booing him because of how it ended. To refresh everyone’s memory, he told Feaster he would play for four teams – Chicago, LA, Boston, Pittsburgh – but then later vetoed a trade to Boston to go to Pittsburgh. Some say he forced Feasters hands, but I think he earned it. He had a “no trade” clause in his contract meaning he had the right to veto any move at any time. He gave four teams that he said he would accept a trade to, but at the same time if he says that he will only get traded to the Pens, than it doesn’t give the Flames much leverage in negotiations. Wouldn’t be the first time people used the media to stir up some trade offers.
Either way, he is no longer playing for the Flames. It’s for the best. He’s earned a chance to play for a contender and the Flames were in need of a new direction.
We, as fans, deserved a chance to say good-bye to the team’s all time leader in goals, points, and games played.
That might be the only time a player not wearing a Flames jersey does three laps of the Saddledome ice after a game and gets cheered louder than any Calgary player ever has or ever will. That was just so cool to see.
Go Bruins Go.