Sports Magazine

Blog : Elvis Has Just Entered the Building

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
So, about two days removed from the Iginla trade I can now relax and try to tell it like it is. But first, a disclaimer, if you don't mind.
This writer has been a fan of Jarome Iginla for almost 13 years. Many other players he loved retired having never worn the jersey of his favorite team(s). There was Peter Forsberg, Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy, Vyascheslav Kozlov and Theoren Fleury. This will most certainly be also the case with Teemu Selanne. Sure, there were the Sundins, the Lemieuxes, then came the Malkins, the Marc-Andre Fleurys, the Kulemins and Lupuls but somehow, the ones that never wore the black and gold or the blue and white were always quietly preferred. Perhaps it was a case of the grass being greener. Perhaps this is why, even as a rental, Iginla coming to Pittsburgh has me remembering my hockey roots.
He isn't Elvis, nor does he crave the spotlight, but either way, Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla is a Pittsburgh Penguin and you've got to be thrilled about it.
Having served as captain of the Calgary Flames for 9 seasons, Jarome Iginla was put in every position possible. He played on teams that competed for the Stanley Cup and he played for teams that never made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs. He played with great players, mediocre players and even poor hockey players. The way he played never changed.
An all around hockey good guy and one of the classiest players there ever was, Iginla isn't shy about dropping the gloves and doing everything possible to win hockey games. With a surname meaning “Big tree” in Yoruban (Nigerian), the native language of his father, it seems only fitting. Remarkably consistent, he's one of seven players in NHL history to score 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons. A six-time All Star, he is the Flames' all-time leader in goals, points, and games played, trailing only Al MacInns when it comes to assists. Then again, Jarome hardly trails any player when it comes to charity work, a true measure of a human being.
This three time Olympian played on a team with Brenden Morrow and he passed the puck to Sidney Crosby. The puck the led to Canada's home ice overtime gold medal victory against the States, his second gold medal. Salt Lake City (2002) provided the first, Mario Lemiux then wearing the C. Then again, it was back in Calgary where he won two Rocket Richard Trophies and an Art Ross. It was in Calgary, behind his own net, where he fought Vincent Lecavalier in what remains the model for hockey fights. More than anything, Iginla leads. For a long time, he led the Calgary Flames.
From "I don't think we're having a deal" to “Well, maybe it's back on” then back to “I don't think we're getting a deal”.
A deal was made. In the end, it was the Penguins that came out on top. It was, most likely, Jarome's call. Amidst the Bruins controversy, it's what makes it more enjoyable.
Iginla's 16-year career in Calgary ended when he was sent to the Penguins in exchange for Pittsburgh's 2013 first round pick and college prospects Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski. The fans and the media crucified Jay Feaster for the trade, as though Iginla's wishes didn't matter. He wanted to come to Pittsburgh, the Flames obliged. Faster making the wrong move will probably never be in question. Boston's package was better. But then again, trading a symbol of the community and a player who, for all intents and purposes, was the Calgary Flames, hardly ever feels like the right move.
Like former Canadian and future Penguin teammate, Brenden Morrow, Jarome is desperately hungry for the Stanley Cup. At 35, the clock is becoming a mortal enemy, bleeding sand like the rest of us. The loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 is one wound he can close this season. Because, to this gentleman of hockey, being cheated from winning the Hart never mattered.
Subjective, but telling it like it is always is. Beauty, as they say, lies in the eyes of the beholder. To this writer, the beauty of hockey is still epitomized in two vintage names - Teemu Selanne and Jarome Iginla. One of them now plays for the black and gold in what can only be described as a hockey watcher's victory. He finally has his cap era dream team. On the other hand, Ray Shero has wisdom of a GM that was able to put it together.

"It's a nice team on paper. That doesn't mean anything."
As for the Calgary Flames, I guess you could say that Elvis has just left the building.
Mislav Jantoljak
Attached Images
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