Iginla joins 500-goal club

Sunday, 01.08.2012 / 1:30 AM / NHL Insider
By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Jarome Iginla is the latest member of the NHL's 500-goal club.

Calgary's captain became the 42nd player in NHL history to score 500 regular-season goals when his attempted pass caromed off a pair of Minnesota players and into the net 8:33 into the third period of the Flames' game against the Wild. It proved to be the winning goal in a 3-1 victory.

Iginla came down the right wing and tried to feed a pass in front to Curtis Glencross. Instead, the puck hit Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky, deflected off the skate of backchecking center Mikko Koivu and slid past goaltender Nicklas Backstrom to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.

There was a brief pause at the Scotiabank Saddledome as fans wondered if another player had deflected the puck in the net. Shortly after, the crowd of 19,289 – including Iginla’s parents and family – erupted into a standing ovation, and every Calgary player spilled off the bench to congratulate their captain.

Iginla By the Numbers

A look at some of the statistical highlights of Jarome Iginla's career:

First game/first goal: Oct. 5, 1996 vs. Vancouver
First assist: Oct. 14, 1996 vs. New York Rangers

Most goals in a season: 52 (2001-02)
Most assists in a season: 55 (2006-07)
Most points in a season: 98 (2007-08)
50-goal seasons: 2

Longest goal-scoring streak: 6 games (2006-07)
Longest point streak: 16 games (1999-00)

Most victimized goalies: Dwayne Roloson (15), Felix Potvin (13), J-S Giguere (13), Peter Budaj (13)

Most assists on Iginla goals: Craig Conroy (85), Daymond Langkow (51), Alex Tanguay (51), Dion Phaneuf (38)

Buildings in which he has scored the most goals: Saddledome (253), Scottrade Center (18), Rogers Arena (16), Xcel Energy Center (16)

"At first I didn't know if I got it," Iginla told Hockey Night in Canada, "but Glennie was telling me I got it. It's a neat feeling. To be able to do it at home and play here as long as I have … I feel very blessed."

The unartistic milestone came only a few minutes after he rifled one of his trademark wrist shots past Backstrom from the left circle -- only to have the puck hit the crossbar.

"Along the way, I've probably scored a number of ugly ones or ones on good bounces, and that was definitely one of them," he said. "To be part of a win and to do it at home, it’s something I will never forget."

Iginla was drafted by Dallas in the first round of the 1995 NHL Draft but was traded to Calgary in December of that year and has played his entire NHL career with the Flames. He scored his first regular-season goal in his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 1996, against Vancouver.

"It's pretty neat to score your first goal in the regular season," he said. "Just to be in the NHL and be playing against the guys -- when you're younger, you go from being a fan one night and the next night you're playing against guys you looked up to and admired for so long.

"I was thrilled to get one. I was hoping for two after that."

Iginla is the 15th player to score his first 500 goals with one team -- and just the eighth 500-goal scorer to get all of his career goals with the same franchise.

"I definitely have to pinch myself," he said of reaching 500. "You watch TV and you see guys get 500 and you never really dream of it. You try and play hard and score some goals. It's hard to believe how much time has flown. I've been fortunate to be healthy and play with some great passers over the years and get some great opportunities.

"I'd like to play a lot longer. I'm loving the game and feeling good. I want to play a lot longer and be a part of a lot more winning."