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Iggy No. 1 with number 365

Iginla now Flames franchise leader in goals

Monday, 10.03.2008 / 10:42 PM / News
By Mike Board  - CF.com Digital Content Director
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Iggy No. 1 with number 365
The game, not the record, was what mattered most to Jarome Iginla.

"As far as getting the record, I'd love to but I have to be ready and focused to play the game. Hopefully good things happen," said the Calgary Flames captain.

Iginla, in fact, did set a franchise record for goals scored when he tallied his 41st of the season in the first period of Monday's game against the St. Louis Blues.

The record goal, No. 365, a marker that moved Iginla past Theo Fleury into the franchise lead for goals scored brought the hometown Saddledome crowd to its feet for a standing ovation and chants of 'Iggy, Iggy, Iggy!"

The play that made No. 12 No. 1 in Calgary came on the power play, a one-timer blasted from the slot high past a helpless Manny Legace in the first period on Monday.

Coincidentally, Iginla was using a different Easton stick than he had all season, one with a slightly different curve.

"I didn't get all of it," smiled Iginla in a television interview at the first intermission.

Standing on the cusp of the record, Iginla had no plans to change his game.

"It's not shoot, shoot, shoot. You take the play that is there," said Iginla.

"He's a great player. I think everyone is happy for him," said teammate Robyn Regehr. "It's good that he has been here this long. He is collecting milestones along the way and this is another one. It's special."

Head coach Mike Keenan, in his first season with the Flames, remembers when Iginla was acquired in a trade with Dallas for then Flames captain Joe Nieuwendyk in December, 1995.
He's a great player. I think everyone is happy for him. It's good that he has been here this long. He is collecting milestones along the way and this is another one - Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr

"I remember the trade. At that time you have no idea he is going to be that good and that consistent," said Keenan of Iginla who has scored 20 or more goals in 10 of his 11 seasons and has 41 this season.

Iginla had tied Fleury for the franchise lead three games prior. Fleury was in attendance two games ago, in anticipation of Iginla breaking his mark.

However, Fleury was not in attenance on Monday.

Instead, after the goal was scored, Fleury was shown on the Enmax Energy Board paying tribute to Iginla.

Coincidentally, Fleury assisted on the first goal Iginla scored as a professional. It was against Chicago in the playoffs, so that goal doesn't go towards the franchise record, but, in a a roundabout way Fleury helped spark Iginla's scoring prowess.

"He was one of the most talented players I have ever played with. His tenacity was right up there with anyone," said Iginla.

As a maturing player Iginla saw Fleury become the franchise goal leader and points leader with 830. "It was cool to be part of that," said Iginla

The torch now begins to pass to Iginla, who earlier this season set another milestone by becoming the all-time games played leader for the Flames.

Iginla's first  NHL goal came against Vancouver, on a two-on-one, with a feed from Cory Stillman. It's a goal Iginla will always remember, particularly considering he had not had his best training camp and had struggled to find the net.

At the time of that first goal Iginla, now a Flame for 11 seasons, never imagined being in the position of leading the franchise in goals scored.

"It was something looking down the road that I didn't even think of," said Iginla. "It's a huge honour."

Iginla also thanked the ownership of the Flames for having faith in him and keeping a Flame for so long -- and for the future. "I've enjoyed it. I want to keep going," said Iginla.

There's not a Flames fan that would want anything but for Iginla to keep on going.