Last year when the Vancouver Canuck;'s Trevor Linden took his final skate around GM Place, it was Calgary Flames Captain Jarome Iginla who saluted the Canuck by leading his Flame team mates to shake Linden's hand, a shared minute between the two caught Linden telling Iginla that he was one of the league's top players.
It was a moment that showed the remarkable class of both players and highlighted the respect that Iginla has received from many, many of his fellow competitors in the NHL.
On Sunday night in Calgary, he once again proved that Linden was wise, as he took claim to the Flames record books on a five point night.
Iginla passed Theoren Fleury on Sunday, zooming by the 830 point mark and setting the course of his own beyond with four more points on the night.
Over the years Iginla has matured to his leadership role, the heart and soul of the franchise on most nights, the one that the rest of the team looks toward as they carve their chunk of ice out of the NHL's Western Conference.
He is by far the most valuable of Flames on the roster, known equally for his hockey talent and his good nature and dedication to growing the game and celebrating its roots. He is by definition the icon for team, which is probably why Sunday night's success probably wasn't as big an item for him as it should rightfully have been.
Despite the Iggy show at the Saddledome, the Flames still managed to lose the game, an 8-6 shootout at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Two valuable points surrendered and no doubt of more concern to the team's captain than his remarkable night and his climb to the top of the Flames record books.
That in a nutshell outlines his importance to the franchise, one of hockey's great talents who constantly strives to put team first, we admire his dedication to team first, but today we'll take some time to celebrate individual achievement.
Hockey fans regardless of their own personal team affiliation, will no doubt cheer on his every point from here on, hopeful that when his playing days are done, that Flames record for points will forever be topped by the name Iginla.
Calgary Herald-- Iginla sets record but Flames lose
Calgary Sun-- Leader of the pack
Globe and Mail-- Iginla sets record in ugly loss
The photo above is from the Calgary Herald website