If Jarome Iginla never scores another point in the NHL and the Stanley Cup eludes his grasp, has he done enough to make the Hall of Fame?
In a word, yes.
Iginla has enough individual awards and the statistical numbers to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, three years after he’s retired.
With 536 goals, Iginla ranks 31st all-time. Even if he has modest totals this season and next, he’ll pass Guy Lafleur, John Bucyk and Ron Francis into the top 25 with 560 goals. The top goal scorer not in the Hall of Fame is Dave Andreychuk, who is 14th with 640.
With 1,123 points, Iginla is 57th all-time. Another 50 points and he’s inside the top 50. The top point-getter eligible for the Hall of Fame, but not in is Andreychuk, who is 29th with 1,338 points.
It’s Iginla’s individual hardware that will easily put him over the top. He won or shared the Rocket Richard Trophy twice, won the Art Ross Trophy once, was a first-team all-star three times and a second-teamer once. In 2001-02, Iginla won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player as voted upon by the players. Voting for the Hart Trophy that season finished in a tie between Iginla and Montreal goalie Jose Theodore, but the award went to Theodore because of more first-place votes. (One voter didn’t even have Iginla on his ballot).
On the international front, Iginla has scored more Olympic goals than any NHLer since 1998 and been a big part of three Canadian teams, winning gold in 2002 and 2010.
The fact Iginla is regarded as a great leader and a multi-dimensional player combining physical power, skill and speed makes this an easy decision for the 18-member committee.
Iginla and the Flames lost in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final to Tampa Bay. Iggy’s Cup quest with Pittsburgh fell short last year.
Now 36 and in his twilight NHL seasons, Iginla has six goals and 17 points in 31 games with Boston. If the Bruins were to win the Cup this year, there’s a feeling Iginla, with a lot of hard miles on his body, would retire. If not, he’s a pending UFA next summer.
Whether he manages a Stanley Cup or not, the Hall of Fame will welcome Iginla.
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This is the third in a series of Hall Monitor blogs. Others have been on:
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN