Iginla scores goal number 500.
January 7, 2012 11:22 PM   Subscribe

Jarome Iginla, the first black captain of an NHL hockey team, has scored his 500th career goal during a game against the Minnesota Wild.
posted by Fister Roboto (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Always felt he deserved more credit and acclaim than he got on this goal.

posted by mannequito at 11:41 PM on January 7, 2012

FWIW, the goal itself starts at around the 3 minute mark of the highlight reel in the third link. As milestone goals go, it's not much of one, but I'm sure he'll take it.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:46 PM on January 7, 2012

Good for him, he's always seemed like a class act, from my perspective as a Canucks fan. At Trevor Linden's last game before retirement (which was against Calgary), Ignila kept the Flames out on the ice after the game ended to slap the ice with their sticks, as a salute to Linden's career. (Linden is revered in Vancouver, so the fans here certainly appreciated it.)

And wow, I just learned from that Wikipedia link that his full name is Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla.
posted by good in a vacuum at 12:10 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think this is a more concise video, with more footage of the goal and Iggy-being-mobbed aspect. and less unremarkable around-the-net poking. not a euphemism
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:11 AM on January 8, 2012

Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla. But hereinafter referred to by Iggy.

He's only the 42nd player in 93 NHL seasons to achieve the feat; he's the second man in a Flames jersey to score 500 goals -- the first was the iconic Lanny McDonald, who memorably scored his 500th goal in his last ever game, winning the Stanley Cup.

Iginla was the leader behind the Flames' unlikely 2004 run to the Stanley Cup finals, when the whole city was hanging in the Dome, chillin' with Jarome. He's previously scored 1000 points (goals+assists), and he will likely become the second black hockey player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, after Grant Fuhr. Of course, Iginla is notable because he not only has the great hands of a scorer, he has some decent fists, too; he's scored at least 9 Gordie Howe hat tricks (goal, assist, fight in the same game).

He's beloved by Calgarians not only as a good player, and the team's unquestionable leader, but as a really great guy and a total class act. He's spent his entire career here, which is increasingly unusual. Iggy also donates $2000 to charity for every goal he scores, and has been most of his career, so he's over $600,000 by now. Plus the $100,000 donated on his behalf when he got to 1000 points -- I recall (but can't find a link) that the team asked him what he wanted as a gift to commemorate the milestone, and he requested the charity donation instead.

But hey, I'm just gushing like a fanboy.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Calgary Flames will be winning the Stanley Cup anytime soon; the team hasn't made the playoffs in the previous two seasons, and this one isn't looking too good either. The team has a lot of aging players with large contracts and no-trade clauses, so a big shakeup is unlikely, and the trade rumours are being denied. Iginla's been a remarkably consistent performer -- the 10th player to score 30 goals in 10 consecutive seasons -- but he's not getting any younger, and he's one of the big-money no-trade players. I hope the Flames turn things around and win the Cup for Iggy (of course, I hope that every year), but if he has to go the Ray Bourque route, I'd be okay with that, I suppose.

(By the way, here's that video of Iginla leading - in all senses of the word - the Flames in saluting Linden, that good in a vacuum mentioned. I think class acts recognize each other.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:52 AM on January 8, 2012 [22 favorites]

Someone needs to update Wikipedia.
posted by pracowity at 2:57 AM on January 8, 2012

I take the lack of comments as a good thing. I mean, what's better: to be a celebrated black athlete in a sport that seems to have a history of xenophobia, or to just be "one of the guys" when it comes to high-falutin acclaims.

Even if it's just by the MeFite community, this seems to be a bit of a non-issue. Which to me, is a bigger issue than whatever this guy has done on the ice. So, cheers to a bit of progress then.

That being said, 500 goals is nothing to scoff at. A bit of charity is also nothing to scoff at. So he gets my official double-non-scoff salute.
posted by Blue_Villain at 8:08 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Iginla he scored all 500 goals with the same team. That's a rare feat.
posted by paulschreiber at 9:30 AM on January 8, 2012

cheers to a bit of progress then

Things certainly have changed. A friend's father once declared to us kids back in the mid-1970s that there weren't any blacks (did he say "blacks"? I don't remember now, but I think he was more likely to have said "colored") in the NHL because black men's ankles are too weak for ice skating. I wonder how weak he figured the ankles were on all those black football players and boxers and track-and-field athletes?
posted by pracowity at 9:44 AM on January 8, 2012

Unfortunately, on mefi, everyone (well, every American poster) seems to think that every "black" person on the planet is American, so I never refer to Iggy as "black." He's a half-Nigerian Albertan. Saint Albertan, to be specific.

Not to hit a hornet's nest here, but "black" is used when, owing to slavery experience or just plain ignorance, you don't know the ethnicity of a person who appears to be of African (or in the UK, sometimes, South Asian as well) descent. We know that Iggy's (half) Nigerian. And we know he's not American, or God help us, "African American," as I heard him called on NBC.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2012

So does that mean I'm not allowed to call myself "white"? Because going into my own ethnicity would take more than just a few lines of text.

Again though, it's only progress once the color of one's skin isn't noticed. I'd have to say, that denoting ones heritage would be on the same side of that slippery slope, because once you've dwelved into the "Nigerians are different than St. Abertians are different than African Americans are different than X" conversation, then you've completely missed the point.
posted by Blue_Villain at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2012

So does that mean I'm not allowed to call myself "white"?

You're allowed to call yourself a fucking neonazi if that floats your boat.

Don't tell me what points I've missed. I'm proud to live in a city that's the most racially integrated in North America (yes, that would be Calgary) but I hate to see US style racialist nomenclature applied to Canadians.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 11:21 AM on January 8, 2012

I don't put a lot of stock in first-Y-of-race-X, but it may be a hook for some people. FWIW, I used "black" not out of a lack of knowledge about Iginla's ethnicity, but to include him in the larger category of hockey players who are of black African descent, whether this means their ancestry is of the commonly assumed "African-American" slavery experience, like Dustin Byfuglien, or they are of Afro-Caribbean descent, like P.K. Subban, or of modern African descent like Iggy. If we're going in depth about his ethnicity, we should surely mention his specific Yoruba, rather than the colonially-imposed Nigerian, heritage. And really, who wants to mention that Calgary's greatest sports hero comes from our arch-rival Edmonton (or at least St. Albert)?

Or maybe you describe Barack Obama as the first Kenyan-American president and leave it at that.

In any case, here's a great video of him being drafted, with his thrilled family and trademark humility.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2012

I'm trying to think of a classier individual, not only in hockey, but all of sports. Nobody comes to mind...

As a Flames fan, I'd hate to see Iginla traded away, even if it meant a better shot at a Cup for him.

But I do realise it would be a "full-circle" kind of thing as it was a similar-type trade where the Flames traded away an aging but still skilled leader from their team for a prospect that brought Iginla to the the Flames in the first place.

That trade also indirectly led to the Flames getting to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004 with Iggy as the team's new leader so maybe it's worth dealing him away if you get another prospect with the potential to lead the team for 10+ years?

(Interesting trivia - the Flames originally wanted Todd Harvey from the Stars but Dallas wouldn't part with someone who was seen as a better prospect. Harvey went on to have a relatively undistinguished career and Iggy went on to win Olympic Gold Medals, NHL Awards, set numerous team records and lead the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, all while being recognized as one of the most genuine, generous players in the game.)
posted by Jaybo at 12:16 PM on January 8, 2012

I was really glad to see Iggy finally get that goal. A highlight moment in an otherwise dismal looking season for the Flames. He's always been a class act. I would love to see the man lift the Cup, but have come to believe that for it to happen, it will be with a different team.

Homeboy Trouble - don't mean to pick on you, but Lanny's 500th goal came in March of 1989, against the Jets. His goal against the Canadiens in Game 6 of the Stanely Cup final was the same year (and undoubtely the highlight of his career, I'm sure).
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2012

On the subject of black players in hockey, a local Vancouver blogger wrote an interesting article at the start of the 2010 season - Why Are the Atlanta Thrashers Actively Acquiring Black Players?. It's a little outdated (Atlanta doesn't even have a team any more) yet still gives a decent overview of race in the NHL.
posted by mannequito at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm trying to think of a classier individual, not only in hockey, but all of sports. Nobody comes to mind...

While I understand the sentiment, it always kind of bothers me when an athlete is referred to as classy in a way that suggests that few other people in their field are. I think like in any walk of life, it's the "classless" people that are the exception. And we shouldn't forget that they're all human.

As far as the original post, it's great that so many hockey fans don't even notice race anymore, but we also shouldn't forget that minorities still have to endure a lot of hardship, particularly at the lower levels. And as that article about the Thrashers shows, race in sports is still a complicated issue.

Gay slurs no doubt still get thrown around too casually in sports, but at least more attention gets paid to it now. Things have come a long way, but there's still progress to be made.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:15 AM on January 9, 2012

Not to hit a hornet's nest here, but "black" is used when, owing to slavery experience or just plain ignorance, you don't know the ethnicity of a person who appears to be of African (or in the UK, sometimes, South Asian as well) descent.

It's fair to use "black" when what is relevant to the discussion is the guy's color and not where his parents were born. Jarome Iginla was born and raised in Canada, and he still lives there, making him maybe more Canadian than Wayne Gretzky, who moved to the US, married an American, and picked up a US passport. If people were to discriminate against Iginla, it would be for his racial appearance, not because his father is from Nigeria or his mother is from the United States.
posted by pracowity at 5:08 AM on January 9, 2012

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