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Jarome Iginla’s Path To The Hockey Hall Of Fame

from Eri Duhatschek of The Athletic,

On the day that Jarome Iginla made his NHL debut for the Calgary Flames – April 21, 1996, in a playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks – Claude Vilgrain was just getting back to town after a year of playing for Herisau SC of the Swiss B League. Whenever Iginla has spoken throughout his career of the athletes that influenced him as a young boy growing up in St. Albert, Alta., he almost always names three: Grant Fuhr, Tony McKegney and Vilgrain, the handful of Black players that were forging a path to the NHL that he would eventually follow and culminated Wednesday with his selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But Vilgrain was also well aware of Iginla: How he’d been drafted in the first round by the Dallas Stars in 1995 and then had been traded later that year to the Flames. Vilgrain, who played for Canada in the 1988 Olympics and lives in Calgary, was so curious about seeing Iginla for the first time that he got off an airplane from Switzerland and went to the Saddledome so he could witness Iginla’s NHL debut.

“I wanted to be there for his first NHL game, so I bought a ticket right behind the net,” said Vilgrain. “Eddie Belfour was the Chicago goalie. I wanted to watch Iginla’s play along the boards because that was my game too – playing along the boards.”

continued (paid subscription)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jarome+iginla

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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