2013-14 O-Pee-Chee – Jarome Iginla
So, here’s the thing. Jarome Iginla played for the Calgary Flames for a long time, and he was pretty good at playing hockey for them. That’s the way everyone should remember him. Tonight, their fans all got to stand up and cheer about how much they loved him, and they played an emotional video and all that stuff. It was actually kind of good.
Sure, he was drafted by Dallas (Calgary got him and Corey Millen for Joe Nieuwendyk, who was also pretty good) and now he plays in Boston, where they have a pretty good team. But most people will probably remember him playing for the Flames, and leading them to within a few inches of the Stanley Cup in 2004. The thing people might not remember is him playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins, for 13 regular season and 15 playoff games in 2012-13.
The weird twist to the Pittsburgh story is that everyone thought he’d been traded to Boston, including, in fact, the Boston Bruins (and quite possibly the Calgary Flames). But then, when the dust had settled, he was on his way to Pennsylvania to join Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Pens ended up losing to those very same Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final. Then, in the offseason, the Bruins signed Iggy as a free agent. Make sense? Not really? Well, the point is, he played for Pittsburgh for a while and I don’t think many people will remember that. Try to pay attention.
1972-73 O-Pee-Chee - Dan Bouchard
2010-11 Upper Deck - Bryan Little
Tonight, in Calgary, the Atlanta Flames are playing the Atlanta Thrashers. Well, ok, it’s the Calgary Flames against the Winnipeg Jets, but both franchises originated in Atlanta. Apparently this is the first time in NHL history that this has happened. Go Atlanta Go.
Point to ponder: which city will get an NHL team first? Atlanta, for a third time, or Hamilton? Think about it.
1999-00 Upper Deck - Grant Fuhr
I had completely forgotten that Grant Fuhr played for the Calgary Flames. Then, I came across this card, and I was reminded of something that would have been deemed unthinkable ten years earlier by those in both Edmonton and Calgary.
You may recall that this was a pretty dark era for the Flames, one they didn’t really come out of until their (almost) Cup run in 2004. The team almost left, nobody watched the games, and the on-ice product was, well, a lot like fans should expect this season. Even 1987 Grant Fuhr couldn’t have saved them, and 1999 Grant Fuhr definitely couldn’t.
1995-96 Topps - Gary Roberts
Do you think their late 1990’s jerseys were to blame for Calgary almost losing their NHL team? They were just trying so hard to put that C on a pedestal, and that never works. That jersey even made someone as great as Gary Roberts look like a schmuck. Combined with the 1995-96 Topps design, that card is soooo 90’s.
1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Lanny McDonald (#7)
Ok, so this one is obvious. But seriously, look at that thing, rippling in the breeze on that piece of 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee brilliance. The guy scored 500 goals, 1000 points, and capped it all off that 1988-89 season by winning the Stanley Cup in his final game, as a member of the only visiting team to win the Cup on Montreal Forum ice.
I legitimately believe that Lanny McDonald’s mustache is the reason why there are 27 words in the Albanian dictionary for mustache – this fact is on Wikipedia, it must be accurate. There are not enough words to describe something as spectacular as that flowing burnt sienna facial mane in English. He’s too classy to call it a fanny duster or a trash ‘stache, and it’s more than a crumb catcher – that thing can keep whole meals warm to enjoy later.
Am I saying that Lanny McDonald wouldn’t be in the Hockey Hall of Fame had he not grown the mustache? Yes, I am. I believe it gave him the powers he needed to succeed. Lanny McDonald’s bare upper lip affects him in the same way that Kryptonite can kill Superman, or the way water can melt the Wicked Witch of the West. He had to keep the mustache flowing to keep the bare lip at bay. And flow it did… thanks for the great years, Lanny.