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Iginla to be inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Last Updated Jun 25, 2020 at 8:58 am EDT

TORONTO (660 NEWS) — Former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Iginla spent 24 years in the NHL registering 1,300 points in 1,554 career games and helped Team Canada win gold at the Olympics in 2002 in Salt Lake City and 2010 in Vancouver.

This is Iginla’s first year of eligibility. During his two decades in the NHL, he revolutionized the power forward position and defined what it meant to be a leader.

Calgary’s former captain spent 15 years with the Flames, leading the club in scoring in 11 of them while also playing a physical game.

Iginla said it was a surreal moment being inducted into the hall.

“It’s a true honour, very excited about it to go in with you guys and look forward to whenever that is it’s a huge thrill for family and friends,” he said.

And following in the footsteps of Grant Fuhr, Angela James and Willie O’Ree, Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted into the hall of fame.

“It was always very important to me, I had favourites as a kid like, you know I wanted to be like Mark Messier and I loved Wayne Gretzky same as other kids. But it was also really special to me to see the Black players that were in the NHL, to see Grant Fuhr starring and being able to say to other people, ‘Well, look at Grant Fuhr, he’s an all-star,'” Iginla said.

“It is an honour in so many ways, but also I think that if there’s other kids, other minority Black kids growing up and saying that it’s possible. I mean it was special to me, so maybe it’ll be special to other kids in the way that it was for me,” he added.

The Alberta native also represented Canada on the international stage besides winning gold at the Olympics, with gold at the World Junior Championships in 1996, World Championship in 1997 and World Cup of Hockey in 2004 .

Five players were named to this year’s class: Iginla, Marian Hossa, Kevin Lowe, Kim St-Pierre and Doug Wilson. They are joined by longtime NHL executive Ken Holland, in the builder category.

“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as Honoured Members,” Lanny McDonald, Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced in a press release. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
WATCH: Taking a look at Iginla’s impact

Dates for the induction ceremony are tentatively set Monday, November 16 in Toronto, but with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dates could change and tickets for events are not being sold.

The Selection Committee announced the class of 2020 Wednesday afternoon and was determined by a panel of 18 voters, which met virtually earlier this week using a secure online ballot.

— with files from Sportsnet