Maybe it’s East Coast bias, maybe it’s the fact he’s not a real boisterous guy off the ice, but I think it’s time we put Jarome Iginla’s career in perspective.
The Calgary Flames superstar should, first off, always be considered just that – a superstar. He is by far the most complete player in the game today; one who can hit, score, fight and lead.
True, he has never broken 100 points, but he did win a scoring title (2001-02) and two Rocket Richard trophies (’01-02 and ’03-04, the latter of which he won alongside Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash) during the dullest era of hockey ever. He has not won the Stanley Cup, but he did come achingly close (and he does have an Olympic gold medal).
But for me the true measure of Iggy’s clout is the effect he has on the future stars of the game. Ask any number of major junior players – even those who aren’t in major junior yet – who they model their game after and more often than not, they say Iginla. Apparently it’s hard to say no to power, speed and skill.
The last point I’ll make is this: Before he even stepped on an NHL ice surface, Iginla was traded to Calgary from Dallas along with journeyman Corey Millen for an in-his-prime Joe Nieuwendyk. Millen would play less than 100 games for the Flames before finishing his career in Germany and Switzerland, so essentially Iginla was traded straight-up for a future Hall of Famer and nobody can say it was a bad trade.
My boy John Grigg took a little heat for his blog on the St. Louis Blues’ Mortgage Night, so I’m here to really get things cooking.
I come bearing an idea.
At a sports management conference held by Ducks GM Brian Burke in Toronto earlier this week, one of the speakers, who worked for a minor league baseball team, took issue with all-you-can-eat promotions (something else the Blues have tried). He basically posed the concern, “Where do you go from there?”
And it’s true. What’s more enticing than all-you-can-eat? I’ll tell you what’s more enticing: “We’ll Deep-Fry It!” Night.
Here’s how it would work: fans are allowed to bring their own food into the arena and for two dollars an item, the concessions folks will deep-fry it for you. Naturally, it has to be done within reason. You can bring a steak, but you can’t bring soup. Anything that can be battered is cool (no turkeys – they apparently explode if not done properly) and if you’ve ever had a deep-fried chocolate bar, you’ll know how genius this is.
To me, it’s win-win. For fans, they’re saving money on concessions, since the two bucks they pay for deep-frying would still be less than the usual mark-up on items such as popcorn or soda pop. For the team, they ensure a sell-out crowd, because hey, it’s fun and funny. Plus, you’re still making money – it certainly costs less than two bucks to deep-fry something.
The only losers, I suppose, would be your arteries. But I’ll leave you with one thought: deep-fried hot dogs.
Ryan Kennedy is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his column - The Straight Edge - every Friday, and his features, The Hot List and Prep Watch appears Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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