SUN Hockey Pool

Hats off to Iggy

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

The List is just as impressive for the names not on it as the ones that are.

No Steve Yzerman. No Mark Messier. No Brett Hull, No Mario Lemieux, or Luc Robitaille.

Those men are all among the all-time top-10 in NHL goals, but none of them managed to score 30 or more in at least 10 straight seasons.

That says a lot about what Jarome Iginla accomplished Sunday night, capping off a decade of dominance with a penalty shot he slipped through the legs of Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

It takes a little luck, as Iginla mentioned after joining the elite group. Yzerman’s string of seven was snapped by a herniated disc during the 1993-94 season, and the labour stoppage the following year sidetracked Hull by a single score and derailed Robitaille’s efforts as well.

Lemieux’s health problems were well documented.

Joe Sakic did it nine times, but not consecutively, and Brendan Shanahan did it a dozen seasons broken up over two decades.

Jarome Iginla is the only active NHLer with this big a streak going, and along with Jaromir Jagr is the only man who’s had to play through the clutch-and-grab and trapping eras to do it. Iginla fell one short in 1999-2000 and two shy of 30 in 1998-99 or he’d have a dozen by now.

Alex Ovechkin needs another handful this year to make it six straight seasons, Rick Nash can make it to four. Bobby Ryan is at three in a row with 30 or more, as is Sidney Crosby. Steven Stamkos hit the mark for a second time this season, but all of these members of the next generation have a long way to go to join Iginla.

Let the Hall-of-Fame debate begin.

THE LIST

Player Seasons

Mike Gartner 15

Jaromir Jagr 15

Phil Esposito 13

Wayne Gretzky 13

Bobby Hull 13

Marcel Dionne 12

Mike Bossy 10

Jari Kurri 10

Darryl Sittler 10

*Jarome Iginla 10

* Active

WHAT THEY SAID

“Congrats to him. He’s a guy that comes to play every night. He’s not afraid to go to the net, that’s for sure.

“You do have to have some luck and play with some good teammates, but you need to play with that kind of passion. Jarome, he’s got all those qualities. He’s a great leader.”

— Former Maple Leafs great Darryl Sittler, a member of the 30-for-10 club

“It’s something I thought was pretty cool, because of the guys that have done it. It’s not something that when I started I was thinking I was ever going to hit, but I’ve been real blessed to stay healthy. You do have to be lucky. You do have to be fortunate. Also, to play a lot of good minutes and with a lot of good players.”

— Jarome Iginla on joining the elite 30-for-10 club

“It was good to see him that that 30th. The guy has 10 seasons like that and it’s impressive.”

— Flames LW Curtis Glencross

“It’s a great accomplishment. It shows the type of athlete he is to be able to sustain that grind and perform year after year. You look at that list, and it’s all Hall-of-Famers. It’s great company for him. Full marks to Jarome. He deserves it.”

— Iginla’s linemate LW Alex Tanguay

“He’s a well conditioned athlete. He trains extremely hard. He understands the importance of being in top shape. The older you get, you have to work that much harder. He understands that. Any time a player does what he’s done, 10 straight years with 30 goals, it’s a great accomplishment. He’s achieved it because of the type of player he is and how he handles things. His shot, his intelligence in the offensive zone, all gets added into to allow him to be that type of goal-scorer.”

— Flames head coach Brent Sutter

“That’s a heck of an accomplishment. That’s an elite group and he’s an elite player. He’s one of the best. That’s tough to do.”

— Flames C/RW David Moss

“Bad timing. He’s a great player. That’s a great accomplishment. I didn’t want to be the goalie he scores his 30th goal against.”

— Nashville Predators G Pekka Rinne, who was beat five-hole by Iginla for the milestone goal.


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