By Ron Knabenbauer and Alyssa Romeo
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, forward Jarome Iginla joined the Colorado Avalanche on July 1 as a free agent. The 37-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Avs after a successful season last year with the Boston Bruins, where he tallied 30 goals and 31 assists in 78 games. Iginla is entering his 19th year in the NHL and is ranked 24th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. Between adjusting to his new team and the mile high altitude, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound veteran sat down with ColoradoAvalanche.com in training camp to discuss being one of the newest Avs.
How have you liked Colorado so far?
“I have really enjoyed it. I’ve been here for about a month and it’s been nice to get settled. The weather has been great. I didn’t realize it was such a warm place. When we’ve flown in over the years, there would be snow on the ground but you think it might just be a shimmer. Already I can tell it’s quite a lot milder than up in Edmonton or Calgary, where I’m from. So I’m looking forward to that, a milder winter. It’s been sunny. It’s been great. It’s been a nice pace around the city, being able to get to places and find places. I’m still learning. My first time down to the rink from my place, I don’t think I picked the smoothest way, but I’m learning. It’s been great.”
What is your earliest hockey memory?
“My first day of tryouts. I was seven. The first day that I ever skated at tryouts would probably be my earliest memory. I made the worst team—I hadn’t really skated much before that—but it was fun and I remember that for sure.”
What got you into hockey?
“It’s very popular at home. There are lots of outdoor rinks. I went to an outdoor rink once, it must have been the year before trying out for hockey. I tried skating once and I enjoyed it. I loved the idea of being able to crash around and fall and have the equipment on. It was pretty common for a lot of boys to play hockey. There was a lot of outdoor rinks so I enjoyed that.”
Do you have any special pregame routine that you do before a game?
“Not really, no. I just warm up. Nothing too specific. No superstitions.”
What are some of your favorite pregame snacks?
“I eat at a similar time and try to find when I feel the best. I’m always trying to experiment with that. Nothing too specific. I don’t have anything I have to eat, but sometimes it might be muffins. If I’m feeling good or a certain way, it’s more like, not a superstition, but just a routine of trying to find when I'll get the most energy.”
What do you like doing in your spare time outside the rink?
“I like golf. I used to golf a lot. I haven’t golfed as much anymore. We have a daughter who’s ten in a month and our boys just turned eight and six, so it’s busy. In the summer, we do a lot of different games. Whether it's tennis, golf. I like pretty much all sports. With training and the kids swimming and stuff right now, that’s pretty much all of it... if it’s not training in the summer.”
If you weren’t playing hockey what sport would you play?
“Baseball. I enjoy baseball the most. I played it growing up. I really enjoyed it. I love the game too.”