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Black History Month

Black History Month spotlight: Iginla stars on, off ice

Scores over 1,000 NHL points, wins Olympic gold, known for generosity, community service

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

As part of the NHL's celebration of Black History Month, will highlight great moments and important figures in black hockey history each day throughout February. Pioneers like Willie O'Ree, Angela James and Grant Fuhr will be featured.

Today we look at Jarome Iginla, the first black player to surpass 1,000 points in the NHL.

When Jarome Iginla officially retired on July 30, 2018, he left behind a career that was missing only one thing: a Stanley Cup championship.

Not that he didn't come close. Iginla, from Edmonton, became the second black captain in NHL history on Oct. 8, 2003, and was in that role when the Calgary Flames played Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final at the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 2-1 loss prevented him from becoming the first black captain to win the Cup.

That was one of the few things Iginla was unable to accomplish during a career that saw him become the first black player in NHL history to score 400, 500 and 600 goals, and to surpass 1,000 points (he finished with 625 goals and 1,300 points). He was the first to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring leader (2002) and the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as the most outstanding player as voted by his peers (2002). Iginla won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the League's goals leader in 2001-02, when he had an NHL career-high 52, and 2003-04 (41).

He also became the first black man to win an Olympic gold medal in 2002, and earned another in 2010.

Iginla is also known for his generosity and community service. He supports numerous charities and in 2004 was awarded the NHL Foundation Player Award for his community service and the King Clancy Trophy in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

"I'd love to be a role model for black kids, whether they play hockey or not," he told author Cecil Harris in "Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey."

"Just like Grant Fuhr and Tony McKegney showed me it was possible to do what I'm doing, I want to be someone who shows kids that it's possible to be whatever they want to be."

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