Iginla married his high school sweetheart, Kara, and the couple has three children: Jade, Tij and Joe. They had been dating since they were in the eighth grade. He has two brothers, Jason and Stephen, and two sisters, Theresa and Elizabeth. He is an avid golfer and a regular participant in the Calgary Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic.
He is well known for his kind-hearted nature. Former Flames general manager Craig Button described Iginla as being grounded: "he doesn't carry himself with any attitude or arrogance. He's confident in his abilities. He's self-assured. He's genuine. He's a better person than he is a player, and we all know what kind of player he is." In 2002, while in Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympic Games, Iginla struck up a conversation with four Calgarians sitting next to his table, and found out they were sleeping in their car outside of the hotel. He excused himself from the conversation, and booked them accommodations at his own expense at the hotel his family was staying in.
Since 2002, he has operated the Jarome Iginla Hockey School in Calgary as a non-profit organization, donating proceeds to the Diabetes Research Association. In 2004, he was awarded the NHL Foundation Player Award for his community service and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in recognition of his humanitarian contributions. Iginla supports many charities. In 2000, he began donating $1,000 per goal he scored to KidSport, a figure he doubled to $2,000 in 2005. From 2000 through to the end of the 2008 season he donated $430,000 from this initiative.
Iginla is a part owner of the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. He purchased a minority share in the franchise, along with fellow NHL players Shane Doan, Mark Recchiand Darryl Sydor, in October 2007. He is also an ambassador with the NHL Diversity program, which supports youth hockey organizations that offer economically disadvantaged kids the opportunity to play. Since 2008, he has been a hockey spokesperson for Scotiabank, appearing in commercials and at events supporting its grassroots hockey programs, as well as for Samsung Canada.
26 July 2009
Jarome Iginla is now a Detroit Red Wing
In the CLS NHL redraft, that is.
With the 16th overall pick in the first round, I was able to snag Jarome Iginla. The pick was agonizingly hard for me though. Having stalled for a little bit on pick 14, I was given plenty of time to agonize over who to take. Personally, I would prefer to build a team from a pillar or two on the blueline and out, much like the Red Wings and Ducks have over the last few years, though I would prefer the physicality of the Ducks' system, if I got to choose. Heading into the draft, I was sure I would take a top flight defenseman. Since this redraft is for one season only, I was not constrained by issues of age (except as it would effect this year's performance), so I was really considering Chris Pronger, for reasons explained before, as well as Zdeno Chara. Unfortunately, Chara went at #15 to the Blue Jackets, so that Chris Pronger sitting alone on my chart of top-notch elite defensemen in the league,
However, as I copied a bunch of players off the NHL stat sheets into a spreadsheet to switch around and make a "big board" for my draft, one name in the forward column was screaming at me. Jarome Iginla embodies everything that I love about hockey. He can score. He fights. He hits. He can help out in his own end. He has endless amounts of passion for the game. He won't be knocked off the puck. He can put an entire team on his back. I love everything about Iginla, but he went completely against the philosophy for how I wanted to build my team. But picking Pronger would make me feel like a dirty traitor. What to do?
What ultimately settled it for me was this passage from wikipedia:
I've said in multiple places before that the way to grow this game is not to put it on ESPN or turn every game into a shootout, but instead to grow the game manually, but putting hockey sticks into the hands of more kids. Getting kids out there, whether its with just a tennis ball and a trash can or a fancy ice rink and a rubber puck, thats the best way to grow the game. One of the commercials that I really like on the NHL network is the "Hockey is for Everyone" commercials, which Iginla is a part of, because its the truth. Everyone, whether its rich suburban white kids, poor inner city black kids, or anywhere in between, should have a hockey stick put in their hands at a young age. Sometimes there is a tendency for people to think that just because you're black or mexican or whatever, that hockey isn't for you. This stereotype is one of the things that holds the game as a whole back, and keeps it from reaching a wider audience. Iginla does a lot of work in this area of growing hockey amongst minorities and the poor. For that alone, I'd be proud to have him on my team.
(Plus, unfortunately I can't get a link to it right now, but wasn't the "Shift" commercial one of the two best NHL commercials of all time? To me, that and the "35 pounds" commercial are 1-2 in some order.)