- His full name is Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tij Junior Elvis Iginla. Arthur-Leigh is his dad's middle name. Adekunle is his dad's first name and Elvis is what his dad changed his name to when he moved to North America. Tij is after his dad's dad, Tijani.
- His dad is Nigerian, his mother North American (born in the United States, grew up in Alberta). Iginla means "big tree" in Yoruba.
- His parents divorced when he was not quite two and he was raised by his mom and her parents. His mom worked multiple jobs during Jarome's childhood.
- Growing up, Jarome was also a very good baseball player and played on traveling teams (pitcher, catcher, and a little shorstop). He really admired Bo Jackon (a total plus in my book) and for a long time hoped to follow in his footsteps and become a two sport pro. He played baseball until he was seventeen before finally deciding to focus solely on hockey.
- When his mom went back to school as an adult, Jarome paid her tuition. (I'm not gonna lie, as the proud daughter of a hard-working single mother, that chokes me up a little. This is probably my favorite thing I read about Iggy.)
- He and his wife Kara run (or used to run) a hockey camp for kids 6-12-years-old. They try to teach the kids skills but the focus is on enjoying playing hockey. "They love the speed, being able to crash around. Sports for kids sometimes get a little too serious, and my wife and I wanted our school not to be. We want to teach skills, but we believe the more fun the kids are having, the harder they'll work and the better they'll get without even trying."
- The best story I read about Iggy: The night before Game 7 of a first-round playoff series against Vancouver, he and some teammates went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Vancouver where a wedding party was going on. As the players were leaving, a little boy yelled from his booster seat, "Bye, Iggy!" Iginla walked over to the little boy, put him on his knee, and talked hockey with him. He then signed autographs and posed for pictures with everyone in the party before leaving and didn't seem to be in any rush to get back to his hotel.
- In a season where the headlines and Hart debates were dominated by Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, Iginla quietly had a 50 goal, 98 point season. That's pretty good.
- My favorite thing about his goal in Game One of the San Jose series was not that he blew by Brian Campbell - although I did enjoy that - but that even while plowing into the net he was thinking clearly enough to put his arm down on top of the net and attempt to hold it in its moorings for any follow-up shot. That's an assist.
- For my money, Iggy has the single best smile in the NHL. And it existed before Ovechkin was in the NHL so there!
"Jarome Iginla" as told to Brian Cazeneuve, Sports Illustrated
"The Great Iginla" by Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated
"They Should Not Win" by Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated
Thanks to Anne at Sabretooth's House for finding the adorable picture of little Iggy. I totally stole it from her.