Finally, the time has come. Jarome Iginla‘s finally and officially getting into the Hockey Hall of Fame is finally being celebrated. Iginla was selected for the Hall in his first year of eligibility as a part of the Class of 2020, but the pandemic put a damper on the celebrations. Now, a full year later from the planned Class of 2020 induction, Iginla and his fellow hockey legends are gathered in person and will be centre stage over the weekend for all the induction activities. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Nearly 17 months ago, Iginla’s selection to the Hall was announced on June 24, 2020. Flames all-time great Lanny McDonald is currently the Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it was fitting that he announced the Class of 2020 with Iginla headlining the group.
Joining Iginla in the skater category were NHLers Doug Wilson, Kevin Lowe, and Marian Hossa; Canadian women’s hockey goaltending legend Kim St-Pierre; and in the builder category Ken Holland.
Due to the pandemic, the Hall announced on August 10, 2020 that the 2020 Induction Weekend/Celebration would be postponed. The Hall’s Board of Directors decided that holding the 2020 inductions through a virtual format would not be entertained in exchange for the sanctity of the in-person induction.
After the Board of Directors virtually met at the end of October 2020, it was finally announced that there would be no Class of 2021 and instead the induction weekend would be held to solely honour the six members selected in 2020.
“The magic of the induction weekend from the perspective of the new inductees is participating in several days of close interaction with family, friends, former teammates, fellow legends and fans. On that premise, the Board felt that this was the right decision to bestow upon the Class of 2020 the recognition and lifetime experience they so richly deserve in all ways consistent with past induction classes.”Lanny McDonald
Iginla’s place in the Hall
Iginla’s NHL career officially started with two playoff games for the Flames at the end of the 1995–96 season, and he laced his skates up for the last time at the conclusion of 2016–17. When Iginla officially announced his retirement via a press conference with the Calgary Flames on July 30, 2018, he had already been over a year removed since his last NHL game—played with the Los Angeles Kings on April 9, 2017.
In his final regular season game, he recorded one assist to bring his career scoring total to a neat and tidy 625 goals, 675 assists, and 1,300 points over 1,554 regular season games. He also posted 37 goals, 31 assists, and 68 points in 81 playoff games.
All that is to say Iginla thus became eligible for the Hall during the 2020 election, meeting the criteria of not playing in a professional or international hockey game in the three years prior to his election. His election into the Hall was a no-brainer.
He became the fourth Black hockey player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Before him came Canadian goaltender Grant Fuhr, who was inducted in 2003 as a player; Canadian women’s hockey pioneer Angela James, inducted in 2010 as a player; and the first Black player in the NHL Willie O’Ree, inducted in 2018 as a builder.
The Hall now includes a total of 417 members—its first group being the Class of 1945 and of course most recently the Class of 2020.
The 2021 Induction Weekend/Celebration
There are four days’ worth of events happening to honour the Class of 2020. It starts Friday, November 12 and goes through to Monday, November 15—the day of the official induction ceremony takes place.
Hockey Hall of Fame Game – November 12
On Friday night, the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs will faceoff in the 20/21 Hockey Hall of Fame Game at the Scotiabank Arena. The game starts at 7:00 PM EST/5:00 PM MST, with a pre-game ceremony to honour the the inductees.
Inductee Q&A Fan Forum – November 13
On Saturday afternoon, the player inductees will spend time with fans in a question and answer forum at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Iginla will be joined by St-Pierre, Hossa, Lowe, and Wilson at the Hall.
Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic – November 14
One of the weekend’s most anticipated events is the Legends Classic game. A pre-game ceremony to honour the Class of 2020 players is also set to happen. Scott Neidermayer will captain the Canada Legends and Mike Modano will do the same for the World Legends. Tickets are available here for those in the Toronto area this weekend.
Here are the current rosters as listed on the HHOF site:
|Canada Legends||World Legends|
|Scott Niedermayer “C”||Mike Modano “C”|
|Jarome Iginla||Marian Hossa|
|Kim St-Pierre||Nik Antropov|
|Mike Gartner||Marcel Hossa|
|Jayna Hefford||Al Iafrate|
|Eric Lindros||Tomas Kaberle|
|Larry Murphy||Darius Kasparaitis|
|Mike Cammalleri||John LeClair|
|Wendel Clark||Dmitri Mironov|
|Mike Commodore||Jason Pominville|
|Shane Doan||Brian Rolston|
|Simon Gagne||Sergei Samsonov|
|Erica Howe||Molly Schaus|
|Chris Phillips||Steve Thomas|
|Robyn Regehr||Graeme Townshend|
|Anthony Kulakowski (Legends Line Guest Player)|
St-Pierre is joined by Erica Howe and Molly Schaus as the game’s goaltenders, and Jayna Hefford rounds out the women featured in the game. The Canada Legends team will be coached by Holland and Wilson, while the World Legends team will see Lowe, McDonald, and Todd Pokrywa (Legends Line Guest Coach) behind their bench.
20/21 Induction Celebration – November 15
Finally, the most important event of them all, the Induction Ceremony. There’s a gala celebration prior to the Induction Ceremony that’s completely sold out. At 7:30 PM EST/5:30 PM MST, the Induction Ceremony will begin. The ceremony will be broadcast on TSN5 and the NHL Network.
An unconventional entry to the Hockey Hall of Fame
After over a year of waiting filled with uncertainty about how the Hall would address the Class of 2020; seeing the Hall close and re-open just to close and re-open again; and of course learning that there’d be no Class of 2021 to properly give the Class of 2020 their earned honours; Iginla and his fellow inductees will finally be celebrated in front of family, friends, and fans.