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Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche
Iginla reached a major milestone Monday, netting his 600th career goal in the Avalanche's 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings. He is the 19th player in NHL history to reach that plateau.
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
Johansen enters Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals in the middle of a 14-game goal drought, his longest since he was scoreless for the final 25 games of the 2011-12 season.
Is Jarome Iginla a surefire Hall of Famer?
@ESPN_Burnside: Monday was a nice night for one of the game's true gentlemen as Iginla scored his 600th goal in a nice bounce-back win against Los Angeles. It wasn't pretty -- Iginla's benchmark goal slid past Kings netminder Jhonas Enroth off the skate of defenseman Jake Muzzin -- but Iginla will take it. So will the Avs, who looked disorganized in a loss to the Calgary Flames during the weekend. These are my questions: Is Iginla a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, and do you like the Avs' chances of sneaking back into the playoffs? With Monday's win they are now four points back of a very uneven Nashville Predators team in the Central Division, though Nashville has a game in hand. What say you, friends?
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: Well, Dave Andreychuk and his 640 career goals remain on the outside of the Hockey Hall of Fame, so it's not just Iginla's career tally that makes him a Hall of Famer in my books. It's the fact that for a while he was the preeminent power forward in the game, a 50-goal scorer and in the Dead Puck Era, no less. To me, he is HOF-bound. Whether his team is playoff-bound this season remains to be seen, given where the Avs stood earlier this season. Hats off to Patrick Roy's men for persevering and putting themselves back in the race, but I just don't see Nashville or the Minnesota Wild sliding out. Wrong season, wrong crazy division for the Avs, I think.
@ESPNJoeyMac: Congrats to Iginla, one of the game's best players. It's an impressive accomplishment, but for all the personal accolades he's accumulated there's still one major goal he has yet to reach: winning a Stanley Cup. No one in the game today deserves it more than Iginla. He chose to sign with the Avalanche because he felt the organization had the potential to win. For his sake, I hope Colorado can earn a postseason berth, because once that happens any team has a chance for a deep run. And there's no doubt Iginla is a Hall of Famer, and should be a first-ballot inductee. It's no coincidence that during Iginla's only season with the Boston Bruins (2013-14), that teammates Milan Lucic and David Krejci posted seasons that are among the best in their careers. Iginla is a pro's pro, and an even better person off the ice. He deserves a Cup and a spot in the Hall.
@CraigCustance: This one isn't much of a debate. Iginla is in. He didn't get to 600 goals by looking just to compile stats. One of the tests I like to apply to potential Hall of Famers is whether they were the best in their era at something, whether that's being the best at their position or at some particular element of the game. As Pierre pointed out, Iginla was the best power forward in hockey for long stretches of his career. Like Joe mentioned, it would be a great story to see Iginla and the Avalanche make the playoffs, but I'm not optimistic. They're so reliant on goalie Semyon Varlamov and that's a tough way to win, especially since he hasn't shown the consistency he displayed when they made the playoffs in 2014 in Patrick Roy's first season behind the bench. The Avs went on a December run, and it's no coincidence Varlamov had a .942 save percentage that month. His other months? Not one with a save percentage north of .900.
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