Bruins forward Jarome Iginla will make what’s expected to be a very emotional return to Calgary where he spent the first 15-plus seasons of his Hall of Fame career. It will be the first time Iginla has returned to Calgary since being traded last season.
If Iginla is looking for any pointers or explanation as to how things might go, he could maybe walk across the arena and meet with Flames head coach Bob Hartley. The longtime NHL coach was the bench boss for the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 when Ray Bourque went back to Boston for the first time since being traded to the Avs the season before. With Iginla set to make his return to Saddledome, Hartley spoke with reporters about what it was like to see Bourque come back to Boston back in 2001.
“It was lots of fun,” Hartley told reporters. “Ray just couldn’t believe all the attention from the minute we checked into the hotel. There were plenty of fans who traveled long distance to see the return. … It was basically like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.”
Hartley also joked that when Bourque went to get coffee at a local coffee shop, the Hall of Famer could have walked out with a 100 free coffees if he wanted. However, when it got to actually getting on the ice, it wasn’t necessarily easy.
“It was very emotional,” Hartley added. “I remember Ray having a hard time going out on the ice for the warmup, but as a pro, he parked it and played a great. I remember we beat the Bruins and hopefully [Tuesday night] we can still beat the Bruins. “
See more from the Calgary head coach below.