The stick has a special place in Denis Gauthier's home.
It's a gift he received from Calgary Flames teammate Jarome Iginla to celebrate the breakout 2001-02 season in which the Flames captain led the NHL with 52 goals and 96 points.
"It's still one of my prized possessions," said Gauthier, who's now retired from playing and keeps himself busy coaching and working for French-language sports channel RDS. "It might be the only thing I have from my career. For some reason, that one's special. I could have had all kinds of autographed sticks and jerseys from the places I played — and I played with some pretty decent players — but I'm satisfied just having that one.
"That season meant a lot to him as far as becoming a star in the NHL. You knew he was going to be good, and he was good, but that was the first time he was noticed around the league as a star player."
Iginla's breakout season, in which he became the first and only Flames player to win the league's goal and points-scoring titles, was the massive spark setting him off to become a 500-goal scorer.
For Gauthier, who turned pro the same season as Iginla and spent seven seasons together as teammates, it's one of the great memories of his career, even if it was a bleak season without making the post-season.
Breakout season established Iginla as NHL powerhouse
Calgary Sun | Jan 8