NHL great Jarome Iginla will be returning to Canada from the U.S. this summer to take over as head coach of a minor hockey team in Kelowna, B.C.
The former captain of the Calgary Flames will coach the U15 prep team at the RINK Hockey Academy for the 2021-2022 season and assist the U18 prep team, the organization announced Friday.
Iginla is retired from the NHL and has spent the past four years coaching his children through minor hockey in Boston. He expects to return to Kelowna, where he has a home, this summer.
"We're ready to get back home out West," Iginla told CBC News. "They have a great program and it's really close to our home, and it just sounded like it fit really well."
Iginla announced his retirement from the NHL in 2018 after 20 seasons.
He scored 525 goals and 570 assists for a total of 1,095 points in his 1,219 games with the Flames. He was traded to the Pitsburgh Pengins in 2013, and also played for the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.
Iginla is also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and was named to the NHL All-Star team six times.
The RINK Hockey Academy draws athletes between the ages of 12 and 17 from around the world each September for a 10-month training program with 1,000 hours of hockey development training.
Iginla said the coaches he's had from childhood to the pro level had a very positive impact on him, and he's looking forward to bringing his skills and passion for hockey to a program geared toward mentoring the next generation of hockey stars.
"What I really enjoy is working with kids that are really passionate about getting better and trying to teach them some of the intricacies and things that I've learned about competing and over the years," he said.
"I've definitely learned a lot over the years and I'm still learning, and I'd like to be able to pass that on."