Currently at the midway point of a four-game Canadian road trip, the Colorado Avalanche will now head to Alberta for the final two contests.  The games are crucial, as the Avs currently sit only one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.

Though picking up points against the Calgary Flames on Friday and the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday are undoubtedly the focal point of the trip, the contests will have a little extra meaning for Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla. Though his team is on the road, for these games, Iginla is heading home.

“I always enjoy going back [to Alberta],” Iginla told Mile High Sports. “It’s home for a number of reasons.”

Iginla spent the first 15 full seasons in the NHL with the Flames before being dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins during his 16th campaign. For over half of those seasons, he served as the team’s captain.  In fact, he is currently the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (1,219), goals (525), points (1,095), powerplay goals (161) and game-winning goals (83).

“Calgary, I grew up there,” he said. “Played a long time there in my career, so that’s always fun.”

As revered as he is in Calgary, Iginla also has ties to Edmonton. While Calgary was where he grew up as an NHL player, it was actually in the Edmonton area where he spent his youth.

“Edmonton is where I’m from,” he explained. “St. Albert [actually], which is a city connected to Edmonton. It’s always fun to go through there for me.”

Now an alternate captain and veteran leader for the Avalanche, the points are almost certainly what matters most to Iginla. That doesn’t mean he won’t take a little time to enjoy his home province.

“It’s nice just to see friends and family and a lot of familiarity,” he said. “So yeah I do enjoy it.”