Posts Tagged ‘Jarome Iginla’

Jarome Iginla officially announced his retirement Monday after 20 seasons, but former Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke stole some of the spotlight with a surprising revelation.

While joining the broadcast panel covering Iginla’s retirement, Burke indicated to Sportsnet’s Faizal Khamisa that a reunion between Iginla and the Flames was nearly in the works last season with the then free agent before Calgary ultimately landed on Jaromir Jagr.

The Flames signed Jagr in October, but a nagging groin injury limited the Czech superstar to just 22 appearances, in which he was held to one goal and six assists.

Iginla didn’t suit up last season after splitting the 2016-17 campaign between the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.

While a homecoming wasn’t in the cards for Iginla, he hangs up his skates as the Flames’ all-time leader in games played (1,219), goals (525), and points (1,095).

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The Calgary Flames will host a press conference on July 30 when former captain Jarome Iginla will retire from the NHL, the team announced on Wednesday.

“In a sense, I grew up there,” Iginla told George Johnson of calgaryflames.com. “I started playing for the Flames at 19 but even in minor hockey I remember traveling to Calgary for tournaments, from St. Albert, and I imagined playing in the Saddledome.

“It’s been a fun adventure, for my family and I. Some great cities, great people. To be back in Alberta, though, will feel like home.”

The 41-year-old was drafted 11th overall in 1995 by the Dallas Stars. But then he was traded to the Flames in a deal that sent Joe Nieuwendyk to Texas before Iginla ever stepped on the ice for the Stars.

Iginla went on to play 16 seasons with the Flames, finishing his time in Calgary as the franchise’s leader in games (1,219), goals (525), points (1,095), power-play goals (161), game-winning goals (83), and more.

The two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner spent the final six seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh PenguinsBoston BruinsColorado Avalanche, and Los Angeles Kings.

Iginla finishes his career ranked 15th all-time in goals with 625, and he sits 34th on the all-time points list with 1,300.

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As the Colorado Avalanche continue to tumble, Jarome Iginla is open to exercising an escape option.

The veteran forward is in the final year of his contract with the last-place club, and, in advance of Wednesday’s return to his long-time hockey home of Calgary, Iginla admitted he’d be open to waiving his no-movement clause in order to join a team with postseason aspirations.

“Yeah, I’d consider it,” he said Tueday, per Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun. “I’d love to be in the playoffs and have that chance.”

A chance at winning the Stanley Cup before he retires is what Iginla is referring to, of course. It’s a goal he hasn’t been as close to reaching since a 2004 final appearance with the Flames, and one he’d love to add to his Hall of Fame resume.

“That’s still the dream, and I think it’s still possible,” he added “I would love to. I tell you, I’d really appreciate it. I realize over all the years how many good things have to come together and how fortunate all the people that win it are.

“So yeah, I’d love to do that. I still think it’s possible. All I can do is just keep playing and you keep trying to get better.”

Iginla has managed only five goals and four assists in 37 games this season, and hasn’t appeared in a playoff game since signing with the Avalanche in 2014.

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If this season is his last, Jarome Iginla may want a chance to go out on top.

The Colorado Avalanche sit last in the Central Division, and as such the veteran winger will consider waiving his no-trade clause, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Iginla, in the final year of his contract with Colorado, had the same opportunity last year, but opted to stick with the Avalanche. He’s familiar with the situation, though, as he left the Calgary Flames in 2013 for the Pittsburgh Penguins in search of a championship.

In 25 games this year, Iginla has only three goals and three assists, but with 614 goals and 1,279 points over his Hall of Fame career, plenty of contenders could benefit from his experience come trade deadline.

This Flame is on fire.

With a hat trick during Tuesday’s win over the Winnipeg Jets, Johnny Gaudreau became the first member of the Calgary Flames to record multiple three-goal games in a single month since Jarome Iginla (two in February 2003).

Gaudreau’s previous hat trick came against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 5.

The offensive outbursts highlight what’s been a very productive December for the second-year forward, who’s now recorded 10 goals and six assists in 10 games.

Gaudreau’s 37 points overall rank him seventh in league scoring, behind only Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Taylor Hall, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Erik Karlsson.

While he has a long way to go on the road to matching Iginla’s season-high 98 points recorded in 2007-08, the 22-year-old is shaping up to be the kind of impact player the Flames have been missing since deciding to part ways with their former and longtime captain.

The Vancouver Canucks were the busiest team at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, as new management dramatically remolded the roster with a series of trades – some surprising (Jason Garrison), some expected (Ryan Kesler).

Over the past several months the new-look Canucks have trimmed salary dramatically, leaving them with significant salary cap space with which to entice unrestricted free agents this season. As it stands, the Canucks – a team that has always spent to the upper limit of the salary cap – have over $17.5 million in salary cap space according to capgeek.com.

While the crop of available unrestricted free agents is relatively thin this summer, the Canucks have significant needs. In particular, Vancouver is desperate for scoring  and could use more touch and more size up front.

Boston Bruins winger Jarome Iginla may fit the bill and according to CTV’s Kelsey Brade, the Canucks are preparing to “take a serious run” at Iginla if the Bruins can’t get him under contract before July 1st.

 Iginla, as the longtime captain of the Calgary Flames, spent more than a decade playing the role of public enemy No. 1 for Canucks fans. With all of the history, it’s tough to imagine Iginla wearing Canucks colors.

A pact between the Canucks and the captain of the club’s one-time bitter rival might make some sense though. Vancouver’s new general manager Jim Benning was with the Boston Bruins last season, so there’s some familiarity there. Iginla is also represented by Newport Sport Agency’s Don Meehan, who also served as the player agent for new Canucks president Trevor Linden (Benning also worked with Newport Sports for a time).

It’s clear that Iginla’s preference is to remain in Boston, and retaining the 36-year-old power forward is clearly a priority for the Bruins as well. Though there’s a will, there may not be a way; and a pact between these two sides might not be realistic, what with the Bruins being hit pressed up against the upper limit of the salary cap after being hit with nearly $5 million in overage penalties per capgeek.com.

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Welcome to the second edition of Smirfitt’s Speech, todays topic is did Calgary decide to put off rebuilding so long is Jarome Iginla is on the roster?

To understand this statement you have to go back to 1996 when Iginla was first brought into Calgary during the team’s last real rebuilding process. In the sporting world going seventeen years between rebuilds generally suggests that your team has been extremely successful. In 1996 the flames are beginning a rebuild shipping out key players from their 1989 cup team. Joe Nieuwendyk, Theron Fleury and Al MacInnis are the big names that got traded during this rebuild that saw attendance begin to flatter for a time in Calgary. During this period of time the flames made a deal to bring in the first 18-year-old to crack the roster since Dan Quinn in 1983, a young man by the name Jarome Iginla in a deal with the Dallas Stars for Nieuwendyk.

The trade would baffle many at the time however over the years it has become regarded as the best trade in franchise history. Jarome in his first full season made the NHL’s All rookie team and was a runner-up to the calder cup leading all rookies in 96-97 with fifty points.  Two years later the legend of Iginla would grow as he became the teams leading goal scorer for the first time with 28 goals and with his success came the first time Jarome’s loyalty to the team would be shown. At beginning of the 99-2000 season Jarome showed up to training camp without a contract and purchased his own insurance so the team would not be financially responsible if he got injured. The season would be three games old before Jarome got his new contract.

Jarome would response by setting new career highs at the time of 29 goals and 63 points.  Over the next three seasons Jarome would build on his success as a goal scorer and overall point producer.  In the 2001-2002 season Jerome was finally recognized as a bona fide superstar by fans around world following an olympic gold medal in Salt lake city and winning the Art Ross, Rocket Richard and Lester B.Pearson  awards, that year he was also a nominee for the Hart trophy and King Clancy trophy.

That lead to the second time his loyalty to the team would be tested while many stars around the league would move after such success Jarome resigned with the flames for two years at 13 mil. Jarome would slightly regress due to dislocated finger however he still led the team in goals for the fourth time in five years.

In 2003-2004 season fortunes changed in Calgary. Jarome Iginla was named the 14th team captain of the flames since they moved to Calgary from Atlanta. Craig Conroy had decdided to stepped down as captain citing Iginla’s experience and leadership skills  in his decision to relinquish the captaincy.  Iginla would win his second Richard trophy that year, and the flames would make it to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The team had become the first team in league history to  defeat all three division champions en route to their first finals appearance in 15 years, during which time Iginla lead the playoffs in-goal scoring.

The following season was thought to be a building point as then Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin dubbed the flames as “Canada’s team”.  Iginla was being hailed as the best player in the world after the 04 playoffs. But 2004-2005 season got locked out due to labor negotations.  However most people still believed at the time that the flames were the Canadian team with the best chance of winning the cup.

The Flames came back from the 04-05 lockout and won their first division title in 12 years. They finished the season with thet team’s best record since they won 89 stanley cup team, and optimism was at a high in Calgary for the team to make a run to the finals.  However the flames would lose in the first round.

The 2006-07 season  would see Darryl Sutter step down as coach of the flames, this led to the first of three coaching changes over the next five years.  Jim Playfair would take over and only last one season as head coach. In that time Playfair led the team to the eighth seed and a first round elimination at the hands of the Red Wings.  The following season Playfair got demoted, Mike Keenan than came in to take over coaching duties.  The 2007-2008 season  would see Iginla become the flames all time leader in games played, and all time leading goal scorer. Iggy also managed to hit 50 goals for his second time and  the team for its part finished seven in the conference. However the team was lost again in the first round this time at the hands of San Jose Sharks. Yet Jarome once again signed on for around five years.

In 08-09 season Jarome became the flames all time leading scorer. The team once again failed to make it out of the first round.  During this time rumor surface that Jarome played injured, they were denied by Iginla, who took the blame upon himself stating that he was not able to play at the level of consistency of which he expected of himself.

Keenan was dismissed and Brent Sutter succeeded him as coach. The flames entered into a period of time in which they missed the playoffs  three times. In the same period in time  general manager Darryl Sutter stepped down and Jay Feaster was brought in to take over the positon. Jarome began facing questions from media outlets on if he should be traded. Jarome stated that he would respect the teams wishes regardless of which direction they wanted to take.

At that point in the time the team was in decline however rather than rebuild, the team chose to try to win with Jarome Iginla on the roster. Clearly the ball was in managements court and they decided to work with the roster they had.  Other teams in the division like Colorado, and Edmonton choose to rebuild. The teams current roster features ten players whom by seasons end will be thirty or over to a poultry five players that may be considered prospects of under the age of 25 years old. The Flames goaltending picture features a 36 year old Mikka Kiprusoff and  a 29-year-old back up who has yet to show any signs of becoming a legit starter. The teams because plan to bring in veteran players has had them miss out on the playoffs and quality draft picks.

In the period between the 2010-2012 seasons the flames have acquired roster players Anton Babchuk, Tim Jackman, Henrik Carlsson, Matt Stajan, Alex Tanguay, Sven Baertschi, Lee Stempniak, Mike Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler and Dennis Wideman.  Nothing about those names screams rebuild, in fact several of these players came in after having past success playing with Jarome in his prime.

So why did the Flames choose to go this route instead of rebuilding earlier. It’s my belief that ownership always wanted to win with Jarome and that was Jarome’s desire to. During his prime the flames went through five coaches in six years and failed to find quality players for Jarome to play with. However Jarome never whined or complain, instead he shouldered the blame for the teams failures. Iginla success as an individual had masked glaring holes in the organization for years, because of this the team made the decision when he signed his five-year contract that they would honor it by trying to bring in veterans to win with Iginla in Calgary and not rebuild for the future. While you can’t fault the organization for wanting to win, this is going to hurt them in the long-term.

Jarome is now 35 years old and his contract expires at the end of the season. He might still have 3 years left in him but the question is simple do you bring him back and try to win a cup with veterans or is it going to be time to rebuild once the contract expires. This summer will be important in the long-term as Provincial rivals the Oilers are in year four of their rebuild and look to be the creme of the crop of the division by the time that the flames decide to start a potential rebuild. Which might lead many people in Calgary to ask why they didn’t pull the trigger earlier.