Sports Hockey


Trade best thing for Jarome Iginla and the Flames

By Eric Francis, Calgary Sun

Flames captain Jarome Iginla. (AL CHAREST/Calgary Sun)

Flames captain Jarome Iginla. (AL CHAREST/Calgary Sun)


It appears the Jarome Iginla era is essentially over in Calgary.

And as sad as it is to have the most popular and prolific player in Calgary Flames history moving on, he and the franchise will be better off for it.

After 17 years of outstanding service with the Flames, it’s becoming more and more evident the 35-year-old winger has no plans to re-sign in Calgary before the April 3 NHL trade deadline.

Such disinterest essentially forces the franchise to ask Iginla to waive his no-trade clause so the organization can at least recoup assets as part of a trade as opposed to losing him in the summer without compensation.

Iginla’s agent Don Meehan refused comment on the report, keeping in line with a promise from Iginla and GM Jay Feaster to remain mum on the subject.

Reports surfaced on the weekend that things have progressed to the point Iginla has given the Flames a list of four teams he’d agree to be traded to — the Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks.

It only makes sense dialogue has been exchanged with all four potential suitors to move the iconic winger to a city where he’ll have a legitimate shot at his first Stanley Cup this spring.

And the Flames would be well-advised to move quickly since the Penguins acquired veteran winger Brendan Morrow from the Dallas Stars on Sunday, hampering chances the Penguins are interested in the bidding war for Iginla.

With Iginla’s contract set to expire July 1 — his 36th birthday — the general belief is Iginla will fetch at least a late first-round draft pick and a prospect as a rental player. However, with at least three of the teams on his list extremely keen to add the future hall of famer in the next nine days, the competition could spur a club to cough up a top-nine forward, as well, if not a conditional pick should Iginla choose to re-sign with his new team.

After years of vowing to keep Iginla in Calgary his entire career, ownership will have an easy decision to move him if he’s shown no interest in re-negotiating, as was the case two weeks ago, when Iginla’s agent told the Calgary Sun he had yet to receive instruction on how to proceed from Iginla.

Drafted 11th overall by the Stars in 1995, the Edmonton-born Iginla was acquired by the Flames that December in a deal that saw former Flames icon Joe Nieuwendyk sent to Texas, where he won his second of three Stanley Cups. Iginla has since gone on to lead the franchise in goals, assists and games played, not to mention carrying the team on his back to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup final, where the team fell one win short of capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup.

It has become abundantly clear the last few years Iginla won’t get his chance to challenge for another championship here, as the organization has spent the last three years mortgaging the future with no playoff appearances to show for it.

Despite having his dream home built here in the province he was born and raised in, Iginla’s desire to win a Stanley Cup has obviously played a big role in his decision-making process.

Fans watching Sunday’s night’s game were particularly quiet, as they feared it might be the last time they see Iginla with the Flames.

For his sake and for that of the franchise, it should be.


Of these four teams on Jarome Iginla’s supposed wish list, to which do you think he should go?

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