Jarome Iginla scored against his old team last night, but it wasn’t enough as the Colorado Avalanche lost 6-3 to the Calgary Flames in Denver. The loss was Colorado’s 21st of the season, more than any other team in the National Hockey League.
It’s time for Iginla to get out of there.
When the Flames traded Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 27, 2013 – nearly four years ago – it was for the team to rebuild and for their captain to go with a Stanley Cup.
Things didn’t exactly go according to plan.
Not only did the Flames not receive much value for their captain, Jarome’s new team wasn’t destined for the Stanley Cup either.
Iginla didn’t win a Cup with the Penguins, or the Bruins, who he signed with in the 2013 offseason. After a year in Boston, the Flames franchise leader in points moved on to Colorado where he would join an Avalanche team on the rise.
The Avs have gone into the tank since Iginla’s arrival in Colorado. And it’s getting worse, as this year the Avalanche are in last place. In short, he’s wasting the last years of his career there.
Jarome Iginla playing on a line with Blake Comeau is like a former CEO winding down his career by working as a Walmart greeter.
— Darren Haynes (@DarrenWHaynes) December 28, 2016
Iginla is in the last year of a contract that carries a $5.33 cap hit. The Avs need to move him.
The 39-year-old likely doesn’t have many years left in his career – this could be his last – and is struggling this season with just 9 points (5-4-9) in 34 games. Still, Iginla is just one year removed from a 22-goal season, and in the right situation, could be a productive player again.
I can think of one place that would give the old guy a boost of energy.
Calgary. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
Iginla would provide veteran leadership and experience to a young Flames roster. Calgary is currently in a playoff spot, one which they don’t want to give up. Are they Stanley Cup favourites? Certainly not, but you never know.
Iginla holds all the cards in this situation. He has a no-movement clause in his contract and can veto any trade.
Perhaps Iginla would prefer to go to a Cup contender, but he’s tried chasing contenders before. Maybe it’s just time to come home.
Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke is no stranger to this kind of situation. When GM with the Vancouver Canucks in 2001, he reacquired fan favourite Trevor Linden. Linden was reacquired not to lead his old team again, but rather to be a mentor and provide depth.
The Flames are a completely different team from the one that Iginla said goodbye to in 2013. He wouldn’t need to lead the team anymore, he would just need to play a role.
I can’t think of a more perfect place for Iginla at this time in his career than the place where he made his name. The place where he grew up.
It’s time. Bring him home.