Iginla: “I know that I wasn’t good enough”

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After enduring what will likely be a season-crippling third straight loss, Flames captain Jarome Iginla was in the mood to take responsibility for the Flames’ struggles.

“I know that I wasn’t good enough, especially down the stretch,” said Iginla. He later added, “It’s tough on everybody, but we put ourselves here and there’s absolutely nobody to blame but ourselves.”

Although it’s true that Iginla went cold during the Flames’ stretch run, it would be wrong to put all or even most of the blame on his shoulders. Iginla has scored 107 goals for Calgary over the last three years, including a team-high 32 in 80 contests this season. Yes, he’s the team’s highest paid player and yes it is right to expect him to perform at a star level. However, he has largely lived up to his end of the bargain and it’s the Flames management that has been unable to either build a contender around him in recent years or trade him in an effort to jumpstart a rebuilding process.

This will be a key summer for Calgary and not just because they are expected to fall short of the playoffs for the third straight campaign. The Flames top two players in Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff are in their mid-30s. In addition to that, Iginla’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2012-13 campaign. Every season that they choose to stay the course in the hope of making the playoffs rather than trading either of those two stars, their potential return diminishes.

Here’s what deal between women’s team, USA hockey is reportedly worth

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It’s great news that the U.S. women’s national team and USA Hockey came together on a deal for the upcoming world championships.

Still, all we really know is that the contract lasts four years, as the two sides decided to keep the dollar figures between each other.

The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell laid out a lot of the possible numbers on his Twitter feed, giving us an idea of what reportedly sealed the deal.

First things first, Campbell reports that the deal is worth $3.7-$4 million overall.

That’s quite the impressive number on face value, but what does it mean for players over a four-year contract?

Campbell reports that earnings will range between $850K and $950K, depending upon how they perform in the tournament:

They’ll also receive the same travel and other miscellaneous amenities as the men’s team, but what about years that are more about training than competition?

Interesting stuff. Definitely check out Campbell’s feed for additional details.

This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)

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For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.

Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.

Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.

Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.

Milestones: Matthews, Nylander break Leafs rookie records; Chara hits 600

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Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.

With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.

That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:

Switching gears, let’s go from new to (relatively) old: Zdeno Chara collected the 600th point of his outstanding career with an assist:

Yes, it’s true that most people think of his imposing size and all-world defensive instincts in praising Chara, but he’s been a respectable point producer, too.

U.S. women end boycott, will represent USA Hockey at worlds

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The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.

The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)

“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”

The U.S. women’s national team is scheduled to face Canada on Friday.

Here’s a screen cap of the press release for your convenience: