Jarome Iginla

Iginla: ‘I wish the Flames the absolute best’


With everyone still getting used to the idea of Jarome Iginla being a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the star forward addressed the media this afternoon.

From the sounds of it, Iginla will need some time to wrap his head around the change too.

While talking about some of the strong offensive teams the Calgary Flames have had over the years, his face began to light up. Caught up in his reminiscing he continued, “and now we still, we have a good – well,” he paused before correcting himself, “the Flames have…”

Although he was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars, the 35-year-old spent his entire tenure in the NHL with the Calgary Flames until now.

“I wish the Flames the absolute best,” Iginla said, according to Helene Elliott.

Still, as fondly as he might remember the past and as much of a connection as he has with Calgary, he’s also looking forward to what’s next.

He’s not sure what his role will be with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he’s fine with whatever it is.

“It’s kind of like going to a Team Canada thing or an Olympic thing,” Iginla suggested, which is flattering, but sounding less ridiculous by the day. The Penguins already had a team flush with stars before Iginla and they’ve also added Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray in separate trades.

“I’d love to get my first crack at (the Cup),” Iginla added based on the Penguins’ transcript. “Pittsburgh is great organization. Firepower and chemistry they have. I’ll try to help win.”


With added expectations, how will the Penguins handle the pressure?

So who are the guys Calgary got for Iginla?

GM Feaster doesn’t want to call Flames rebuilding

Report: Flames preferred Bruins’ deal, Iginla picked Pens

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

1 Comment

Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and, subsequently, the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

1 Comment

When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado