The Calgary Flames find themselves outside the playoffs for a third consecutive season (and you could argue that they’ve been out of legitimate contention for quite a bit longer). Any reasonable person connected to the team would have some soul searching to do, so perhaps it makes sense that the face of the franchise has a furrowed brow.
Even so, Jarome Iginla’s mixed feelings following the Flames’ finale remain pretty stunning. Vicki Hall captures his thoughts on the future:
“I have no idea; I don’t know what next year holds,” Iginla said. “Do I want to be on a team where we’re going to fully rebuild. I don’t know that I do.”
In a way, those quotes almost read like what his exact inner monologue might sound like.
To some, it seems like things keep dragging on with Iginla and the Flames, but it’s easy to overlook how deep his roots really are. Ever since being traded from the Dallas Stars, he’s been a fixture in Calgary since the 1996-97 season.
Iginla’s production has been up-and-down the past few years. From 2006-09, he had 94, 98 and 89-point seasons. Iginla dipped in 2009-10 with 69 points, rose last season with 86 and then went back down to 67 this year.
Considering the top-heavy nature of that team, that’s not enough to get the postseason. Iginla took the blame in that regard, yet most people would probably agree that he’s needed more help for some time.
In case you’re wondering, Iginla has one more season remaining on his current contract. The final year of a deal is often one of the most manageable for good deck-clearing trades, but that would involve a major, painful step.
So that brings us to the big questions: should the Flames trade Iginla? Should Iginla ask for a trade?