Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Time to Deal #12?

As the Flames finished their 3rd consecutive season outside of the playoffs, many questions begin to arise as expected. The hottest topic of those being the face of the franchise, and city for 12 years, Jarome Iginla. The once so dominant, two-time 50+ goal scoring power forward will turn 35 this season, and this may be the last opportunity the Flames have to get anything worth while for him.

It was believed by some that either Captain Jarome Iginla would go before the beginning of next season or Brent Sutter, but both would not remain in Calgary.  As of last week, it was made official that Sutter would not be returning next season as the bench boss of the Flames, which in turn could be telling us the story of next season for this organization. It was clear that Sutter wanted to coach a rebuild or a contender, and that anything in between doesn't matter. Obviously the Flames ownership and management couldn't promise him that, so both sides decided to part ways.

For most Calgary Flames fans, including myself, it would be nice to watch Iginla retire as a Flame, and continue being this teams leader. It's obvious you don't make your team better ever by trading a guy like Iggy, and looking at past franchise players that have been dealt such as Boston trading Joe Thornton to San Jose, the trade doesn't always work out for the team dealing the star.  But with the last year of his contract coming up, including the age he is and the small amount of options available in the free agent market, it is obvious that he will have to move on if he wants to win the Stanley Cup.  Iginla himself said he wasn't sure if he would want to be a part of a team that would be in a full rebuild, and who can blame him?

I believe Iginla holds most of the cards, if not all of them in this decision and unless he wants out of Calgary, he will remain a Flame. The only other people that can influence this decision is  Flames ownership, which have said several times throughout the past few years that they have no intention of dealing #12, and want nothing else but for him to retire a Calgary Flame. Whether this would be the best decision for the organization or not, we will have to wait and see.

It's obvious that the Flames chances of becoming a contender by next season is close to nil, so here's to hoping ownership finally calls Iginla and his agent Don Meehan for a coffee.

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