For the first time in Jarome Iginla's 16 years in Calgary, he left the door open for him not being with the team next year.
Without exception Jarome's comments have always been about being part of the solution, about the team pushing forward next season for the playoffs and never was there ever a hint of him leaving, not from his perspective.
There is now and it does not sound like he would be a impediment to the team moving him if they want to.
He clearly stated that regarding a rebuild he did not want to be a part of a "full" rebuild.
He wants to be in the playoffs and he wants to win the Cup. Finishing the season once again as the Flames leading scorer with 32 Goals, 35 Assists for 67 points for a 7 way tie for 26th in NHL scoring and his 32 Goals placed him as 19th leading goal scorer, he will have some value on the trade market as one the NHL's most consistent producers.
If he is moved to a team with a skilled Center, his totals may even increase. Due to Jarome's legendary conditioning he can be expected to have several years ahead of him and not a one year rental for any team acquiring him but one that he will sign onto for the remaining years of his career which could approach age 40 for him.
The post-game interview is here, first part is all about Aliu but make the jump for the latter part of the interview where Jarome discusses himself.
Jarome's interview starts off with his famous positivity for another player, Akim Aliu's strong game and two goals. It is a key element of Jarome, his positivity and leadership, something the Flames in the future if they keep Jarome will value and if he leaves will miss.
Question: Any thoughts on your future with the franchise Jarome?
I have no idea and I don't know what next year holds. They are going to look at everything and I really don't know what it holds, it is going to be a long off-season… it is hard not to be playing, you want to keep going and we're done and I don't know what the future holds. ~ Jarome Iginla - April 7, 2012
This is notable for Jarome because never in his history of being a Flame has he ever left the door open in this regard. Despite constant comments to Jarome over his career on trades, the best that ever came out of him was if the organization asked him to, he would. From his perspective he has been extremely consistent with statements about wanting to stay in Calgary, believing in the organization and wanting to remain a Flame.
He has stated over and over that he wants to be a part of the solution. This is the first time that from his perspective there was a hint that he may be realizing that his life-long goal to win a Stanley Cup may have him at a crossroads with the organization, he has given so many years to.
There was none of his familiar and usual comments of being a part of the solution going forward, merely an inclination that the organization has decisions to make and that the future is uncertain.
Question: Would it be shocking or tough if the organization approaches you?
I don't know how my feelings would be or what they would be. I understand there is a lot up in the air and a lot of questions. No, I don't know how I would feel. We are all going to be looked at, that is part of it and we all should be, being out 3 years. They have to decide what direction they want to go in. ~ Jarome Iginla - April 7, 2012
Wisely Jarome side-steps the fuzzy "feelings" question.
The loaded paradox question. He does not want to be put into the awkward situation of validating his desire to win a Cup with his loyalty to the fans, the Flames or the organization. It is actually absurd that this should even be an issue in his case. If there is any player who has been more committed and loyal to a franchise, it is Jarome and it is one of the reasons there should not even be a shred or whisper of ill-will to him if he is moved.
In fact his candor and ability to recognize the lack of playoff results bodes well for a player who at this point is certainly realizing the team is not a Cup contender. With a failure to even make the playoffs three years in a row Jarome is leaving the door open for the organization and probably like a lot of fans even expects something along these lines to arise in his meetings.
How can you not?
Question: Are you open minded to that discussion or that conversation, open to exploring… ?
I don't know the direction, do I want to rebuild? Are we going to fully rebuild? I don't know that I [want] to. I think Calgary is a very good organization, they treat us all well as players. There is a lot of good things going, you see some of the young guys this year, it has been a big positive.
There is guys who are pushing for a spot... and they are going to be good players… Do I want to fully rebuild, I'd be lying to you if I said that I do. But at the same time the organization has to do what they want to do. I have no idea what is going to happen. ~ Jarome Iginla - April 7th, 2012
This is the most telling part of the interview.
Jarome clearly states he does not want to be part of a rebuild but then goes on to talk about all the positives of the young players this year. Probably the #1 positive along with Kipper's play this season.
The subtle message in Jarome's comment is that he recognizes that a rebuild involves the injection of a lot of new, young players into the roster. Players that he himself recognizes as having strong potential for the future but then states he does not want a full rebuild.
Jarome does not want a full rebuild but recognizes the strength of the young Flames players this year. The decision to him is up to the organization. He is not asking for a trade but the writing is on the wall. Why would the Flames not continue on with their youth injection when this has been one of the strengths of the year, whether you call it rebuild or reload a youth movement is the turning of the clock on the life-cycle of a team.
At M&G we have tended to avoid the trade rumors regarding Jarome. They have been a constant wave, year after year. We rarely contribute to them for the simple fact that year after year other bloggers or MSM ignore the fact that Jarome has an NMC and the message from him on his intent to remain a Calgary Flames has never wavered.
Not until this year...
In fact if the Flames embark upon a rebuild, Jarome may even request a trade and NO ONE can for a second condemn him for doing so. He has done everything possible to get the Flames to a Cup and the team should not impede his personal goal to it.
Everyone wanted to see him lift that Cup in the Flaming C but it is hard to deny the reality of the crossroads that faces him and the organization today.