Flames fans never got the chance to say goodbye to Jarome Iginla.
Not properly anyway.
He was scratched for what would have been his last game as a captain of the Calgary Flames, a March 27th contest against the Colorado Avalanche, as Jay Feaster tried to work out the details of a trade that would send Iginla to
Now, after signing with the Bruins as a free agent this summer, Iggy returns to the building where he spent sixteen years leading the Flames on and off the ice--as a member of the opposing team.
Almost nine months after Iginla's departure, Mark Giordano is doing a fine job as captain in the limited number of games he's played thus far, and the Flames have come nowhere close to replacing Iginla's contributions on the ice, even in the latter years of his time with the Flames where his production declined.
Iginla's addition to the Bruins is an addition to the embarrassment of riches they already possess compared to the rebuilding Flames, and while the two teams are obviously in very different places in their development, Iggy finally has the supporting cast he needs in the final years of his career to allow him to play a significantly lesser role in his team's success or failure. And with the Bruins having gone to the Stanley Cup final twice in the past three seasons and winning the whole thing once, the chances of success are pretty high.
Flames fans have every right to feel a variety of emotions surrounding Iginla's departure from this team and this city; in recent years it seems the circumstances leading up to and including the relocation of franchise players have rarely been ideal for both parties, but tonight should not be about those feelings. Tonight should be about remembering what he gave, what he did for this team, and about saying goodbye--for real this time.
The Flames will have their turn eventually, and although Iggy probably won't be there when they do, but the Flames wouldn't be the franchise they are today without him--hell, they might not even be in Calgary anymore--and his impression on this franchise is indelible.
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The Bruins are another team that has been hit hard by the injury bug; Loui Eriksson, Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton will all sit this one out. Eriksson has been placed on injured reserve. Shawn Thornton is awaiting an in-person hearing with the NHL after his one-sided tussle with Brooks Orpik in Saturday's game versus Iginla's other former team, the Penguins.
Unsurprisingly, Berra gets the start again tonight after allowing just one goal in the Flames' overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Bob Hartley's love for Joe Colborne knows no bounds, as the centre has seen his ice time increase in recent game and has been promoted to the second line despite fighting the flu in Saturday's outing. Surprisingly, Baertschi is being promoted alongside him.