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Iginla Talks About This Season and Free Agency

USATSI_8291486_154224518_lowresAs reported a couple days ago, the Calgary Flames wanted to address the Jarome Iginla free agent situation at the beginning of camp, and then not talk about it for the remainder of the season.

Flames GM Jay Feaster,

“The directive here in Calgary, the objective here in Calgary, has not changed. From ownership right on through, our goal and our intent is to have Jarome Iginla spend his entire playing career with the Calgary Flames.

“The one thing we don’t want is to talk to Jarome’s contract every day.”

They may not want to talk about, but the media will be wanting to ask about it.

Iginla is in the last year of his contract, and will be making $7 million. The Flames will have to decide if they want to re-sign him, and find out if he wants to re-sign with them. They plan on finding out immediately so it doesn’t become a distraction. By some of Iginla’s comments, he may be willing to stay with the team.

“I don’t want it to be a distraction to the team, to myself. We have a goal and a mission. We’ve been out of the playoffs three years, with a shortened, intense season, we don’t need a distraction,” said Iginla, who didn’t skate Sunday due to a groin strain. “I believe in this organization and this team. I believe we can be a very good team.

“My preference would be to play here on a great team and win. I think we can do that. My focus is going to be on helping this team to the playoffs and ultimately win.”

Iginla controls his own destiny as he has a no-trade clause. If he’s not re-signed by the April 3rd trade deadline, and the Flames are not in the playoff mix, it’s likely that he could be asked to waive the no-trade.

“That’s definitely not where my thoughts are,” Iginla said. “I honestly think we’ll be a good team and plan on being in a good position. I don’t want to do ‘what-ifs’ or anything like that.

“My focus will definitely not be day-to-day wondering where my contract is. We win games and play as hard as I can to help that be the cause, that will take care of itself.”

Feaster added,

“We all know what the options and the alternatives are. It’s a balancing act you weigh in the process. If we’re sitting without a deal and we’re a playoff team and things have gone well for us during the season, and we think we have a real opportunity in the post-season, you’ve seen that from us, too. It doesn’t mean the player’s going to be traded. If we don’t get something done by the trade deadline, that doesn’t mean you trade Jarome.”

It will be interesting to see how talks between the two sides play out over the next couple weeks. Both sides will likely be tight lipped on discussions.

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Mark is the NHL editor for Sports City and myNHLtraderumors.com. Lives north of Toronto in the snow-belt, not a big fan of snow. Despises lockouts.

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