NHL Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Jarome Iginla Should Stay in Calgary

Michael StuartCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2010

NHL Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Jarome Iginla Should Stay in Calgary

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    Jarome Iginla has been the face of the Calgary Flames for years.  There is no player quite like him in the league.  He plays with more skill, heart, determination and scoring prowess than 99 percent of the league. 

    Amidst all of the trade rumors regarding Iginla, I thought I would take the time to discuss why Iginla should stay in Calgary.  There hasn't been enough positive energy for the power forward, and this could be the start.

    Iginla has had a career to remember, but it's not time for him to move on.  Even though I'm a Vancouver fan and a Kings fan, I believe that Iginla belongs in Calgary.

    Here are 10 reasons why Iginla should remain a Calgary Flame.  I'd love to hear from Flames' fans and hockey fans alike.

    Thanks for reading.

     

    Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93

He's the Heart and Soul of the Flames

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    Who would be the leader of the team?  Sure you’ve got guys like Rene Bourque and Alex Tanguay, but truly, can anyone replace Jarome? 

    Take a look back to the Olympics when he was a key part of Team Canada.  That team was full of leaders, yet Jarome stood out. 

    He has so much heart and soul—more than most, if not all, players in the league.  You can see it on the ice, you can see it in his interviews—he just wants to win.

    Without Iginla’s heart, the Flames would be in bad shape.  Who would be there to light the fire beneath the troops?  That’s Iginla’s job.  It’s been his job since he was named captain, and it will continue to be his job.

    I compare Iginla to Shane Doan.  Through thick and thin, Iginla is a player who can be counted on to bring his best game to the rink day in and day out.  These players don't come around everyday.  It's not a coincidence that Phoenix hasn't gotten rid of Doan through their rough stretches. 

Sutter's Not Going To Get the Farm

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    We all know that if Darryl Sutter was to trade Iginla that the asking price would be incredibly high. 

    Iginla is a superstar in the National Hockey League, and he is being paid like one.  With a cap hit of over $7 million, there are only a handful of teams that could really afford to take on Iginla’s salary. 

    For example, the Los Angeles Kings.  Most Kings fans would love to get Jarome out of Calgary.  The consensus is that Dean Lombardi would have to give up players like Brayden Schenn, Thomas Hickey and other top prospects.

    Is there a team in the league willing to give up the farm for their chance at a player like Jarome?  I honestly don’t think so.  Sutter may get one or two good prospects, but he’s not going to get a Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.

Trading Jarome Won't Make the Flames Better

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    Dylan Lynch/Getty Images

    With only one really good prospect in Mikael Backlund, the Flames are poised to make their best run now. 

    This team isn’t built for the future like their Alberta rival, the Edmonton Oilers.  Iginla is a key part of this “win now” mentality.  He has the heart, soul and determination to bring a cup to Calgary.  We saw it in 2004. 

    So if Jarome was to be traded for a prospect or two, you would be left with a mediocre group and one or two prospects. 

    Unless Darryl Sutter finally comes to the realization that a rebuild is the best option, this just doesn’t make sense.

    When your team is sitting dead last in the conference, behind the Oilers, you have a problem.  Trading Iginla isn’t going to fix the problem; it will just create more.

Iginla's Community Connections

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    The great thing about the National Hockey League and its players is the community connections.  Iginla is no exception.

    He has built a life in Calgary and he has really helped out the community.  He is one of those players who cares both on and off the ice. 

    There is no doubt that an Iginla trade would be a big loss to the city of Calgary.  Not only is he Calgary’s hero, he’s Canada’s hero. 

    Iginla is one of the well-respected athletes in the game, and he really should be treated with respect.  It’s up to Darryl Sutter to build a competitive team around him; Iginla can’t do everything.

    As an example of Iginla’s community connections, look at his hockey school.  Not only does he teach hockey, he donates the money to diabetes research.  That’s the definition of a true professional. 

    Just google “Jarome Iginla community” and you will come up with so many things.  It’s quite incredible.

Iginla Is a Role Model

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    If you’re coach Brent Sutter and you have young players coming in, who would you rather have as a role model for them, Jarome Iginla or Olli Jokinen? 

    There’s no question.  Jokinen just isn’t the kind of player that you want teaching your young prospects.  While he has talent, he doesn’t seem to have the heart or drive necessary to really take his game to the next level in a pressure market.  Just ask Jay Bouwmeester whether it’s easier playing in Florida.  I think we all know his answer.

    Iginla knows how to play the game of hockey with skill, talent and respect.  If you’re trying to train prospects to be the best NHLers they can be, wouldn’t Iginla be the perfect role model?

    If you look at some of the players to come through Calgary in the past few years, you don’t have to dive too deep to see that Jarome has had a positive influence on them. 

    The best example of this is Bourque.  Where was his game before Calgary?  Well, it wasn’t where it is today.  Bourque is quickly becoming one of the more talented forwards in the game.  I think that a large part of that is due to Iginla’s influence. 

Not Many Teams Can Afford Jarome

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Look at the National Hockey League as a whole.  First of all, about half the teams are losing money.  Secondly, quite a few teams are right up against the cap ceiling. 

    The teams that jump out at you as teams with cap room are Toronto and Los Angeles.  Looking at each individual situation, Los Angeles makes more sense as a possible trading partner for the Flames. 

    Los Angeles has quite a deep prospect pool.  They really need scoring help, and Iginla could provide that.  However, Dean Lombardi would be incredibly reluctant to pull the trigger on any deal that was going to sacrifice his future success in Los Angeles.

    Whether that’s a good thing or not is up for debate.  Lombardi has long been known as a general manager who can build a team, like he did in San Jose, but then not take it to the next level.

    The next team I mentioned was the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Sure, it all sounds dandy.  Iginla, Phil Kessel and whoever they put at center.  Would it really work, though? 

    Brian Burke has the cap room, but does he really need to build the Calgary Flames?  Having already acquired Dion Phaneuf, it would just look like Brian was building a team that didn’t work in Calgary. 

    That’s not to say that Phaneuf and Iginla aren’t great players; it just didn’t work. 

    The other aspect that could nix a possible Calgary/Toronto trade would be the fact that Toronto has very few assets that are appealing to any potential trading partner.  Who would Calgary want?  I don’t know.

Iginla Wants To Stay in Calgary, For Now

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    Dylan Lynch/Getty Images

    What a lot of people forget when all of these rumors about Iginla being traded is the fact that he has a no-trade clause in his contract.  That basically means he can nix whatever deal he wants. 

    After so many years in Calgary, I find it incredibly unlikely that he just wants to leave right now.  While things may not be going as well as hoped this year for the Flames, there is no doubt that Iginla still believes in himself and the Calgary Flames. 

    When you consider each and every single one of the aspects I’ve talked about above, is there really any reason that Iginla would want to leave Calgary?

    If the losses keep piling up and Iginla begins to be disrespected by the coaching staff, I could see a scenario where he would ask to be traded.  Until that point, I believe that Iginla wants to stay in Calgary.

    He is the definition of what it means to be a Calgary Flame.  Why would he want to leave?

Iginla Can Put Up The Numbers

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    I've heard so much about how Iginla is slowing down with age and how he isn't the same player anymore.  It's kind of funny when I hear all this because people continue to forget that he puts up 30 goals a season.  Could you imagine if Iginla had a real No. 1 center to pass him the puck? 

    While he may not be the 50 goal scorer he once was, Iginla still competes as one of the most prolific scorers in the game. 

    I find it interesting that people seem to have written this guy off.  As I've already said in this slide show, Iginla is so good when it comes to clutch situations.  Everyone knows about the Olympics and the 2004 playoff run.  He just has that killer instinct. 

    On a team without a lot of offensive depth, Iginla remains a constant.  He always manages to come through when needed.  If the Flames need a goal, he brings it.  If the Flames need a fight, he brings it.  There is no doubt that Iginla still has skill.

    Calgary needs to keep Iginla if they want to have any chance at winning games this season.  He is the flare that lights them up. 

Jarome Says All the Right Things

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    Times aren't great right now in the city of Calgary.  The team isn't playing well, and they are dead last in the conference.  In situations like this, many captains will come out and stay with the status quo—not Jarome Iginla. 

    Iginla gives his honest opinion every time he is asked a question.  A lot of people don't really appreciate just how rare that sort of thing is.  Look at Henrik Sedin in Vancouver.  He'll tell you the team worked hard, the bounces didn't go their way and things like that.  While I'm not trying to knock Sedin, but he isn't quite so honest or well-spoken.

    I had a friend who didn't know the first thing about hockey.  It was in 2004, and after a loss to Tampa Bay, she told me how impressed she was with Iginla's interview skills.  Since then, she's been a big fan of his.

    What does that say?  It says that he has the power to influence fans.  It's really something special. 

    I would hate to see Calgary lose such a hardworking and honest member of the community and team. 

The Mike Modano Effect

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Take a close look at the picture I've chosen for this slide.  Does anything look wrong?

    Mike Modano is in a Red Wings uniform.  A lot of people were really happy to hear that he was heading home after many years in the Stars organization.  Sure, it's a nice story, but does it look right? 

    Modano was one of those players who was meant to retire from the organization he started with.  Although Iginla is quite a bit younger than Modano, he belongs in Calgary for the rest of his career.

    I would rather see Iginla retire at the end of this year than put on another team's jersey.  In this case, once a Flame, always a Flame.  Iginla is meant to remain a Flame for the rest of his career. 

    As a hockey fan, I would hate to see Iginla suit up for any other team, even my Los Angeles Kings.  There are so few stories out there like Iginla's and Modano's.  Living in Vancouver, I remember when Trevor Linden was traded.  It broke the hearts of many Vancouver fans.  It would be the same thing in Calgary.  The difference would be that Iginla wouldn't come back. 

    I really hope Iginla stays.