Iginla says he would consider leaving team, if Flames ask

By Vicki Hall, Calgary Herald

Jarome Iginla says he would consider waiving his no-trade clause should the Calgary Flames ask him to consider changing teams.

“If they don’t want me here and they want to move in a direction or rebuild or believed they could do better, I would look at it,” the Calgary Flames captain said Wednesday as the players packed up their belongings at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

“Absolutely. You want to play where you’re wanted and have people believe in you.”

But Iginla went to great pains to emphasize that he wants to return to the Flames next season.

The face of the franchise believes the Flames — with the addition of a creative forward or two — can bounce back from the indignity of failing to make the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

The Edmonton native broke into the National Hockey League 14 years ago with the Flames. For the first time Wednesday, he publicly conceded he might not finish his career in the city where it all began.

“Obviously, they have decisions to make,” Iginla said of ownership and management. “If they want me here, yeah, I do want to be here.

“Again, it’s not because it’s just easy or it’s comfortable. I want to win. I want to win, and there’s only so many years. The years go by fast. I believe with some adjustments, we can be a lot better team this year.”

Iginla’s future area code is the hot topic around town given the sorry state of the about-to-be-golfing Flames. The captain turns 33 this summer, and the Flames are sorely lacking in blue-chip prospects.

Even in an off-year by his lofty standards, Iginla scored 32 goals and 69 points through 82 games.