Jarome Iginla chose to stay quiet on Tuesday morning, chose to focus on the game against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight instead of commenting on the trade rumors that build as the April 3 deadline nears.
So his Calgary Flames coach and teammates fielded the questions on their longtime captain, who they may or may not be coaching or calling a teammate within the next eight days.
Iginla, through team PR, declined to speak to the media after the Flames’ morning skate. He’ll probably talk tonight, after the Flames face the Blackhawks at the United Center. The Flames, meanwhile, are obviously aware of what’s going on with their team, and with the trade possibilities. To them, be it Iginla or anyone else, it’s just part of this time of year.
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“Most of us can read, and so we’re aware of it,” Mike Cammalleri told Calgary and local media today. “I guess, amongst ourselves, you can make our own comedy of it and then just prepare to play the hockey game, and really quickly realize it's not something we can worry about.
“This might be a boring answer, but for me, I think the best way to deal with it is just understand it. It's really not that hard to understand,” Cammalleri continued. “We play in a Canadian market where people really love hockey, Jarome Iginla is the face of the Calgary Flames franchise for how long now, and so people have an emotional attachment to him and the team. It's going to be a lot of gossip when it comes to this topic.”
Several outlets have reported that Iginla has a list of Stanley Cup-contending teams for which he’d waive his no-trade clause to join, including the Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins. Iginla has talked little about the subject, and it’s not the first time that Iginla’s name has been mentioned as possibly being traded out of Calgary. But this year could be the year. The Flames are struggling, and there’s a need to rebuild. Iginla is 35 years old, and his opportunities to win a Cup are dwindling.
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Jay Bouwmeester said the talk, outside of media questions, has been quiet in the room.
“Guys don’t talk about it,” he said. “As far as everyone here is concerned, whoever’s here is here and you’re going to play hard and try to win hockey games. It’s not the first time (for trade talk), so I don’t worry about it. It happens every year: different places, different names, that sort of thing. Until something happens, it’s all talk.”
The talk will continue, even if the Flames and Iginla keep it quelled in their locker room. Until Iginla goes somewhere, if anywhere, the games will go on.
“I think he's handling it fine,” Cammalleri said of Iginla. “For us, as players, he hasn't been any different in the room.”