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(Jeff McIntosh)
(Jeff McIntosh)

Iginla open to trade possibility Add to ...

Jarome Iginla packed up his Calgary Flames gear and left the Pengrowth Saddleome Wednesday afternoon. For the last time? No one knows the answer to that query, not even the Flames captain who has become the subject of trade speculation.

But Iginla, who turns 33 this summer, did acknowledge a few things: he wants to win and win in Calgary but if the Flames insist they have to send him elsewhere then he would consider waiving the no-movement clause in his contract.

"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. Absolutely," Iginla told reporters. "You want to play where you're wanted and have people believe in you. But I don't think that's the case (in Calgary).

"Obviously, they have decisions to make. 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," he added. "I want to win and there's only so many years, and the years go by fast. I believe with some adjustments we can be a lot better team this year."

Iginla, who has three years left on his contract, went on to say if he was asked to agree to a trade he wouldn't "take it personally. I don't believe I would. Like I say, the owners and the organization and Darryl (Sutter, the GM), they've treated me well. It's professional sports and organizations need to do what they feel they need to do to be the best they can."

Missing the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs has opened the Flames to intense scrutiny and the possibility they may want to trade their top forward for younger talent to rebuild around. By no means is Iginla over the hill. Given the right centreman, he could have bettered his final count of 32 goals.

But with little front-line talent ready to move into the NHL, and the first two draft picks missing for this year's entry draft, the Flames need an infusion of quality younger players, and trading Iginla could provide that. Sutter, however, said that wasn't likely to happen during his post-season news conference held earlier in the week.

"They're looking at everybody," said Iginla, who met with head coach Brent Sutter when the season ended. "My first meeting has been they want me to here to be part of it. I believe I will be back. But at the same time, it's hockey."

Iginla acknowledged it had been a hard year on him, not producing enough in close games while also competing at an extremely intense home Olympics, where he helped Canada win the gold medal. He was also keen to address rumours that he had a dressing-room fight with Dion Phaneuf, which may have led to the defenceman being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I never had any fights with him. We got along very well," Iginla said. "I had no issues with him. I think he's a very determined, passionate, competitive player."

Brent Sutter told the FAN 960 he didn't know how many personnel changes would be made to the team and that a review of the organization would eventually determine what happens next.

"We've met with all the players you talk to them about their performance and how they felt they played throughout the year," Sutter said. "And you also talk to them about what we need to get better as a (coaching) staff … so we can help them to get better."

Flames defenceman Mark Giordano confirmed he'll be playing for Canada at the world championships while Calgary teammates David Moss and Eric Nystrom will compete for the U.S.

 

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