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Retired teammate: Iginla’s ‘compete level’ has waned

Feb 13, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

Jarome Iginla Getty Images

With six points in 10 games, it’s hard to say that 35-year-old forward Jarome Iginla is off to a terrible start, but he certainly isn’t living up to the high standards he’s set for himself. The Calgary Flames captain has just one goal this season after surpassing the 30-goal mark in each of his last 11 campaigns.

If you think this might be something more troubling than an early season slump, then you’re not alone. His former teammate Rhett Warrener, who has hanged up his skates and is now a radio host, offered a harsh assessment of Iginla on the FAN 960.

“His greatest asset was his shot but more importantly his compete-level — his refuse-to-lose attitude — and now you are watching and … it’s not there,” said Warrener, based on the Calgary Sun’s transcript.

“He’s not Dany Heatley-slow, but he’s not getting there. I don’t know if he’s slowed down and his compete level has followed, but you don’t see that compete and fire in his eye now. I think you see frustration setting in.

“As a captain, he’s not a rah-rah guy or ‘let’s talk it out’ — it’s ‘Watch me, and hop on my back, and follow me.’ I haven’t seen that at all this year.”

Warrener went on to say that Iginla hasn’t been noticeable this season.

Iginla is in the final season of his five-year, $35,000,000 contract and Warrener thinks finding fair value for him going forward might be tricky.

“Does he want $7.5 million?” Warrener asked. “Because I don’t think they can pay him that. My opinion is he can’t be a shut-down player. Even if he takes $4 million, where are you playing him? He wants to be a top scorer, and that’s what’s driven him. Maybe I’m out to lunch, but I don’t believe he’d want to spend his last years here as a checker.”

Warrener spent four seasons on the Calgary Flames and the former defenseman is a veteran of 714 career NHL games.

  1. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Pittsburgh is still looking for one more top 6 forward. The thought of moving Kunitz back to Malkin’s line has been brought up multiple times. Maybe it’s time to send a second round pick and a D prospect to Calgary for Iginla.

    If it works out, Calgary gets a second rounder and a prospect for a guy that is going to become an UFA anyway, and pittsburgh gets a leader and finisher for Crosby’s line. If it doesn’t Calgary doesn’t just lose Iginla for nothing to another team, and Pittsburgh hasn’t given up a first round choice.

    • beelza - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      I don’t think Jerome would fit well in Pitt with the planetary sized ego’s they have. Iggy won’t have that problem in Detroit. Plus, Iggy really likes and respects Babcock.

      • miketoasty - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM

        Calgary isn’t going to trade him to a team in their conference. Plus who does Detroit have to give up to trade for him?

      • f2maestro - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        Who are you referring to that has a ‘planetary sized ego’ ? From the POV I have, I don’t see this as being remotely accurate unless you’re referring to some of the extreme fans a more successful hockey market (such as PIT, PHL, TOR, etc…) breeds. It’s obvious you don’t watch Penguins hockey and more importantly you don’t follow the organization as a whole.

        Personally, I’d love to see Iginla in a Penguins uniform, skating along side Crosby. Assuming the team is receptive to him in the locker room (which I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be) he would be a valuable asset and another leader in that room.

      • beelza - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        Johan Franzen, his cap hit per annum is only 3.75.

      • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Franzen is not going to cut it, but Detroit has a very deep farm system now. They could easily move one of their young guys to get Iggy if the wanted to, but they won’t. Calgary is NOT going to care about moving him within the division because they are not going to be in contention any time soon. And Iggy doesn’t have more than 2 years in the league left (as a top 6 guy).

        I would think there are good options out there for Detroit with their current cap room they left open for the failed Parise/Suter deals and they have the game ready youth to move.

        Check Hockey’s Future website and get a look at all the 7+ level prospects in the Wing’s org. Not tops in the league, but the thought that they don’t have pieces to move is just short sided.

      • joethorntonisclutch - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        Cause Crosby and Iginla were awful in the Olympics together, right?

        Oh wait, I think those two won it for Canada. Damn.

    • miketoasty - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Seeing Iginla’s name brought up the same thought in my mind. We know that Iginla and Crosby have some chemistry together (Playing in the 2010 Olympics together), and with him becoming a UFA you have to think that Calgary HAS to be thinking about shipping him out especially with their record (Second to last in the Western conference). Plus the Malkin line could definitely use the boost of getting Kunitz back.

      I was thinking either a 1st or 2nd pick, and Bortuzzo with maybe adding one more lesser prospect. As you said, it’s like any impending free agent, you either deal them or watch them walk for nothing but I really don’t see Iginla staying in Calgary after this season.

      • f2maestro - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        In my opinion, Bortuzzo and a 2nd round pick would be a solid deal. Bortuzzo continues to impress every time he takes the ice and continues to show what kind of a solid D man he could become. I could see Calgary asking for more so you may be spot on with regards to a lesser prospect.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        thats a high price no matter how you look at it. the salary implications of keeping him around again next year are too high for the pens…they have to sign malkin and letang soon so if they are looking to a short term this year only option i have a problem with giving up high draft picks. giving up bortuzzo who is cheaper, has more upside, and has been grown up through the system already and is finally ready seems too high even. it depends what calgary wants for iginla…he isnt doing jack for them this year so maybe shero can get him cheap (like late round picks and a guy thats nhl ready like jeffrey or tangradi).

      • jpelle82 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        f2 – the pens have 2-3 guys in morrow, bortuzzo, reese that are nhl ready…thats why they traded lovejoy. behind those 3 guys they have a couple years for harrington, maata, and pouliot to be ready. i really hope they dont part with any of them because there will be a gap, and if injuries bite them, pens could be in trouble on the blueline. they already let strait go, which i’m not complaining about but it would be hard to give up another ready guy like bortuzzo for a short term forward.

      • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        Last I checked, the Pens have salary cap issues coming up, no?

      • miketoasty - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM

        Iginla will be a free agent after this year. No issues coming up by trading for him.

    • nosefacekillah - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      A second and a prospect is too low. Kaberle was traded out of Toronto two years ago for Boston’s first round pick, highly touted Joe Colborne and a conditional draft pick. Iginla is more valuable than Kaberle ever was. The deal will need at least a first and a top prospect and a serviceable replacement and probably more.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        How can a trade two years ago for a puck moving/power play quarterback defensemen be compared to trading for an 35 year old winger who is under performng for his current team and about to become a UFA?

      • chelseax11 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        An NHL-ready prospect/player and a second round pick is plenty for a 35 year old underperforming forward. If Calgary wants anything else then Pittsburgh should pass. They need the cap space for Letang and Malkin.

        Just keep in mind that Calgary isn’t just dealing with any old GM, either. They’d be dealing with Shero. In what Detroit is to drafting, Shero is to trades. If you don’t believe me go look at the garbage he dumped to bring in Kunitz, Dupuis and Hossa, and Neal and Niskanen. I’m a Pens fan and even I think those trades were just cruel. Since he’s taken office, Pittsburgh’s never ended up on the wrong side of a deal. In Shero we trust.

      • nosefacekillah - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        “How can a trade two years ago for a puck moving/power play quarterback defensemen be compared to trading for an 35 year old winger who is under performng for his current team and about to become a UFA?”

        Kaberle was under-performing (now understood to be performing at the level he is capable of highlighted by his poor play in Raleigh and Montreal). Kaberle was a UFA. Kaberle was 32 at the time and a couple years past the last time he was dominating on the power play.

        Iginla has a longer proven history of scoring, plays a more desired role on a team than the one trick pony Kaberle and has the super star status that puts fannies in the seats. They don’t really compare; Iginla is much more valuable.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      this has holmgren all over it, not shero. to get giroux a guy to play with he will pay out the ass for it. giroux has 8 piddly pts and clearly needs jagr and hartnell back.

      • miketoasty - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        The only reason the Pens were brought up is that this rumor has been going around Pittsburgh for a couple years now (That Shero would try to get Iginla) and the fact that the Malkin line is somewhat struggling without Kunitz, who is playing on Crosby’s line possibly where Iginla could be placed. Obviously he could go anywhere or nowhere.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        i think its foolish, so hopefully someone squashes the rumors

  2. beelza - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    His compete level is down b/c he’s had that team on his back, physically, emotionally and mentally. But I hope everyone in Calgary feels like the above retired player and wants to move him out. He’d be great in Detroit, esp. this year.

  3. valoisvipers - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Maybe Iggy is tired of carry his slacker teammates for all these years and getting no where but older.Maybe Iggy finally wants out of Cowtown and go from a team of pretenders to a real contender. He would look mighty fine in any of these uniforms Bruins,Wings,Pens,Flyers,Rangers or Hawks. A rejuvenated Iggy could land any of these teams a Cup.

    • tdrusher225 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      If I had to play on a team with no shot of going anywhere I probably wouldn’t always have the eye of the tiger either. You nailed it, put him on a cup contender and he’ll get plenty of fire in his stomach.

  4. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Your trades are very one sided. At the very least a first prospect and top 9 forward would go to Calgary. Any team that is in the playoffs would offer that to get him. Looking at picks pitts 2nd is really like an early 3rd. Burtuzzo is good but it would be Harrington that Calgary would target if they even wanted a defensive prospect I have to think they would want a top forward prospect which Pitt doesn’t have in return espc if they can’t get a roster player back in the deal. He would be worth it even at his age playing with Crosby would give them a much needed top line winger for Crosby.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Fair enough. Let’s work through that thought process then.

      I think Pittsburgh would be willing to part with Harrington as the prospect and Kennedy as the top 9 forward you speak of. But adding anything more than a 2nd round pick to those two guys is overpying for Iginla considering his age and pending UFA status.

      • f2maestro - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Adding Iginla and getting rid of TK in the same transaction would be so satisfying. (I can’t stand TK of his 2mil cap hit if you can’t tell).

      • f2maestro - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Adding Iginla and getting rid of TK in the same transaction would be so satisfying. (I can’t stand TK or his 2mil cap hit if you can’t tell).

  5. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    My bet would be iggy going to Boston. They have the prospects they don’t need the first round pick and could offer a much better deal then pit. I would love him in Philly but most of our top prospects are pretty much untouchable. If we were going to move schenn or couts it would have been for weber last year.

    • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      He isn’t likely going to Boston simply because of the number of top 6 wingers they have, and Philly already has it sights set on landing Bobby Ryan which almost happened t the draft. Plus you’re right in that Philly isn’t going to move a top prospect or young up and coming roster player for Iginla.

      • nunan - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        He would fit in on that third line, no problem. The Bruins have a pretty interchangeable group of guys though, because they’ve been together so long, so I don’t think there would be any hesitancy to throw a player like Iginla into that mix. He could play on any of the top three lines.

  6. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    On a side note has anyone heard why flyers scouts were in St. Louis? Who were they scouting? Also heard a lot of team scouts were in CBj as well

    • miketoasty - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      As for the CBJ bit, you know their new GM is going to be looking to make it “His” team and will probably be more willing to make trades (Especially for draft picks alone) than the old GM was.

    • jtrain1966 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Well, if they were here to scout the Blues, i’d feel sorry for you Flyers fans ! I like the Flyers too but, the way the Blues are playing, i wouldn’t wish any of these guys on you ! With that being said : I would figure it probably be something like a Stewart, or a Russell, maybe even Jackman, or Cole . It really is anybodys guess ! Because, Armstrong plays any possible trade like he would a hand of poker, close to his chest !

  7. mbhockey13 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    “Who has hanged up his skates…”

    “Hanged”? Don’t you mean “hung”?

  8. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Idk I just think playoff contenders would part with a lot more to get him for playoffs. A pick can be conditional if he resigns. Burtuzzo will not be enough and I’m sure they would want a offensive prospect or good roster player

    • miketoasty - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Well lets look back to the Hossa deal. The Pens were trading for a rental player, in his prime. To get him they traded Colby Armstrong, Eric Christensen, a top prospect and a first-round draft pick. So for an aging star, that would be more of a Guerin role type player, I could see taking two out of four from the Hossa trade. You have two top 9 forwards, a top prospect and a first round pick, chose two and I think that gets the deal done. Obviously I could be dead wrong, but I think if you look at it talent wise there is no way the Pens part ways with that many pieces for Iginla alone. (Also, don’t forget, the Pens also got Dupuis in the Hossa trade a top 6 forward that has played with Crosby since the deal).

  9. broadstbully33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Holmgrem will not overpay. That is just your blind hate clouding your judgement. Holmgrem knows what he has in phillys young guns. If he was going to overpay it would have been for weber or Ryan last season.

  10. thehighcountrybear - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Note from Mrs. Iginla: Take Rhett Warner off Christmas card list and return autographed copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’…?

  11. thomaspratt - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Sounds like most commenters are east coast team fans, and probably don’t watch much Flames hockey. Three or four years ago, Iginla would have been a useful deadline addition. He has become very slow, very much a perimeter player. Some of that has to do with the meatballs he’s given as linemates, but a lot of it is just natural decline.

    People expecting 2010 Olympic Iginla will be disappointed. .

  12. lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Lol, “Dany Heatley-slow.” Who needs speed when you just park your lazy butt in front of the net?

  13. patsbruin1021 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Peverly for Jerome. Send a pick too cuz u could put him on the PP too

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