Skip to content

Did Iginla not sign in Tampa Bay because Denver’s youth hockey is better?

Sep 3, 2014, 10:22 AM EDT

Buffalo Sabres v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

Over at SB Nation, Bolts blog Raw Charge has a lengthy, interesting Q&A with former Lightning GM (and current executive director of community hockey development) Jay Feaster, which includes this nugget:

RC: The word is that Jarome Iginla ultimately chose to sign with the Colorado Avalanche instead of the Lightning largely due to the caliber of the Denver area’s youth hockey programs.

JF: Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve heard that rumor as well. I haven’t spoken to Jarome. I know Jarome well, but I haven’t spoken to him as to whether or not that’s true. It isn’t just in terms of having it be strong and vibrant in terms of a recruiting tool. But it’s also a case where we don’t want young people to have to feel that they need to leave the state when they get to be really good players at the age of 14, 15, 16.

It’s an interesting anecdote, especially given what Martin St. Louis had to say after demanding a trade out of Tampa Bay last spring.

“One of my biggest things, honestly, is I never see my kids play hockey,” St. Louis said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “Just, for instance, my oldest has gone, since September, to Detroit three times, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Rochester, Atlanta. You’ve got to go outside the state to play pretty good competition. My wife and dad flies with him.

“I’m not saying Florida hockey is no good, but if you want to play against good competition you have to go outside.”

Again, this is all speculation — Feaster said he only heard the rumors — but it’s worth noting that, following a 16-year stint in Calgary, Iginla has changed cities three times and may be increasingly focused on his family’s surroundings. The 37-year-old has three children — daughter Jade, his oldest, and two younger boys, Tij and Joe — and, upon signing in Boston last season, made a conscious decision to move his family well in advance of the season to acclimate to the new digs.

“[My] kids start school [Wednesday], so I wanted to get here early and get as many kinks out as far as knowing the practice-route drive or learning a bit about Boston downtown, and also having some fun and just relaxing here,” he said, per NHL.com. “It is nice to be here a couple of weeks before camp and just to feel comfortable.”

Latest Posts
  1. Under Pressure: Robin Lehner

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Robin Lehner, AP

    This is his chance to prove he’s a real No. 1 goalie.

  2. It’s Buffalo Sabres Day at PHT

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Jack Eichel Getty Images

    The worst should be behind them.

  3. Poll: Is Boudreau the right coach to lead Anaheim to a championship?

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    Is his poor Game 7 record reflective of anything?

  4. Ducks’ Biggest Question: Is their window already starting to close?

    Aug 2, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler AP

    In other words, how much longer will Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Ryan Kesler stay at the top of their game?

  5. In Bernier, Leafs hope they have a stabilizing force

    Aug 2, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Jonathan Bernier Getty Images

    His newly signed two-year deal is an opportunity for

  6. Looking to make the leap: Nick Ritchie

    Aug 2, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Nick Ritchie Getty Images

    He’s got the size and skill to potentially make an impact.

  7. Under Pressure: Anaheim’s goaltenders

    Aug 2, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    150802_FrederikAndersen Getty Images

    Andersen, Gibson & Khudobin have a combined 27 Stanley Cup playoff games on their resume.

  8. Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal

    Aug 2, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    Jonathan Bernier Getty Images

    That will eat up his first year of UFA eligibility.

  9. Anaheim Ducks ’14-15 Outlook

    Aug 2, 2015, 11:28 AM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five Getty Images

    Can they close to final gap between them and the Stanley Cup?

  10. Erik Haula signs two-year extension with Wild

    Aug 2, 2015, 9:48 AM EDT

    Erik Haula Getty Images

    They avoided an arbitration judgment.

  11. Devils’ Zacha to skip Czech’s world junior evaluation camp

    Aug 1, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

    2015 NHL Draft - Round One 2015 NHL Draft - Round One

    New Jersey is still working on getting the 18-year-old signed to an entry-level contract.

  12. Flyers’ Hakstol flew 4,000 miles to have dinner with Voracek

    Aug 1, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    Dave Hakstol Dave Hakstol

    The two met in the Czech Republic to get to know one another.

  13. Nill believes Stars have ‘two No. 1 goalies’

    Aug 1, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    Jim Nill AP

    Lehtonen and Niemi will account for $10.4 million in cap space next season.

  14. No extension on the horizon for Flyers’ Brayden Schenn

    Aug 1, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    He’s heading into the final year of his two-year, $5 million deal.

  15. Jets partner with ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers

    Aug 1, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    ECHL_-_logo

    Winnipeg was affiliated with the Ontario Reign last season.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Stepan (1918)
  2. J. Toews (1602)
  3. N. Bonino (1519)
  4. E. Fehr (1462)
  5. B. Gionta (1365)
  1. C. Wilson (1337)
  2. G. Bettman (1297)
  3. L. Couture (1268)
  4. A. Chiasson (1235)
  5. S. Couturier (1170)