Friday, April 9, 2010

On Loyalty

The internets were all abuzz yesterday with the Mike Modano love-in in Dallas last night; I'd like to take the chance to talk about another Stars draft pick.

The media has been all abuzz with how to fix the Flames, after this disaster of a season. Instant hockey experts have popped up everywhere, and most of them advocate no less than tearing apart what we have left to salvage what trade value we can.

I'm not going to get into the numbers games, and name names and stuff like that. Just want to remind our readers of a few things.

It is no secret that we're big fans of Jarome Iginla here. Even though we've spent much of this season in radio silence, we've followed the ups and downs of #12 quite closely.

And this season has been notable. It may not presage a return to the dark old days of yore (i.e, my high school days), but certainly, those of us who can count on our fingers know that this team is not getting younger, better managed, or just plain better. Things will get worse before we return to our winning ways. And at the day, we'll still be watching. Patiently.

And the captain's inconsistency through the new year has been frustrating, especially given his play during the Olympics, and that beauty of a setup for Crosby's winning goal in the final.

Is he tired? Is he bored? Does he think Rene Bourque is prettier than he is? Is it time to put him out to pasture? Or trade him, perhaps to New Jersey for all the broken sticks Lou Lamoriello can find? (Hey, it worked SO WELL for Atlanta)

I'm going to argue it doesn't matter. Until Iginla, the Flames have never really had a player who could be That Guy. The one who from his first day to the day he hung up his skates stayed a Flame. The one who had all the records, had the C, who carried this team on his back, who stuck with the team through thick and thin. And make no mistakes, times will be thin.

We've lauded Iggy all these years as the complete package. What strikes me most about him, this week of all weeks, is that through everything, he's stayed loyal.

He could have been one of a half-dozen Young Guns who didn't quite pan out.
He could have been a rising star who jumped to a team with better chances to win it all.
He could have lit out for bigger cities and larger paycheques. He could have even done it in the name of promoting diversity in the game.
He could have been any one of a number of great (or good, or half-decent) players we've let slip through our grasp over the years: Roberts, Fleury, Savard, Bure, St. Louis, Drury, Huselius, Tanguay, Cammalleri, Phaneuf.

He isn't.

He's Iginla.

Let him stay. Let him play his days out here, if that is his heart's desire.

Surely, we owe him that much.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'll be pointing to this. Furthermore, I'm not in the club that thinks his skills have declined dramatically. I just think he's been poorly used, but he's such a team player that he does what he's told.