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Jarome Iginla Conference Call Quotes

by - Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche / Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche held a conference call with forward Jarome Iginla and members of the media on July 1, 2014. The team signed the veteran to a three-year contract earlier in the day. Below is the transcript of that call.

On His Relationship With Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic And If It Had An Impact On Him Signing

“Well, it definitely had something to do with it. I have a lot of respect for Joe and getting to know him and play with him over the years. Also, for the career he’s had, and he’s a winner. It definitely had something to do with it, but there were a lot of things that went into it. I think that the team: being a great young team, playing against them, watching them, seeing the players that they have, the goaltending they have, the direction that they’re going. My buddy Alex Tanguay, that I got to play with for years, being a friend and talking to him. I talked to (Gabriel) Landeskog a few days ago and Patrick Roy. So all that really did go into it and a big part of it was all the good things I heard, and also from playing against the guys and seeing how good they are and the direction they are going.”

On When He Knew Colorado Was The Right Fit

“Yeah, it’s definitely a different experience. I haven’t gotten used to it. Last year was kind of like that, too, but there is a lot of uncertainty. The interview period over the last week, I think it’s interesting. I think there is a lot of good things that come from it, you get to talk with teams that are interested and vice versa and just see if there is potential there. You never know until the actual day comes what that, until noon, what that actually means. Well, at least we didn’t. So, over the last few days and right away when I heard from Joe [Sakic], and Tangs reached out to me in a text and stuff that they were interested. You know, I thought it was very intriguing because I was aware that going back to Boston didn’t look like that it was going to be an option. It was something that at the time, my family and I, before free agency, we did want to be able to work it out. We realized going into it with the cap, and the cap being lower than expected and Boston having all the great young players that they do and the position they’re at, it really wasn’t an option. It just wasn’t. We looked at Colorado, they were definitely right near the top of our list, if not at the top of it the whole time, but you don’t know what that means as far as both, if the Avalanche feel the same way. I was talking to some other teams that we liked, too, and had respect and liked the direction and thought it could be a good fit. The Avalanche were definitely right up there and probably over the last few days, you don’t want to ever admit before what your favorite team is because you don’t know who is going to come, they were our favorites. Honestly, it changes; you don’t know how it’s fitting, seeing people sign and it’s pretty unnerving. You don’t really know how it’s going to go and then what the offers are going to be.”

On Making The Transition Back To The Western Conference

“I’m excited to come back [Western Conference]. As far as style of play and hockey, between the two sides, I don’t know if I notice it as much as the difference. I’d almost say the west seems to be a little more physical and the east is just the feel, but it’s so close it wasn’t as big as I thought the difference is as far as playing. As far as being able to fit in and play, I believe I can, yes. I’m working hard and I felt better as the year went on in Boston. It’s an adjustment. I’ve never been through really starting with a new team. Going to Pittsburgh was more of an adjustment during a mid-season than going to Boston. I really enjoy getting the chance to have the training camp and start with the team. I thought that was a much easier step and process, but to be honest, and I don’t want to be, and I’m not arrogant or stuff, but I do believe I can still be very good and be able to continue to contribute offensively as a good player and compete and be physical and skate. I love the game as much as ever, and I’m going to work as hard as ever in the summer and I look forward to doing that.”

On The Chance Of Winning The Stanley Cup Played In His Decision

“Yeah, there are definitely a lot of things that go into it. The family, we discussed. My kids are coming up, (ages) 10, 8 and 6; they were excited to see what the future holds. My wife, we discussed different options and the kids, they’re excited about different things. It was important for the family side of it. I’ve heard wonderful things about Colorado, being a wonderful family place. There is minor hockey, minor baseball (youth sports), I heard Colorado has great stuff like that. We are excited that they do have minor hockey, our kids are really into it, but a big part of it is having the family be comfortable and like the destination and enjoy that while being on a team that can contend and have a chance to win. So, those are what [you look for], when you’re trying to plan it and put together possible destinations. Colorado fit perfectly, it has those things and I believe the team is only getting better, and already a very, very good team. The guys, from playing against them and watching them, the different players that they have from the goaltender Varlamov to MacKinnon, Landeskog, O’Reilly and Duchene, it’s a dynamic group. I think that they work hard and they’re committed. They’re just going to keep getting better and better, and I look forward to getting to be a part of that. That kind of went into choosing it.”

On The Balance Between Veterans And Youth On A Team

“I hope so, and I believe so. If you look at some of the teams that have had a lot of success in the NHL over the last five or six years, I think of Chicago, they were very young. They were a talented young team, and they moved up quickly, they had a very talented young core when they won. I think of other teams, [Pittsburgh] was pretty young when they won. Boston, they have a core together still, but they had a pretty young core, too. I think it can be a good thing. I think that the energy, the excitement, you get to some of those pressure playoff games, and they just don’t seem to feel the same pressure some of these young guys and that’s a great thing. Obviously, the pressure is there on everybody, but it’s pretty impressive. I’ve played a long time and stuff, just to see how young or old, it doesn’t matter. The guys just come in, and they just play and they play their way. I think Colorado has a lot of those guys, whether it’s their first year, third year, fourth year, whatever. They’ve been confident and just keep playing their way and just keep getting better.”

On His Role In The Avs' System

“To be honest, we didn’t really talk as much about the system. I definitely, Patrick Roy, have a ton of respect for him from talking to guys who’ve played with him over the years, the stories you hear about how much of a fierce competitor he is. Playing against him, seeing how quickly he’s come up and how much success he’s had. You just know he’s a winner. Talking to guys who play for him now, how much they respect and like him and believe he is a really good coach. Those were really the only things going into it. As far as the system, over the years playing, I have seen a lot of different systems and you adjust to that. I don’t really know to be honest (on Roy's system). Playing against Colorado, I know they’re fast. I know they play an up-tempo game. I know they have a lot of skill and talent. I know they’re very competitive. They’ve got great goaltending; their 'D' are young and jump in the play. Those are kind of things I thought of, not so much the technical part. It’s nice to be able to come and have training camp and get used to that stuff. It was more the other thoughts when mulling and thinking things over.”

On The Avalanche's Recent Turnaround Making The Team More Attractive For Free Agents

“I think from playing over the years and the reputation that the city has, it’s always been known as a great destination and a great city, but when you go into rebuild when it comes free agency time, yeah it’s probably a little tougher to get free agents because most of them usually have been in the league a little longer and want to be on a contender. I think that’s more part of it, but their rebuilding has went quicker than I would of thought from the outside. From watching on the outside, I’ve been very impressed with how quickly they’ve been able to get better. You play them and watch them. They’re a very good team and dynamic, and I would love to be part of that and help out in whatever way I can and help be part of that continuing and just keep getting better.”

On Playing The Game At 37 Years Old

“I feel good. I think as far as game dropping off or whatever, I don’t think it will. I thought this last year in Boston; I thought was a real solid year. It was a fun year personally to go over there. It was neat to be part of a team during the regular season, to be near the top of the standings and ultimately during the regular season win the Presidents' Trophy. I thought our line, playing with [Lucic] and [Krejci], was a good tough line to play against. Good in both ends of the rink, and I felt good. I felt that I actually had a ton of scoring chances that I say just wouldn’t go in at the start of the year. Whether you press, that’s just the way it goes. I don’t come with expecting to do less. I expect to work hard and to expect the same for myself. Physically, thankfully I feel really good and have been healthy. I don’t feel like I have all this wear and tear and hard to move or anything like that. I work out the same way and try to push that. I expect to be good and to be, I don’t expect, I’m not taking it away that I expect to score less or be not quite as good in one area or anything. I expect to push myself and be really good for the team. Whatever the role, if it’s to go to the front of the net, to hit, to compete, fighting’s part of it. I’ve never believed in playing older. As I get older, adjusting my game, I don’t try to avoid fights. I don’t actually try to get in them, but I want to compete out there and if those things happen. I don’t think differently now that I turned 37 today. I plan on playing the same way and I hope to play the same way until I’m done.”

On Possibly Winning A Stanley Cup In Colorado

“That’s a hope, one day. I also saw that with the group, I do believe the sky is the limit. They’re driven. They’re driven all the way through the organization, there’s no question. I think there’s lot of good things that are going to happen and are already happening. I’m excited to be able to come for three years and be a part of that and work and try to contribute where I can and grow with the guys. It was important on one side, for my family and I, to have that stability, to be able to buy a house and set some roots down again. Also, you don’t want come and just have one shot at it on a one-year deal or even multiple years and the team just gets better then that’s the end then I watch them win. I do believe they’re going to win it, and I’d love to be a part of it. Whether that’s next year or the year after, I think they just keep getting better and better and have a great opportunity. I’m thrilled that I can be here and have a three-year deal to join them, and I won’t be taking it easy. I expect to be good for the guys and contributing.”

On His Veteran Presence Helping A Young Team

“I think that, [recent additions Daniel] Briere, [Brad] Stuart, I know they already have good leadership, their team, the Avalanche are already doing great and going in the right direction and improving. I think that Briere, whatever team he’s been on he’s always been a guy that people thought highly about, looked up to. Stuart, I got a chance to play with him, I know he’s a great guy, he’s won before, he’s been on great teams. So, I’m excited to join them, too. It’s kind of neat when you join a new team, but you also have guys in the same boat, and you get to come in together. I think that’s pretty cool. But as far as, when I was younger I used to love to play with some older guys and to hear some stories, maybe watch the things they do. I don’t know. I thought it was always nice to have a balance between the young guys and also have some older guys that maybe there’s some things you can pick up with. See how they do it. Hopefully, I can be one of those older guys. I don’t really know what kind of role in the room or anything like that. I just plan on coming in and helping out where I can and working hard, just trying to be another guy that is leading by example. I know they work very hard there and are already doing that so it’s just kind of be myself, just fit in and be part of the team. There’s no real style or goal, or anything like that. It’s just come, be myself. There is nice to have, from the teams I played on, I always enjoyed when there was a nice balance between, to have some veteran guys around who’ve seen different things and played with different guys. Just being part of a team, a good team.”

On Returning To The Western Conference

“I like it. Yeah, I like it. I enjoyed our time in Boston. It was, as far as the travel, I never really got to appreciate the short travel or to get used to it. With the Olympic year, I think the travel was a little more hectic than it usually is, as far as being in your bed so many different nights. I don’t mind that. You probably get a little bit longer homestands and a little bit longer road trips. But when you’re home, you’re home in the West. They just got used to it. I didn’t really notice it that much difference as far as travel. I do like that I know the buildings a little bit better in the West, and you kind of even know some of the players and the teams. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily better or worse, I just do look forward to part of that. My wife, being closer to home and stuff, that's also, she’s very excited about it, being able to have family come down and visit and stuff like that a little more often.”

On If He Was Watching The Paul Stastny Signing To St. Louis

"I was definitely watching it, yep. I knew that they were in discussions. I guess I didn't really know it, but from reading it and everything. He is a big part of the team and wasn't sure what direction he was going to go or the team was going to go. I did keep an eye on it. Kind of with free agency you're almost watching, it's different. You don't know what to expect going in. You don't really know until you see the time hits (noon eastern) and you get official offers from teams, you don't really know how interested teams are or not. Then teams seem to sign and guys seem to go, and it might change the dynamic. It's a unique day. I was laughing with my family that one day we will probably look back and think, 'That was pretty cool,' but when you're going through it, it is a little bit stressful, and exciting. The kids thought it was cool, but being dad you're trying to make the right decision for the family, for the career, all those things, but also a lot of it is out of your control, too. I definitely did watch it, and I was excited that the opportunity came that I would be able to actually come. I didn't really know if that would be the case."

On His Playing Relationship With Joe Sakic And If He Named One Of His Sons After Him

"One of my sons is Joe. I wouldn't say I named him after Joe, but it definitely helped. You have somebody you know, you don't name him an interesting name. It definitely helped, but I had a great experience playing with Joe. One of the thrills of my career was getting a chance to play on his line in the Olympics and the World Cup. Truly one of the thrills, but getting to know him and just to see how humble he was and is, as a younger guy on those teams, and he would be one of the older guys and then captain, too. To see how humble and down to earth he was, and Mario Lemieux, (Steve) Yzerman, all those guys, it really set a great example for the team, but also for us as players to see guys as great as he is and was and how hard he worked in practice. Definitely his preparation off the ice, it definitely taught me a lot as far as working out, and the commitment to trying to be better. One of my big thrills. I wouldn't say I named him after (him), but like I said, it helped."

Interview transcribed by Ryan Simmons

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