CALGARY, AB – It's official.
is going to the Olympics in Vancouver as part of a talented Team Canada squad named by Hockey Canada on Wednesday.
As well, Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff
and centre Olli Jokinen
have been named to Team Finland for the Olympics.
Iginla, the Flames captain, leads the National Hockey League team in scoring with 20 goals and 18 assists. This will be Iginla's third Olympics. He was part of the gold-winning squad in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.
"I'm very excited about it," he told the swarm of media surrounding him. "It's a big honour. I know they had a lot of tough decisions and a lot of great players didn't make it so it's a real honour. I'm really looking forward it, to get to represent Canada again right here in Canada."
Iginla was named an alternate captain for the team. The captain is Scott Niedermayer while Chris Pronger and Sidney Crosby will also serve as an alternate captains.
"I'm thrilled to get a chance to go, to be selected," was his response when asked about being named an alternate captain.
Iginla is looking forward to the atmosphere that will surround the team as he's play on Canadian soil for the first time in his Olympic career.
"All the games feel like Game 7's," he said. "It's definitely something special. When you are young and you dream about playing in those types of games, it's everything you imagined and more."
Iginla has collected five goals and seven points in 12 Olympic games in his career. He was key part of Team Canada's 5-2 victory over the USA in Salt Lake with two tallies and a helper in the gold medal game.
Team Canada officials did not set out the lines for the Olympics. Iginla was asked who he would pick as linemates.
"I think I will stay away from that one," he laughed. "With an all-star team like this anybody you get on a line with is going to be good."
While there has been plenty of debate about Team Canada's roster leading up to Wednesday's announcement, there will be plenty of analysis throughout the next few days, knowing the passion Canadians have for their hockey.
Iginla, speaking just moments after being named to the team, hadn't developed his own thoughts on the team.
"I just found out the team so I haven't had any time to think about that. At first glance it looks younger but very talented," he said, comparing the team to previous Olympic squads he has played on.
"We spent hours and hours debating this decision," said Steve Yzerman, executive director of Team Canada. "Without a doubt, when we began this process, we knew there would be good players left off."
Among the surprises was the defence selections. Flames Jay Bouwmeester
, Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr were left off the team.
"Disappointed," said Bouwmeester, who played in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. "The reality is there are a lot of guys to pick from. You go through a lot of disappointments, personally. Not being in the playoffs is disappointing. But the magnitude of this and it being in Canada, yes, it is disappointing."
However disappointed, Bouwmeester took the news with class.
"I think everyone is kind of relieved it is over and the speculation is over," said Bouwmeester. "I wish everyone luck."
Phaneuf had a similar reaction to not making the team.
"I'm disappointed but I have to move forward and work on having a solid second half with our team," said Phaneuf. "We have to do whatever it takes to win some hockey games."
Their teammates felt a similiar sense of disappointment.
"There's definitely some disappointment. I get to see them everyday and know how good they are. They could have been there," said Iginla. "It's mixed emotions because I'm very excited but also disappointed for them and would have loved to be on Team Canada with all three of them."
Jokinen said the team was shouldering part of the discontent for their defensemen.
"It's a big disappointment for me and the rest of our teammates. We feel like we let those guys down," he frowned. "In the last three weeks, the way we've played as a team ... if we wouldn't have played the way we did in the first two weeks of December maybe all three of those defensemen would be on Team Canada. As a teammate, you feel like you've let your teammate down because as a team we didn't play at the level we're capable of."
Here are the players named to the team:Goaltenders:
Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury, Roberto LuongoDefence:
Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Brent Seabrook, Shea WeberForwards:
Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla
, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Jonathan Towes.For more Olympic news, video and audio interviews with the 2010 Calgary Flames Olympians, stay tuned to calgaryflames.com, the official website of the Calgary Flames throughout the day.