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Iggy gone, not forgotten, by 'mates

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames
For me personally, he's a tremendous friend, a very close friend, and I've learned a ton from him on and off the ice, hockey and non-hockey related. He'll be missed, certainly. - Mike Cammalleri
CALGARY, AB -- For all of Alex Tanguay's 333 games as a member of the Calgary Flames, he's had captain Jarome Iginla beside him on the bench.

Same for Mike Cammalleri's 138 game tenure in Calgary.

That is, until Wednesday.

A healthy scratch amidst trade speculation against the Colorado Avalanche, Iginla missed his first game since April 8, 2007 - a span of 441 games.

"It's different. It's weird for sure," Cammalleri said. "I think he's been such presence on this team, this city, this organization for so long. He's such a dominant player, a guy who is in the lineup all the time not missing any games. His presence will'll be different, for sure, without him.

"I don't know what it is but there was definitely an emotion involved from his absence."

There will be no opportunity for Iginla to start a new streak, Tanguay learned, after the Calgary captain was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forwards Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski and a 2013 first round pick.

"It's hard," he said. "Over time, you build relationships and I've been playing with Jarome for the better part of five years. Sometimes a situation occurs where those types of things are forced to happen. It's sad to see."

An unrestricted free agent at season's end and with Calgary in 14th place, both Iginla and the Flames opted to part ways to allow the 35-year-old an opportunity to chase the cup.

"It's the business that we're in even when the guy's meant so much to an organization, to a franchise, it certainly different than any other trades," Tanguay said.

He'll reach out to his friend Thursday, Iginla's last day in Calgary before departing to Pittsburgh.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to him tonight, but I'll wish him nothing but the best," Tanguay said.

Cammalleri echoed those comments.

"For me personally, he's a tremendous friend, a very close friend, and I've learned a ton from him on and off the ice, hockey and non-hockey related," he said. "He'll be missed, certainly."

Missed, but not forgotten.

Iginla leaves the franchise leader in games played (1219), goals (525) and points (1095) and though he wasn't in the building, Iginla's tenure with the Flames was ushered out by a ruckus ovation from 19,289 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

A cheer Mark Giordano won't soon forget.

"It was cool. I think it was a nice gesture by the fans," Giordano said. "There's no doubt what he means to the organization and the city. Obviously it's a different kind of night, a little bit weird. Hopefully everything works out."

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