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Iginla ready to re-charge

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
Notes, quotes and anecdotes as the Calgary Flames cleaned out their stalls and met with coaches at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday, two days after being ousted from the playoffs by Chicago.

Iginla plans to re-charge

Calgary's Jarome Iginla is one disappointed captain.

Flames Free Agents
F Todd Bertuzzi UFA
F Michael Cammalleri UFA
F Jamie Lundmark UFA
D Adrian Aucoin UFA
D Jordan Leopold UFA
D Rhett Warrener UFA
D Anders Eriksson UFA
D Adam Pardy UFA
F Warren Peters UFA
G Curtis McElhinney UFA
F Dustin Boyd RFA
F Kyle Greentree RFA
F Kris Chucko RFA

"We have been given every opportunity to succeed and we didn't get it done," Iginla said. "It's hard to take right now. You only get so many opportunities. Every year they (losses in the playoffs) are harder to take. Some of us older players know that a real good opportunity got away from us."

As the Flames met with coaches, cleaned out their stalls and got their off-season workout plans on Wednesday, there was plenty of talk of what could have been, and how frustrating the Flames first round loss to Chicago really was.

"There was a real possibility of going all the way," said Iginla. "I totally understand that the fans aren't happy."

One especially sore point was the play of the power play down the stretch. The Flames were 0-42 with the man advantage to finish the season, and were two-for-18 in the first round of the playoffs against Chicago. Iginla noted that a goal "here and there" can make a big difference and that the power play production just wasn't up to par, "and I am a part of that."

However, Iginla also saw positives in the Flames' season, primarily in the way the Flames played against some of the top teams in the league during the regular season, and also in the play of younger players who were forced into action when the Flames were hit by the injury bug, a bug that continued into the playoffs.

"There are a lot of positives with our team. I know that is hard to see today," said Iginla.

Iginla was invited to play for Team Canada at the World Championships but declined in order to spend time with his young family -- a two and a four year old, plus an eight-month old baby. And, yes, he will watch some of the playoffs.

"It's probably good to watch it and feel the sting of watching other teams play," said Iginla. "I'm not sure what changes will be made. We have a good group of guys and we like playing together. Right now it is about our team and reflecting on what we need to do."

Iginla, for one, plans on having a better season next time around. He finished as the team's leading scorer and was eighth overall in the league with 35 goals and 54 assists for 89 points.

"I will take the off-season to re-charge, re-fuel. I know I need to rebound and respond."

Regehr has ACL sprain

Robyn Regehr did not play in the first round of the playoffs against Chicago because of a sprained anterior cruciate ligament.

The rugged defenceman, one of the best in the league at shutting down opponents, said he had planned to start skating over the next couple of days and might have been ready to return to action within a week had the Flames advanced to the second round. However, he now plans to slow down that rehab to ensure he is 100 per cent by the start of next season.

"All that I am thinking about is getting back to 100 per cent and getting as strong as possible to prevent future injuries," said Regehr.

He was hurt in a game in early April and missed the last five games of the regular season and the six playoff games against Chicago.

That gave him time to watch his teammates and he figures the Flames didn't pay enough attention to detail in their own zone in the latter portion of the regular season and in the playoffs.

"I think there was a little disappearance of playing hard in our own zone and that led to inconsistency," said the Flames assistant captain.

While there is talk of big changes in the Flames line-up for next season, Regehr wasn't sure that was required, noting that the team has made the playoffs the last four seasons (one of only five teams to do so).

"We don't have to start at Ground Zero. We have to address some of those issues and that will help us, not only continue to make the playoffs, but move on."

Regehr was one of three regular d-men who did not play in Game 6. Mark Giordano (shoulder) missed the entire playoffs and Dion Phaneuf (ribs) missed the final game.

Jokinen not going to World Championships

Olli Jokinen received a call from the national Finnish hockey organization on Tuesday, inviting him to play for his nation at the World Championships currently taking place in Switzerland. However, after playing in the tournament for 10 years, Jokinen opted not to go overseas and instead return to his home in Phoenix to spend time with his family.

"It's different if you know you are not going to be in the playoffs," Jokinen said. "That way you can prepare yourself to play (in the World Championships)."

Jokinen, who played in Florida and Phoenix before coming to the Flames at the trade deadline, had never played in a playoff game until this season.

Aucoin contemplates return to Flames

Defenceman Adrian Aucoin is among the Calgary Flames players who becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The veteran said there has been no contract talks with the Flames at this point, but that he would like to return to the Flames locker room next season. He made $4 million the last two seasons with the Flames and there is speculation that if he is to return to the Flames fold he would need to take less salary.

"I don't think, the way things are in the world and, at my age, that I am due for a big pay raise," smiled Aucoin.

Bertuzzi feels empty

Todd Bertuzzi didn't mince his words when asked about how he felt the Flames season finished.

A free agent signing in the off-season Bertuzzi, like most of the Flames, expected to go deep in the playoffs.

"It seems like it is worse than any other time," said Bertuzzi. "It feels pretty empty considering what we thought we could do. It's going to be a long summer. Overall we just didn't get it done. To a man we didn't do enough to get it done."

Bertuzzi, who had knee surgery in the second half of the season, said he never felt like he got back on track.

"I wasn't good enough down the stretch," he said.

As for his future, that remains up in the air. He is an unrestricted free agent again after signing a one-year deal with Calgary.

"I still have the drive and passion to do it," he said. "I have to take some time and figure it out. I loved it here. It's a great group of guys."

Cammalleri likes Calgary

Michael Cammalleri, who lead the Flames in goals with 39 during the regular season, couldn't have enjoyed being in Calgary more.

After spending five seasons in Los Angeles where hockey often lives in obscurity, he enjoyed the pressure and the expectations that came with a hockey city like Calgary. The question is, as a free agent, will he return. Many think he won't fit into the Flames plans because he is likely to get a raise that puts him into the $5 million a season domain, something the Flames may not be able to handle under the salary cap.

Cammalleri, however, did not rule out a return. He said there have been no contract talks yet with the Flames. "I don't think it is impossible. I think Calgary is a possibility," said Cammalleri.

"You want to be on a team that is competitive every year," added Cammalleri. "I've got a lot of respect for Darryl Sutter and the organization for remaining competitive. The city expects that, and they should."

 

 

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