CALGARY, AB -- Jarome Iginla has been playing for the Flames for the past 16 years and has been the captain of the Flames since the 2003 season.
This season was tough for Iginla with their failure to make the playoffs but he maintains a positive attitude about the current Flames team.
“The recipe was there to make it this year there’s no question and I really thought we were going to,” said Iginla when asked about the team this year.
“I want to win, I want us to win and I want the team to win. It’s also tough this year because you look at the western conference and it’s pretty open.”
The Western Conference this year was highly contested right up until the last weeks of the season with multiple teams fighting for the final position in the playoffs.
“I think eighth has a legitimate shot and seventh, I think there are going to be some upsets and it’s a year you really want to be a part of,” said Iginla.
“I thought we had a shot this year and I think that there will be a shot next year but it’s also just words right now, it’s a tough time for sure.”
“I thought we had an opportunity to make it and given all our chances we were right there with six or seven chances after a tough start.”
Missing the playoffs obviously weighs heavy on the veteran captain.
“It won’t be easier for a while, it’s easier when the playoffs are pretty much over and everyone is thinking next year,” said Iginla.
“It’s hard to watch the playoffs and guys aren’t feeling any better today.”
The disappointment was evident on the face of the Flames captain but talking about the upcoming games seemed to revitalize Iginla.
“Every time we’re out it’s a privilege to be in the NHL and its fun once you play the games,” said Iginla.
“We got to go out and play hard, every time you’re out on the ice you want to do it the right way but try to keep growing and keep improving.”
Iginla has a strong connection to teammates and has only good things to say about them. Speaking about defenceman Mark Giordano, Iginla had only good things to say.
“He had a great year last year and he’s been really good for us for a while,” said Iginla “He’s a great leader, he’s very competitive and he just plays hard and he’s smart.”
It’s this connection and support for teammates that really shows Iginla as a strong captain on the team. Going into these final matches Iginla only wants to win and put on a good show.
“We want to be professional and play hard, once you get out there it’s still the NHL and the games are always fun and you always want to win,” said Iginla.
“I know our fans love beating Vancouver and we’d love it to be different stakes, but it’s not, so we’ll go out and try to be as good as we can be and try to beat Vancouver.”