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Jarome Iginla not thinking about retirement

Avalanche forward, 39, has focus set on playing key role on Stanley Cup contender

NHL.com @NHL

Colorado Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla is entering his 20th NHL season and has no intentions of retiring once his contract expires at the end of this season.

Iginla, 39, was second on the Avalanche with 22 goals last season, but they were the fewest he's had in an 82-game season since 1997-98 with the Calgary Flames, his second in the League.

"I'm not trying to save myself for anything," Iginla told the Denver Post on Tuesday. "I want to come back and be physical, a net-front presence, and I still enjoy playing a lot. I still feel good."

Iginla's 611 NHL goals are second among active players (Jaromir Jagr, 749), and his 1,273 points are third (Jagr, 1,868; Joe Thornton, 1,341). Iginla said he hopes to have a top-six role this season but noted the need to me more aggressive.

"I want to be better than I was last year," Iginla said. "I had a good start last year, a tough middle and a good last quarter, as far as my play. At times I got away from being gritty or aggressive enough. I'd like to get back to that."

Iginla will have a new coach in Colorado. Jared Bednar was hired Aug. 25, two weeks after Patrick Roy resigned.

"I'm just going to try to come in and play hard, play aggressive, and with the new coaching staff, the new coach will determine what my role is," Iginla said.

The Avalanche have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons and in five of the past six. Iginla is looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. He captained the Flames to the 2004 Final, but they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

"It's not about getting a certain amount of goals or any of that," he said. "I want to be part of the playoffs and ultimately win it. ... I feel strong. I want to be a part of, first of all, the playoffs, and I feel that we can do that. And once you get there, you never know. But with this group it's getting better and better."

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