Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jarome Iginla Prepares for Emotional Return to the Saddledome as a Bruin

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jarome Iginla Prepares for Emotional Return to the Saddledome as a Bruin

Article excerpt

Iginla braces for return to Saddledome


CALGARY - He's in his 17th season in the NHL, but this was new territory for Jarome Iginla.

The 36-year-old tried to anticipate Tuesday's reception at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

A Flame for the first 16 seasons of his NHL career and team captain for nine until his trade March 27, Iginla expected to have more trouble than usual getting to sleep on the eve of his first game in Calgary wearing enemy colours.

"I'm trying to prepare myself," Iginla said Monday in the unfamiliar confines of the visitors' dressing room.

"I don't plan on being extremely emotional, but I don't know. I'm really want to try and take it as it comes. It will be different. I guess I don't rule it out."

That the right-winger is already with his second team -- the Boston Bruins -- puts some distance on the deal that sent Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a first-round draft pick and two college forwards to the Flames.

Iginla played 13 regular season games and 15 post-season games for Pittsburgh. He then signed as a free agent with the Boston Bruins, a team he turned down in favour of the Penguins the night he was dealt.

There will likely be more appreciation than animosity expressed towards Iginla on Tuesday.

He's Calgary's all-time leading scorer with 575 goals and 570 assists in 1,219 games. Iginla was the NHL's leading goalscorer twice as a Flame. He captained the team to the Stanley Cup final in 2004 when they lost in seven games to Tampa Bay.

But Flames faced a fourth straight season out of the playoffs when Iginla was asked by general manager Jay Feaster to waive his no-trade clause. Iginla did so and supplied a list of preferred destinations.

Not unlike the sentiment when defenceman Ray Bourque left the Bruins after 21 seasons to pursue a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, there was a sense that Iginla couldn't be faulted for wanting to join a team that could win him a Cup before his career ended. …

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