CHICAGO -- You watch Jarome Iginla go through his morning skate routine at the United Center in Chicago, a routine he has followed for some 1,218 NHL regular season games in a Calgary Flames jersey, and it’s hard not to think in terms of the end of an era.
Not just the seemingly impending end of an era for one of the game’s classiest players who has in recent days agreed to provide to general manager Jay Feaster a list of teams to which he would agree to be traded before the April 3 trade deadline, but also the end of an era for the Flames themselves.
Head coach Bob Hartley’s first call when he decided he would take the Flames job last summer was to Iginla.
Although Iginla’s offensive numbers are not what they once were, he did score the winning goal in the Flames’ last game a 3-2 win over St. Louis. It was the 83rd game-winner of Iginla’s career.
"The way I look at Jarome Iginla, he’s a very proud athlete. He’s always in the gym, he always works hard and looking at the minutes we’re giving him, we didn’t see any slowing down or anything," Hartley said.
"He’s a very proud man. He’s a franchise player and those guys are very unique individuals. They’re unique players and they’re unique human beings. It’s just lots of fun to work with Jarome."
Still, Hartley would not explore the idea of what it might be like to coach a team that did not have the familiar No. 12 in the lineup.
"Anything is possible. I don’t trade, I coach. I’ll stick to my job and I’m sure that Jay and his group will do what’s best for the Calgary Flames," Hartley said.