CALGARY – Before the Calgary Flames head into an off-season that could see personnel change, acting general manager Jay Feaster made one thing clear—the captain is going nowhere.
Addressing the media Tuesday, Feaster stressed that Jarome Iginla will definitely return for a 15th straight season with the Flames.
“Jarome isn’t going anywhere,”Feaster said.“Jarome is the face of the franchise in many ways. Jarome is a guy who at times this season has carried this hockey club.”
Feaster says building the Flames around a core group that includes Iginla is the best way to have success moving forward.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Jarome wants to win a Stanley Cup and he wants to win it here and we want to win a Stanley Cup and win it with Jarome here,”he said.“It’s a non-starter.”
Feaster also said that a plan is in the works to re-sign unrestricted free agents Alex Tanguay and Curtis Glencross.
“What we have on the drawing board right now is that both guys are doable,”he said.
Playing on a line with Iginla all season, Tanguay rebounded from a 37-point season with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009-10 to put up 22 goals and 47 assists with the Flames.
“He was a great signing this off-season by Darryl (Sutter) and has come in and had a tremendous year for us,”Feaster said.“We would very much like to get him back in the fold. Obviously we have to be able to come up with a number and a term that works for him and that works for us.”
Glencross had a breakout year, scoring a career-high 24 goals to go with 19 assists.
“We want Glennie back and he knows that too,”said Feaster of the 28-year-old left winger who made US$1.2 million last season.“We’re going to give it the old college try, for sure.”
Another priority is to come to terms with unrestricted free agent goalie Henrik Karlsson. In his rookie season with the Flames, Karlsson went 4-5-6 with a 2.58 goals-against average.
“He’s done a great job this year,”Feaster said.“The most important thing that he did is that he gained the confidence of the head coach and of the players. Clearly we have to get Karlsson re-signed.
“I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to do that after speaking to him. He wants to be back. We want him back.”
As for his own situation, Feaster said he’s not concerned that the acting title hasn’t been dropped from his title as of yet.
“The deal when I took this job at the end of December was that we were going to talk about it at the end of the season,”he said, adding that he’ll meet with club president Ken King in due time.“It’s unfortunate that our season has ended in terms of games, but…our season hasn’t come to a conclusion as it relates to the work that has to be done.”
Feaster has already had meetings with all the players, including the eight who will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
“I’ve already had the conversations with Ken and ownership in terms of free agents and in some instances we’ve already talked about what offers to free agents might look like,”he said.“That business is already taking place. I know that it’s a source of concern because (his title) still has that‘acting’in front of it, but it truly hasn’t been something that has inhibited me.
“The way I look at it is that until somebody tells me otherwise I’m going to continue to do my job.”
Feaster also gave a vote of confidence to coach Brent Sutter moving forward.
“Brent has done a tremendous job coaching this group,”he said.“He has shown the ability to adapt. He’s shown the ability to take a different approach when it’s needed, to approach different players differently. I’m a big fan.”