Jarome Iginla withdraws from NHL all-star game because of ailing grandmother

CALGARY – Jarome Iginla has withdrawn from the NHL all-star game because his grandmother is not well.

The Flames captain said Wednesday he wants to spend time with his maternal grandmother Frances Schuchard during the all-star weekend Jan. 28-30 in Raleigh, N.C.

“I just lost my grandfather in the spring and I have learned that my grandmother is not doing very well,” Iginla said in a statement released by the Flames.

“With the way the season goes I don’t get too many opportunities to see her, and as much as I was looking forward to being in North Carolina for the all-star game, I just know that my mind will be elsewhere.”

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere will replace Iginla in the all-star lineup.

Iginla added his grandparents were “second parents” growing up and major influences on his life. Richard Schuchard died last May. He was 88.

“After talking it over with my family I thought it best that I use the break to spend some time with her while I am still able to do so,” he said.

Iginla, 33, has played in five NHL all-star games (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009) and was named the Western Conference captain in 2008. He has a goal and two assists in those games.