Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames will talk contract.
Just no longer about it publicly.
Iginla and Flames GM Jay Feaster used Day 1 of training camp to address the contract status of the face of the franchise, but said they won't do it again the rest of the season — unless, of course, a new deal is done.
"I don't want it to be a distraction to the team, to myself. We have a goal and a mission. We've been out of the playoffs three years, with a shortened, intense season, we don't need a distraction," said Iginla, who didn't skate Sunday due to a groin strain. "I believe in this organization and this team.
I believe we can be a very good team.
"My preference would be to play here on a great team and win. I think we can do that. My focus is going to be on helping this team to the playoffs and ultimately win."
Iginla is due to be an unrestricted free-agent after this season. He's in the final year of a deal worth US$7 million per season.
His contract status, combined with the club's struggles, has created a steady stream of trade rumours and speculation for the past couple of years.
Feaster said he and Iginla's agent, Don Meehan, will have discussions once the season begins.
"The directive here in Calgary, the objective here in Calgary, has not changed. From ownership right on through, our goal and our intent is to have Jarome Iginla spend his entire playing career with the Calgary Flames.
"The one thing we don't want is to talk to Jarome's contract every day."
That won't quiet the rumour mongers, especially if the Flames struggle.
After all, if they're not in the playoff mix come the April 3 trade deadline and Iginla isn't re-signed, the subject of him waiving his no-move close must be broached.
Jarome Iginla's contract negotiations with Flames will be quiet
Calgary Sun | Jan 14