Its early days in the 2014 – 2015 NHL season. In a lot of cases, new teammates and staff are just getting to know one another. In one such case, the Colorado Avalanche and Jarome Iginla are just beginning their relationship. At age 37, Iginla still has managed to be ‘the’ power forward in the NHL. Continuing his tradition of scoring at a high rate, netting 30 goals last year with the Boston Bruins. Even with the season so young, we can see Jarome Iginla meshing well with the Avalanche already. He immediately brings to the table experience, toughness, skill, and leadership while being one of the most respected players league wide.
Not Slowing Down
When Paul Stastny left for the big bucks in St.Louis, Colorado had to make a move. When the announcement was made shortly after that the Avalanche had signed Jarome Iginla, most Avs fans were ecstatic. Though, from the outside, many were doubting the move. Most of them claiming that Iginla wouldn’t be able to keep up with this young fast paced Avalanche team. That theory doesn’t really make any sense as Jarome Iginla is no slouch with his skating ability, and is definitely not slower than Paul Stastny. Iggy has shown no sign of not being able to keep up.
Sure he is not the young Iggy anymore, but the man trains hard and can still skate and produce with the best of them. Colorado were very slim with their right wing depth, needing a top six forward with a right handed shot. So who better to fill that right wing role than one of the best power forwards the league has seen in a very long time? Jarome Iginla seems to be exactly what the Avalanche needed in that area and the move is proving fruitful already.
Building That Team Chemistry
Colorado has struggled through the first seven games obviously, but each game they seem to be getting better and building that team chemistry. Jarome Iginla is only one of six new faces in the Avalanche dressing room. It always takes a bit of time for new teammates to mesh with each other on the ice as well as off the ice. Though Iggy has just looked right in an Avalanche uniform from day one.
Coach Patrick Roy has been juggling his lines a bit to find out who Iginla would be best playing with. Roy put Iginla in his right wing position on a line with center Matt Duchene and left wing Ryan O’Reilly to start things out. The Avalanche weren’t scoring to start this campaign, but as the games went by Iginla seemed more and more comfortable with his new team. Coach Roy has still been tinkering with the lines, however he has kept Iggy with Dutchy while rotating the left wing spot.
Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla are creating something here, and whoever is put on that left wing seems to thrive. You can sense that Iginla is being welcomed by his new team with open arms and huge respect. Point being, Jarome Iginla is not having any issues bonding, creating chemistry, or skating with the Avalanche.
Hey Iggy, How About Two A’s?
There was a vacancy open for someone to become the other alternate captain on the team. Patrick Roy decided he would give Iginla the choice weather he wanted it or not. I’m sure Iggy discussed this with his new teammates, plus who would tell Jarome Iginla he shouldn’t wear an A? Shortly after thinking it over Iginla accepted the assistant captaincy role. This guy is captain material, let alone assistant captain, so it was really a no brainer that he should be the man to take it(sorry Dutchy, your turn will come soon though). So now Iginla is not only wearing the A of his new team, but also that of a leader.
As the new season is rolling along, and even while the Avalanche were in a funk, Jarome Iginla has been slowly starting to make a difference each game. He was ready to take down Dion Phaneuf for his new team before the referees broke it up. Thanks refs for ruining what would have been such an amazingly good fight(for Avs fans).
In seven bad games when it comes to the Avs standards, Iggy has still managed to put up four assists, while continuing to improve his chemistry with the team. Surely the goals will follow. He has come so very close to netting his first goal for the Avs, you can tell its coming soon, and you can bet everyone will be extremely happy for their new teammate when it happens( VS Canucks). So welcome Jarome Iginla, you will be much loved in an Avalanche uniform and your dream of hoisting the Stanley Cup will hopefully come true in Denver.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble