With Jarome Iginla still day-to-day with back issues, the question of whether or not the Flames captain should even bother lacing up his skates for the remaining pre-season games is one that should not be ignored. Back injuries are touchy and can linger for a long time, and with the only real solution being rest and rehabilitation, it would be wise for him to take the time he needs to heal as much as possible before the regular seasons begins.
When you get down to it there is really no need for a player who is as established as Iginla to play in a few meaningless exhibition games that are likely to cause more harm to his performance in the long run than good. What exactly does a player with 484 career goals and 1000 points get out of playing games that bear no relevance to the season? Other than getting the legs and hands going and some timing co-ordinated there is really no need for a player of his caliber to play in the pre-season. One might say that he needs to get some familiarity down with potential line-mates in order to build some chemistry, but of all the candidates on the Flames roster that coach Brent Sutter could put with Iginla, there are none that he hasn’t already played with many times before.
Of course any professional athlete particularly a captain and emotional leader like Jarome wants to be on the ice to not only have himself prepared but also that the team as a whole is at its sharpest heading into the games that count, but that is where discretion and the “what’s best for me” approach should come into play. Whats best for Jarome Iginla right now is to be as healthy as possible for the club’s season opener on October 8th against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and although it might upset the odd fan who wants see #12 on the ice, those same fans will be a lot happier when they see a healthy and happy captain lead the Flames onto the ice for a game that actually matters.