Iginla Doesn’t Deserve Hate From Flames’ Fans After Exit Interview

Jarome “Iggy” Iginla will always have a place in Calgary Flames’ lore. When the time came for the Flames to rebuild, and that time some argue should have happened a lot sooner, the question of what to do for Iginla came up. So in true sports business fashion, Iginla was traded to Pittsburgh, to a team of his choosing, handicapping his former team on getting the best value for him.

The Flames were handicapped as they had a better deal with the Boston Bruins, who were on Iginla’s list of teams to be traded to, but Iginla nixed the deal at the last minute, thereby sealing Jay Feaster’s fate and hindering the progress of the Flames in their rebuild.

Now the Flames’ fans are mad at their former super star winger as there is a report that Iginla said in his exit interview his best chance to win was with the Boston Bruins, who were eliminated in the second round, not the Calgary Flames, who were eliminated in the Stanley Cup Final game 7.

Iginla never said that in his exit interview. Here is what he said courtesy of NHL.com:

“You know the year has been a lot of fun. It’s been great here being with these guys, and like I say it’s as good a chance as I’ve had with a group. And it’s very hard to take today.”

That makes no mention of his time in Boston being his best chance to win, or ignoring the great playoff run with the Flames.

So why would Flames’ fans be upset or confused if Iginla didn’t spurn his time there?

The reporter for WEEI who wrote the initial story on Iginla returning, decided to use a headline that misquotes Iginla.  The headline says “It’s The Best Chance That I’ve Had.” While that isn’t true, and the author points it out, it’s still bad form as it implies that Iginla himself said that.

A few things to note one it wasn’t Iginla’s best chance as he came within one goal of winning the Stanley Cup in 2004 and two, this Boston Bruins team played absolutely average against an underdog Montreal Canadiens team. Whoever decided on the title of the piece may not realize that all they did was make Iginla look bad.

This is an egregious oversight and sports media needs to come to grips with an issue that will compromise the whole system. While it is important to have headlines that catch a reader’s eye, it’s also important to have factually correct headlines. All this story has done is painted Jarome Iginla as a villain to Calgary Flames fans.

For example, what if teams don’t allow journalists in the locker room and will only hand out written statements by the player? Imagine not being able to read quotes filled with emotions, or have video footage because teams don’t want players to be misquoted.

This error not only sacrifices the credibility of the player but also it sacrifices the credibility of sports journalism as a whole.