Jarome Iginla can’t be faulted for begging out of the All Star game. The family reasons cited by the Flames with respect to their captain had to do with the health of his grandmother and his desire to spend some time with her when the schedule breaks.
No one should be denied that request.
Besides, Iginla is having a season he’d probably rather forget, although he is leading the Flames in scoring with 19 goals and 42 points in 49 games. But the season on the whole has been dismal in Calgary, where there has already been a change in general managers and much debate about whether the franchise face should be auctioned off for pieces to kick start an obviously-needed rebuild.
Interim GM Jay Feaster has issued denials about a possible Iginla trade every time he’s seen a microphone, but the questions remain and Iginla would have been facing them throughout the All-Star weekend.
That part, we’re guessing he won’t miss.
Especially since it actually worked out well with Iginla’s replacement being Danny Briere of the Flyers. Briere should have been on the original list because he is having a big season on a team that is having a big season, and four years into the mega-contract he signed as a free agent in 2007, he has emphatically silenced those who questioned whether he is worth the eight-year, $52. 5 million deal he signed.
But it wasn’t always that way. While Briere’s first season saw him produce 31 goals for the Flyers, he took some heat because he had 24 more overall points in Buffalo the year prior and struggled defensively with a team-worst minus-22. Still Briere came through with solid numbers that year with nine goals n the playoffs, which is really where he earned his reputation with the Sabres.
Briere missed most of the following season with an injury, but he has averaged 25 goals in each of the last few seasons with the Flyers, who are so deep at forward that Briere doesn’t always get to play his natural center position. Then again, it didn’t really matter during the playoffs last spring when Briere led all scorers with 30 points, including four game-winning goals, and played a key role in Philadelphia’s run to the Finals.
This season he has picked up where he left off. Briere is leading the Flyers in scoring despite missing three games and playing a modest 17 minutes a night. And five of his 24 goals have been game winners. More important Briere has been the most consistent, and arguably the best player on a team that has been among the most consistent and best in the league this season.
He deserves to be an All Star and now he is.
Sometimes things do work out as they should.
Deferring to Danny
Posted on: January 19, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 2:58 pm