VANCOUVER ó Jarome Iginla is well aware of the firestorm surrounding the junior team heís part-owner of, but withheld comment regarding the teamís decision to ban a local writer from speaking to members of the team.
ďI know itís a serious issue, but, to be honest, itís something I donít know a lot about. Itís more the day-to-day (people) with the operations there in Kamloops,Ē Iginla said Wednesday in Vancouver. ďI donít think it would be fair to give my opinion without knowing the day-to-day stuff, so Iím going to have to not make a comment.Ē
It was revealed this week the Kamloops Blazers banned newspaper writer Gregg Drinnan from speaking to team personnel just before Christmas because of perceived negative reporting. The decision has caused a furor across the junior hockey world and with sporting media, in general.
On Wednesday, the WHL scheduled a meeting to be held Jan. 11 between the sides in the hopes of finding a resolution.
The Blazers are owned by local businessman Tom Gaglardi, along with former players Iginla, Shane Doan, Mark Recchi and Darryl Sydor.
The Blazers were a junior hockey powerhouse in the early 1990s, but have struggled to build a winning team for the past decade. They currently sit fourth in the B.C. Division with a 19-20-2 record.
Iginla said he doesnít believe the situation will cause further attendance problems for the team.
ďItís a great junior city. They support the team wonderfully. Itís about winning, so we have to win and get to the playoffs,Ē Iginla said. ďThreeís a great tradition there and the fans support the team. The team is fortunate to get the support they get.Ē