Iginla denies wanting out

Flames captain Jarome Iginla skates during the warmup before facing the Canucks at the Scotiabank...

Flames captain Jarome Iginla skates during the warmup before facing the Canucks at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Nov. 1, 2011. (AL CHAREST/QMI Agency)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:58 AM ET

CALGARY - If Jarome Iginla is indeed thinking about asking for a trade or even open to that option should the Calgary Flames approach him, hes not saying.

The long-time Calgary Flames captain and face of the franchise insists he believes the Stampede City is the best situation for him.

I want to win here and believe we can be a good team here. Thats really where my thoughts are, Iginla said after Tuesdays morning skate in anticipation of facing the Nashville Predators.

Its 60 games left, a lot of season. Its a lot of time for us to make our way back.

Until the Flames can put themselves in a solid playoff spot, the chatter regarding Iginla will continue to be hot and heavy.

Both team president Ken King and GM Jay Feaster recently reiterated trading away Iginla isnt in the plans.

The Flames all-time leading goal-scorer (491 goals) and point-producer (1,017) has a no-movement clause on his deal worth US$7 million per season through the 2012-13 campaign.

With the club struggling and their trajectory headed toward a third straight season without making the playoffs, Iginlas future will remain a hot-button issue.

At age 34, he likely doesnt have time to go through a rebuilding process in Calgary.

Therefore, the common-sense approach would be for Iginla to be traded to a contender and net a return that could help the Flames in the future.

Thus, all the speculation, rumours and pundits saying Iginla should move on.

It's all part of it. Its not new, Iginla shrugged. Youre asked the same questions at different times, but the focus is on the fact we have 60 games left. Its a lot of hockey.

Theres going to be a lot of changes over the next 60 games in the standings, and we believe were going to be moving up.

Nobody in here has given up. We still believe we can be a good club and make the playoffs. Thats where the focus is.

Its just the way it works, the way media is, as far as Internet and how easy it is to just run with a story, he continued. Its not always accurate, thats for sure, but thats fine. Im not blaming anybody, but there are things you read that arent accurate and you just move on.

The best way to stop a story is to win games and climb in the standings.

It wouldnt hurt if Iginla started producing, too.

Heading into Tuesdays clash, he had just seven goals and 11 points in 22 outings and was separated from Alex Tanguay onto a line with Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross prior to Sundays game against the Minnesota Wild.

It wasnt just doing it for Jarome, said coach Brent Sutter of the lineup shuffle.

Its about the team and whats right for the team. I want to make that very, very clear. I wasnt just concerned with Jarome. My concern is the group. Wed lost three games in a row, and I felt that line in particular was fighting it offensively and I wanted to change things up and do what was right for the group and the team.

It wasnt about one individual at all. Thats not what were about.

Still, Iginlas status will always be in the forefront, therefore the never-ending speculation with his future with the Flames.

My focus is totally on believing we can make the playoffs here, climb back and start putting together a streak here. That is how Im feeling and thats where Im at, Iginla said.

I do believe it is possible and will happen.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak


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