Lanny McDonald knows exactly how Jarome Iginla must be feeling these days.
As a Hall-of-Fame career gets into the later stages, the Calgary Flames captain is still looking for that elusive Stanley Cup ring.
It describes both McDonald and Iginla.
While McDonald stayed with the Flames and left in style, hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989, his advice to Iginla wouldn’t be to follow in his footsteps.
McDonald figures the best chance Iginla has to win is right now — with another team.
“They need to figure out if something works for Jarome,” said McDonald, who is participating in a fan contest through Scotiabank called ‘See Stanley With Lanny.’
“If it does, maybe it should have happened already. If it doesn’t, what can they get for him next year? But they should make a commitment for him to end his career here.
“They have to ask him, ‘Where do you want to go and try to win it? But we will do everything possible to re-sign you so you can end your career here.’ ”
The biggest difference between McDonald in the 1980s and Iginla this decade is the supporting cast around the face of the franchise.
In the final few seasons of McDonald’s tenure, he wasn’t among the top scorers on the team.
While Iginla has the benefit of a world-class goaltender on his side, three straight years out of the playoffs proves the Flames aren’t just a piece or two away from being Cup contenders.
With one year left on his contract at a price of US$7-million, it would be tough for another team to fit Iginla in as a role player, but how much of an impact he could have on a team where he’s not counted on for all the offence?
Even if Iginla never wins the Stanley Cup, McDonald doesn’t believe it’ll tarnish his reputation.
“A win would cap it off off but not winning would not diminish his career in the slightest,” McDonald said. “This guy was a warrior through and through.
“He’s done everything possible, whether it was leading by example on the ice or anything else.
“He has 30 goals per season for 11 straight years. To have Craig (Conroy) assist on the most goals by Jarome, it tells you how good Jarome is as a player being with everyone and still scoring 500.”
This is the second season McDonald has worked with Scotiabank to send a lucky fan and three of his or her friends or family to Game 4 of the Cup final.
Fans can enter through a Facebook page, but the fun part of this contest is not knowing where they’re going.
“See Stanley with Lanny is certainly not going to happen in Calgary,” said McDonald.
“The Flames are getting too old and too slow. I’ve been saying this for a few years.
“They need to get younger, faster, and obviously, they need more talent.”