A lot is being made of tonight’s Dallas/Calgary game because it will be the first time the two teams face eachother since Sean Avery called Jarome Iginla boring.
TSN, obviously, has been banging the drum on this for a few days now. What everyone, from Flames fans to the mainstream hockey media, has done is take Sean Avery’s quote out of context to make it seem as though Iginla was somehow boring.
Our commissioner hasn’t realized that he needs to probably do a better job of marketing the game and certainly some of the players in it. Nobody cares about Jarome Iginla and guys like that. They’re just not exciting enough. They don’t bring enough to the game.
Obviously, out of context, that doesn’t look so good. “Nobody cares about Jarome Iginla!?” cries the media. “BUT HE SCORED 50 GOALS TWICE!!!” And that’s certainly true. But of course, the video of the interview is “no longer available,” so proper context is difficult to ascertain. However, I’m one of those Flames fans that’s always eager to play the insult card (a “no one hits my brother but me” type of thing), and in watching the clip originally, I just didn’t see the big deal. My feeling was that he was saying that Iginla deserved to be marketed better and that everyone AT THE NHL thought Iginla was boring.
And really, that depends on how you define “not exciting.” Does Iginla score flashy, highlight-reel goals every night like Ovechkin or Toews? No. Does he go through four guys and make a perfect pass to a waiting teammate for a tap-in goal like Crosby or Kane? No. Does he even demolish people like Phaneuf? Not really. What Iginla does is simple: quietly go about being excellent. As a Flames fan, Iginla could murder a child right in front of me and I’d just go, “Oh, you!” He’s a great leader, great player and a great guy. Classiest guy in the league, by all accounts. Google it. But is he really THAT exciting? Quick, name five exciting things Jarome Iginla has done this year. Apart from being awesome at hockey, I’m coming up with nothin’. As far as I’m concerned, he’s diplomatic to a fault.
“He can say whatever he wants,” Iginla said. “I think the NHL has done a better job, especially since the lockout, with the players - of getting the players out there.
That, of course, isn’t especially true. Still, everyone on the planet would take boring ol’ Jarome Iginla on their team any day of the week because of his skill and that attitude.
That being said, Avery didn’t mean it like that. Not that we’d know. In all the fervent quote-gathering TSN has done for this story, no one bothered to give Avery a jingle and say, “You really mean that?” Of course not. He’s the guy that dated actresses and interned at Vogue. What a dick! If TSN was going to bother to dredge up out-of-context quotes from two months ago for this game and get everyone to comment on them again, the fact that Avery’s take all this time later isn’t being discussed seems awful dubious.
Instead, TSN just wants to take a dump on Avery, which is what this is really about. To wit, Iginla said, “We haven’t even talked about it for weeks,” which shows that it’s a non-issue. TSN did helpfully add these facts:
Iginla is enjoying another typically excellent season, leading the Flames in goals, assists and points while his team continues to battle the surprising Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild for the Northwest Division lead.
Meanwhile Avery leads the NHL in penalty minutes … In addition Avery was called out by teammate Mike Modano for his selfish play and embarrassing antics after a loss to the Bruins in early November.
“Tonight, it was idiotic and stupid,” Modano told reporters after Avery and teammate Steve Ott argued with referees and fans. “It was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen. If that’s what we’re going for, then they need to find me an office job.”
“It was dumb penalties, dumb situations, that’s kind of been the trend all season,” Modano said. “There’s no mental toughness. We’re allowing the refs to get involved in the game with and spending more energy on them than the details of winning the game.”
Because that’s important to this non-story.
We all know Sean Avery is an agitator on and off the ice and says WACKY things that piss people off. If Iginla had gotten over it already, shouldn’t everyone else?