Inside Jarome Iginla’s next contract



Lost in all the free agent hustle and bustle is that, as July 1 arrives, Flames captain Jarome Iginla is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Calgary Flames. A veteran of almost 1,200 NHL contests and one of a select few to score 500 goals and 1,000 points, Iginla’s also the second-longest tenured captain in the NHL (behind Daniel Alfredsson).

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All of these factors will play into his next contract.

Precisely whose contract figures we can compare Iginla to is tricky, as quite frankly, there’s nobody with comparable numbers in the league except maybe Alfredsson.


Comparing the league’s captains, there’s a good deal of variation. Ignoring guys that were injured for significant portions of last season, the “average” captain scores 21 goals and 55 points and makes approximately $5.7 million per season.

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Based on this metric, Iginla has a reasonable current contract. For an extension, based on other captains and the presumption that while he may not be a perpetual 30 goal scorer, he may average around 20 goals a season for the forseeable future, around $6 million may be an acceptable cap hit.


Of course, comparing captains somewhat downplays that a lot of NHL contracts are based upon rewarding players for past performance – both longevity and production.

In terms of longevity, 15 other NHLers are within 100 career games of Jarome Iginla. There is a good deal of variation in terms of player roles, though. Notable in this group are Daniel Alfredsson and Shane Doan, both of whom were in the captains comparison group.

Within 100 career goals of Iginla are: Marian Hossa, Jason Arnott and Alfredsson. Within 100 career points of Iginla are: Ray Whitney, Joe Thornton and Alfredsson.

Man, Daniel Alfredsson’s coming up a lot here.


There are roughly 27 NHLers who were within five points of Jarome Iginla last year in scoring. Between them, their salaries range between $821,667 (Jamie Benn) and $9.5 million (Alex Ovechkin). When you add in players within three goals of Iginla’s output, the range tightens slightly to between $1.6 million (Max Pacioretty) and $6.9 million (Patrick Marleau).

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Given Iginla’s experience, resume and productivity, it’s likely that his asking price would be somewhere towards the upper end of that pay range.

To say Iginla has been consistent would be a bit of an understatement. He’s scored 30 goals (or more) in each of the last 11 years. He’s made $7 million (or thereabouts) in each of the past 8 seasons. The 2012-13 season, the final year of his current contract, will be season #9 of making $7 million or more.

During each of those years, Iginla’s been the highest-paid Flames player. As long as he’s captain and among the team’s leading scorers, that’s not likely to change.


If it seems like Daniel Alfredsson is coming up a lot, it’s probably because he’s a pretty good comparator for Iginla. Both guys have played about the same number of NHL games and have produced at roughly the same level, although Alfredsson is four years older and has struggled with injuries more than Iginla has. The Sens captain remains probably the best available comparable however.

When Alfredsson turned 35, he signed a four-year deal with the Ottawa Senators worth $195. million – his annual cap-hit was around $4.875 million. That replaced his prior contract, which was worth a cap hit of $4.816 million. Iginla likely won’t come that cheap, but it seems probable that his pay-scale will at least follow the same general trend as Alfredsson’s

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It’s unlikely that the Calgary Flames will allow Jarome Iginla to become a free agent. He’s the face of the franchise and represents, well, most of everything that’s good about hockey. He’s also one of the most recognizable sports icons in Canada.

That said, he’s also 35 and is, at this point in his career, strictly a one-way player. He’s shown flashes of the Jarome Iginla of 2004, but that was eight years ago and time usually only runs in one direction. While Bob Hartley probably won’t use Iginla precisely the same way as Brent Sutter did, it’s likely that Jarome will be placed in similar situations and face similar challenges given the make up of the team.

But he’s probably also going to score 30 goals again.

As far as contracts go, the market value for a Jarome Iginla appears to be in the vicinity of $5 million and $7 million per season. While Jay Feaster probably won’t give Iginla a blank cheque, his importance to the franchise (both on-ice and in the stands) likely means he’ll be offered a deal very similar to the one he currently has. If he anticipates a slight downturn in production as he nears 40, he may accept a bit of a haircut. But don’t expect the captain to come cheap.

  • RKD

    Time to stir the pot! Heard someone say last week that Iginla has rejected two contract extensions from the Flames.

    I don’t believe the story because first off, Jarome would not be able to sign any contract until July 1. Secondly, I don’t think the Flames have tabled any offers as of yet.

    However, if this is true. We could lose Iggy for nothing because he could refuse a trade and walk away to a contender on July 1st 2013.

    Olli Jokinen walked away yesterday and because the Flames did not trade him because they were in a playoff race we didn’t get any return.

  • RKD

    One major factor to weigh regarding Iginla’s next contract…Chance’s of a Cup!

    While a lot of teams would consider signing Iginla for 2 -3 years at $6 mil or more, that doesn’t mean Iggy will automatically sign. At the end of 2013 (or sooner) if Jarome feels the chances of winning a cup in Calgary are slim and none, he may have to consider going elsewhere to obtain Lord Stanley’s mug…if that is something that is truly important to him.

    If that is indeed a motivating factor, and a true contender is interested but maybe doesn’t have the cap room, would Iggy take less to play for them???

    I know Flames ownership want Iginla to retire a Flame, and I don’t think he wants to uproot his family. But with his career winding down, how much is he willing to chance that Calgary will be champs again in the next 2 – 3 years???

  • RKD

    I think one of the big issues is that Iginla is now 35 years old. Any long term deal counts towards the cap for the entire length of the contract, unless that is changed in the cba. If Iginla wants to be a flame for life, I think a short term 2 year contract at similar money could be signed then at 38 a new contract with a lot lower cap hit to finish off his career. If he wants a long term deal, then the cap hit should be lower than his current contract.

  • RKD

    I hope Feaster waits until after the trade deadline to officially re-sign Iginla.

    First, Iggy is now 35 years old, so the team will be stuck with his contract and cap hit regardless of whether he’s around to finish out this contract. That makes it impossible to sign one those deals with dummy years at the end to lower the cap hit.

    Second, if/when the Flames falter, a pending-UFA Iginla could fetch a handsome return on deadline day from a team looking for some serious help down the stretch and into the playoffs. An Iginla with a reasonable contract and cap hit would be attractive too, but I’m confident Feaster and Iginla will do their best to make sure neither of those things happen.

  • RKD

    Optimist is that he signs for three years at around $5.5M per year. His contract ends when Tanguays does and he can go year by year after that.

    Pessimist is that he wants to see how the team does this year, the team is in the race between 7-10 at the trade deadline and they dont risk trading Iginla. The team misses the playoffs for the fourth year and Iginla leaves the team and we have nothing but disappointment and memories.

    Paper today had a quote from Feaster indicating that they have not even talked to Iginla about an extention. I would have thought that this was stupid since they needed to know Iginlas intentions should he decide to test free agency next year. However since the whole trade market is waiting in line for Parise, then Nash, and then Ryan it seems that the Flames have some time on their side. Iginla would be the fourth of the dominos should the Flames and Iginla decide that now is the time to part ways. And make no mistake about it. If Iginla tells the Flames that he wants to explore free agency next year than the Flames have no choice but to make a deal and get the best return possible for Iginla.

    I think that Iginla will resign because he could picks five teams over the next five years and still not guess correctly and win a cup. However he can reach 600 goals in one uniform something that only Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, and Joe Sakic have accomplished. I think that three years gives him some flexibility when he is older. And I think that he wont go over $6M and it wont be under $5M because he is going to realize that the more cap space available on the team the better chance that he has to play with better players. A contract of $5.5M gives the team an additional $1.5M to play with in trades or free agency next year. Plus its not like he needs the money and at this stage of wanting to win he should be putting ego aside and take a fair contract that helps to benefit the team and its chances of winning going forward.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Gretz had 626 in EDM.

      I think the cup is a goal for every player, and I expect Iginla to go to a contender after this year, if he doesn’t get traded at the deadline.

      I have always loved Iginla, and even more so since he has been with CGY for essentially his entire career. Big, tough, talented and loyal player. Have to respect that, and Flames fans and management have to respect trying to get him a cup. Chances in CGY to get a cup in the next 4 years could be slim unless J-Fee can make some amazing moves. Very little cap space scares me for a non-playoff team.

  • Michael

    It’s clear that the owners want Iggy to retire a Calgary Flame, but I wonder what Iggy wants?
    Does Iggy want to retire a Flame, or does he want to join a true contender for a shot at the cup? Either way, its going to have an affect on his contact. (its u

    In terms of a likely contract, he will be 36 when his current contract expires, so a four year front loaded contract coming in around $22 – $24 million ($7m, $7m, $5m, $3 – 5m?) with some sort of a modified NMC, the Flames can’t move him, but Iggy can pick the team / teams he would join?

  • Michael

    Jarome said he would do what’s best for this franchise, even if that meant waiving his NTC. Iggy won’t walk away for nothing. If a Contract can’t be signed by Dec at the latest, you have to move him. Iggy won’t screw Calgary. And Calgary will pay him 5 to 6 million on a 5 year contract. If not more money and term. I would too.

    Iggys not dumb, new players, new coaches, etc. it might work it might not. It could take time. He always thinks we’re so close. We’ve surrounded him with everyone he’s wanted and/or been successful with. He didn’t want to be here if we blow it up. Feaster has clearly showed there is no intentions of that.

    I absolutely 100% believe it is in our best interest to lock him up long term, and go for a cup. He is still waaaay younger than Selanne’s. A lot more durable too.

  • Michael

    I’ve heard he’s turned down a couple offers too. Now that may be for numerous reasons. I think it would be wise for both parties to wait till march. I think Iggy is waiting to see the direction.

  • MC Hockey

    Not sure about Iggy or where you guys “hear” he turned down offers from the Flames (do you want to tell us?)…I really don’t think those type of corporate secrets from the Flames get out in the world so probably just made up rumors. I sincerely doubt the team has focussed on him lately as they say in the media…and most likely prep time for the draft, the trade (and possibly future trades), and the free agency signings has taken up their entire workload in past 2 months. I would guess more clarity will come, but not for some time, probably December to late February. On an unrelated note, an underrrated Taylor Pyatt (a bit of a power forward) signs with NYR…with the right linemates he could do well. Would have been OK here on the 3rd line…decent not great advanced statistics if you check the article on UFA forwards on

  • I don’t think there’s any rush to get Jarome inked this summer. The uncertainty of the new CBA plus how he’s going to play at 35+ means the team should hold off until at least the middle of the season to start talking about re-upping him. Assuming that is something they are keen on doing (and he wants to remain).

    Personally I don’t see it as necessary to keep Jarome around till he retires. His career here in Calgary is already legendary. If he was traded tomorrow he’d still go down as the best Flames forward of all time.

  • meat1

    We are a team that has gone from salary-cap trouble…to a team that was poised to have great (some) flexibility…to a team that is up against it again. Being the “best” non-playoff team AND having virtually the highest salary, must create a red flag.

    I’m a huge fan. But regarding the issues with Iggy, here’s my take. Let’s consider two other recent Hall of Fame-type captains. Steve Yzerman spent his entire career in Detroit. He went about his business (I mean off the ice, too) just like Iggy has here. Jarome has made me proud to be a fan of his team. But Yzerman gracefully was allowed to get to retirement BECAUSE of the fact Lidstrom, Datysuk, Zetterreburg, Robitaille, Hull, Rafalski, Shanahan, etc were there to carry a lot of responsibility, and therefore, help hoist multiple cups. His career ended wonderfully.

    Amd then there’s Matt Sundin. After starting in Quebec, came to TO and he, too, was a consumate player (I mean off the ice, too) just like Iggy has here. However, the quality of Leaf teammates, and the success of the team, differed greatly. He ended up leaving for nothing as a UFA. Leaf fans have to wonder what contribution the Sundin trade return could now be providing.

    In the end, Sundin left for one sip of what Yzerman enjoyed more than once…the champagne from the cup.

    We, as fans, need to realize who holds the cards here. It’s Jarome. He has the NMC. He has served us as well as Lanny (and without a doubt, Lanny’s Forever heritage in this city would be much less without Vernon, Niewendyk, Roberts, Fleury, Loob, Mullen, etc when HE was mid-thirties) and as much as we want change, and want youth, I will not ever bash him. If Jarome tells Feaster he wants to go before next deadline day, it will probably happen. If not, we have to prepare for nothing in return, too. Just my thoughts…

    • meat1

      Iggy is a great player, a warrior. But, we have won a playoff series in exactly 1 year of both he and Kippers tenure here. Why are we not moving on while we can get value for these guys? Calgary is a hockey city. Fans will be sad that they are gone but will soon embrace the new group and support them. This is so goofy. Move on please. If we had won multiple series or even a cup ( Gelinas goal was in), I could understand this, but this refusing to move these guys is setting the franchise back huge.

      • meat1

        Hey, if I were GM, I WOULD approach Jarome about a trade. And I would look long and hard at trading Kipper, too. I feel we could have a relatively quick reload here if we could move both for some quality prospects (moreso than picks even). But that wasn’t my point, cLyde. My point is that Jarome Iginla will decide when he wants to leave town. And I’m saying that meat1 will not bash him.

        • meat1

          I am an Iggy fan but no player is or should be bigger than the team. I know that he stayed when times were very lean and ownership appreciated how he worked and tirelessly promoted this team. Maybe I am wrong and he should have say but I agree that we could have a much quicker turn around potential here.

  • meat1

    If Iginla didn’t want to resign in Calgary, he would give management the green light to trade him. He’s too classy to screw the franchise over and just walk for nothing.
    My guess is that he signs a retirement extension later in the summer. Worst case scenario we trade him at the deadline for a good package.

  • meat1

    Iggy has been great for Calgary & Calgary has been great for Iggy. We do not owe Iggy anything, 7.0 million reasons a year for how many years is not too shabby. I think there should be a mutual respect and appreciation for what each has been to the other. On that note, I would have no problem with a new extension for 4 years with a 5.5ish mill cap hit, front load some of it, whatever. I also have no problem with Iggy deciding it may be time to go to a bonafide contender. If we ever need intelectual honesty, it will be in how this is handled more than ever. A trade at the deadline when its pretty obvious who the contenders are seems to be the best path if Flames do their usual early season floundering & Iggy wants to move on. If things are going good, the kids are playing great & Iggy is enjoying himself again, then get him extended by January.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    It will be interesting to see what style Calgary will play with Hartley. Feaster has tried to eliminate the previous straight- line chuggers that filled this roster. Iggy has been pining for more team skill and now it’s up to him to show he’s capable. Iggy will hopefully score more off the rush as Calgary is trying to become a team that can finally create off the rush. The question is do they have enough slick outlet passers on the back end?

    From my perspective, you need centers who can handle the puck and attack the middle of the ice and d men who can make plays. Enter Wideman and Hudler.

    With Brodie and Backlund (hopefully) plus Cammy (who else?) there are pieces. If Cervenka is a player that will be huge. I want Sven to play third line but 1st PP initially, keep his confidence to make plays then let hi play force him into top 6.

    Bouwmeester just didn’t make enough plays BUT Calgary have been a chip and chase team exclusively for the time 4’s been here. When in FLA he might’ve benefitted from higher skill (more available passes) so his offense was significantly higher. However I just haven’t seen the passing out of him yet. He skates to centre then rips it in. Every time.

    So if we changed him into another legit play making D to give 3 total that would be exactly what the team needs.

    LA made Sutter look good, not by big grinding wingers but by Doughty, Martinez, Voynov and Mitchell making plays for the forwards (especially kopitar and Richards) through the middle or chipping if those 2 guys not on ice.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    How can anyone want Iginla gone? He’s saved babies, pulled people from burning buildings, found the cure for cancer and invented slow growing grass, all while making a measly 7 million dollars per year. The city and it’s residents will shut when Iginla is no longer in town. It will become a ghost town, like the old movies with the rolling sagebrush being blown accross the parking lot at the Maid. I’m not even sure how the cities name hasn’t been changed to Iginlacity. Can you imagine having to live in a town like Calgary with a young family for only 7 million dollars? The fresh mountain air, mountain views, friendly people. How can he live like that for only 7 million dollars and still single handidly run the city including emergency services.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    @ Kent

    I dont see it as nessessary that Iginla retires as a Flame either. However, last summer we could have gotten Schenn and the 19th pick from LA. This year we can still probably get a first round pick and an NHL ready prospect, though not a blue chipper like Schenn. To go into next summer and then let him walk away for nothing is irresponsible asset management. Especially since it will mean missing the playoffs 4 years in a row.

    I would rather the Flames trade him as soon as Parise, Nash, and Ryan get sorted out. If the Flames are hell bent for last place and keeping him on the team then they need to sign him to an extension early so that it removes any distractions from the team. Iginla is already more important than the team itself, how much worse will it get when every reporter asking him questions starts off with asking him about his contract status.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I’ve heard Iggy wants out, wants to go to a contender, and has no faith the Flames will be able to become a contender in the next 2-4 years…that sounds a bit harsh, and Feaster obviously disagrees, but how impressed do you think Iggy is so far this summer…Jokinen out, Hudler in…is Wideman and Cervenka enough to show this club is going in the right direction?

    Would even just one of Parise or Suter prove it?

    If Iggy goes, does that mean Kipper will go in a another year?

  • RexLibris

    Hey Ryan,

    Nice article. Very neatly wraps up the basic elements that will probably come into play.

    Personally, based on the moves of Feaster between draft day and the Hudler signing, I believe that we will hear of an Iginla extension sometime in July.

    The four-year @ $5-ish million sounds about what I would expect, with a NMC of course to protect his interests in the city and reduce the likelihood of a sudden change in the franchise’s direction.

  • RKD

    You never know if Iggy wants to see what his value is on the market next season.

    The 2013 UFA list is vastly more superior:
    Iginla, Perry, Getzlaf, Backstrom, Riberio, Lupul, Hartnell, Roy, Horton, Zajac, Burrows, Vlasic, the list is massive.

    I know Iggy wouldn’t screw over the franchise either, he probably wants to see how the season goes. Again, no one wants to look like the bad guy. Iggy is concerned about his legacy and management doesn’t want to be the guy who traded Jarome Iginla.

    Iggy walking away would probably be a lot more acceptable than asking for a trade. He already takes a lot of flack and a trade request would give the critics more ammunition.