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Monday September 19, 2011 4:36 am

Calgary Flames’ Jarome Iginla sidelined with back spasms

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, NHL,

Jarome IginlaCalgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla got out for his team’s first on-ice practice at training camp on Saturday, and less than 30 minutes later, he was back in the dressing room. Iginla complained of back spasms, which have sidelined the all-star winger since. He said that this is something that he’s battled with throughout his career, but has played through it for the most part during the season. For him, who has been in the NHL for 15 years, this is only training camp.

Iginla is playing it safe this time around. The Flames are trying to bounce back from a season in which they finished three points out of a playoff spot. To get back in the mix, they’ll need Iginla at full strength, as well as strong returns from guys like Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman. The Flames don’t exactly have the deepest roster, what with aging veterans and inexperienced youth, so they’ll need more things to go right than wrong to compete in the West.

Obviously, another 50-goal season from Iginla is a high expectation, but Iginla hasn’t scored less than 30 in a season in over a decade. Back spasms would be a pretty poor excuse for a down year. Now, the 34-year-old Iginla needs to take these kinds of injuries more seriously than before, and taking a few days away from training camp shouldn’t concern too many people.

With Robyn Regehr gone to Buffalo, Calgary’s blue line will almost certainly be weaker, which means they’ll have to be stronger offensively. If Calgary can’t manage to stay competitive by the trade deadline, the inevitable discussion will begin, and few teams will want to take on an expensive contract for an ailing Iginla. So Iginla needs to just sit back and get healthy again. It’s not like he’s out there competing for a roster spot.



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