Veteran NHLers Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan, both marquee players for the past decade just can’t seem to catch a break this offseason. The 40-year-old wingers both remain without a contract for the 2017-18 NHL season, but both are adamant that they still have more to give. With the NHL opting out of Olympic participation in 2018, could Iginla and Doan be on Hockey Canada’s radar for the upcoming tournament?
Team Canada general manager Sean Burke was asked the question on a recent media call and responded with, “We want to look at all possibilities, but there has to be a long-term plan because it's going to very intense and it's going to be great hockey and guys are going to have to have a plan for the year.” Translation: “We’d love to have them, but they have to get their butts in gear.”
Fair enough. In fairness, both players have been training this offseason in the hopes of locking down an NHL contract for next season, so conditioning should not be an issue.
Burke continued, "We just played games in August and the pace of these games and the intensity was very good and that's going to increase as we move along,. So anybody that's going to play on this team, no matter what their pedigree or what they've done in the past, we're going to consider."
It sounds like the door is wide open for both Iginla and Doan. While it may not be their preferred method of ending their careers, it’s certainly a unique opportunity and one that could enable them to walk away from the sport as champions.