Colorado Avalanche: Jarome Iginla Needs to Produce or Get Demoted

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche are set to play the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night with some new line combinations.

The Colorado Avalanche saw their line combinations altered over the course of this week heading into the game against the Jets, and Jarome Iginla is still in the top six.

For more on those lines, see below:

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Related Story: Avs Look at New Line Combinations

Iggy has 1 goal — on the power play of course — no assists, 25 PIMs, and is a -1 through the first 5 games. That is not a good stat line, and it certainly isn’t the type of stat line appropriate to a player of top six caliber.

However, head coach Jared Bednar said that Iginla was earning his top six minutes right now. And — according to the Denver Post — Bednar plans on giving Iggy leeway all season long.

"I like the way Jarome is playing right now. I think he’s doing all the right things, he’s competing hard, he’s probably our emotional leader right now and he’s been playing with an edge. I’ll be patient with him all season long. If guys work hard and do the right things, they’re going to find a fit on our team in certain situations."

Yeah, he’s certainly been playing with an edge, and I’d say he’s been emotional. However, are these aspects of his game beneficial to the Avalanche right now?

And, how long of a leash should Iggy have in the top six before he sees a demotion to the bottom six?

Will Jarome Iginla Get it Going?

Iggy has historically been a slow starter. In fact, in each of his last four seasons — including this season — Iggy has had a grand total of 9 points in his first five games. In other words, he has scored 9 points in 20 games over the course of the last four seasons’ first five games.

He’s generally taken off from there however, recording a total of 16 points in the 15 games that comprise the next five games of each of the three seasons before this one.

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So, will Iggy start to take off now that he has those first five games off of his shoulders?

I only used the last four seasons because it’s not like he was that much younger when he was playing for Boston in 2013-14. He was 36 then, and he’s 39 now, not a far cry removed in age.

So, is age really to blame for his lack of production so far? Or, could his lack of production be better related to the historical struggles Iggy experiences to start the season?

I think that Bednar is hoping for the latter, and is not quite willing to give up on Iggy in the top six yet because of that history.

More From Mile High Sticking: What Will Mikko Rantanen’s Impact on the Roster Be?

And, that’s not necessarily a bad idea either, especially if Iginla can turn it around in the top six.

However, if he is not able to then how soon before Bednar demotes Iggy to the third line?

Will Bednar Even Consider Demoting Jarome Iginla?

Now, this is the real question. If Iginla proves that he is no longer capable of playing in the top six, then will Bednar demote the man?

I think he will, and I think it’s because Bednar is very conscious about line chemistry and consistency.

"We’re trying to find some combinations now, find some dangerous lines — chemistry within those lines… If the job is not getting done, then you got to change it. You can’t expect it to take care of itself."

If Iginla isn’t getting the job done soon, then he will be demoted, that’s my take at least. However, Bednar did mention that he will be “patient with [Iginla] all season long,” which makes you wonder.

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I hope that his patience doesn’t extend passed Iggy’s value. Hopefully Bednar won’t have to make that value decision, but if Iginla doesn’t start to pick it up soon then he will have to.

Iginla is playing on a new line against the Winnipeg Jets, and hopefully having Matt Duchene back at center will help his success.


The Colorado Avalanche are set to play the Winnipeg Jets tonight at 7:00 pm MST in the Pepsi Center. The game against the Jets will be Iggy’s first of his next five to start the season, when he historically turns on the juice.

Hopefully new line combinations, the addition of Mikko Rantanen, and a more established bottom six will all help Iggy get it going offensively. The lines are more evenly distributed now, which may help Iginla find his offensive game.

Next: Avs Need to Start Strong Against the Winnipeg Jets

The Colorado Avalanche haven’t played a game in just under a week so they’ll either be rusty, or extremely well prepared. Perhaps it will be a mix of the two. Nonetheless, they should be able to roll four lines against the Winnipeg Jets tonight.

Either way, Iggy needs to start proving tonight that he still belongs in the top six in this league.