Keeping up with the Kamloops Blazers
Rex and Iggy are busy guys.
They are also part owners of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.
Finding time to follow the team in which they have so much invested can be tough.
“To be honest, it’s not always easy on a day-to-day basis,” said Jarome Iginla, the Calgary Flames’ forward who played three seasons with the Blue and Orange in the early 1990s, winning two Memorial Cups.
“Once you get into the season, it does become a lot of Flames and what we’re doing.”
Iginla, who has racked up 498 NHL goals, bought part of the Blazers — along with Mark Recchi, Darryl Sydor, Shane Doan and majority owner Tom Gaglardi — in October 2007.
Since then, it’s safe to say each of the owners has spent a fair bit of time glued to their computer screens.
“I definitely go online and I like to keep track of how the season is going for the guys and what kind of streaks they are on,” Iginla said.
“I’m always pulling for them.”
Watching live Blazers’ games online has always been easier for Recchi than Iginla because of the Kamloops product’s various eastern locations — playing in the show with Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Boston — since 2007.
“It would be 10 o’clock and I’m done my game. I just go home and watch it on the computer,” said Recchi, a three-time Stanley Cup champion.
“I’d say I watched 80 per cent of them. It worked out good.”
One would surmise that number has risen since Recchi hung his skates up for good this past summer.
The number of appearances Recchi makes at Interior Savings Centre has also jumped since retirement, according to the man who hoisted the Stanley Cup in June with the Boston Bruins.
“I’ll be coming [to Kamloops] a lot more now,” Recchi said.
“I try and get here once or twice a month, if I can. It’s a little haul for me, but definitely once a month.”
One lesser-known avenue Iginla uses to keep track of the scuttlebutt around town are his former billets, Randy and Kathy Chan.
“I get more of the day-to-day stuff from them, with what’s going on around town and tidbits about the players, to keep me abreast,” the two-time Olympic gold-medallist said.
Iginla’s inability to watch the majority of Kamloops’ games might be a blessing in disguise, taking into account the stress levels Recchi endures when he fires up a WHL Live webcast.
“It’s frustrating,” Recchi said. “It’s hard because you’ve always tried to be part of the solution and you can’t be.
“You can only do your best as an owner and give them every opportunity to be successful. Then, it’s up to them.”
The 43-year-old’s nerves will have enjoyed some respite this season, though, with Kamloops perched atop the B.C. Division at the Christmas break.
“The players, management and coaching staff have got things going in the right direction,” Recchi said.
Iginla echoed Recchi’s sentiments and said it’s fun to be a spectator right now, whether you own a chunk of the team or not.
“I’m kind of just a fan, too,” he said.