Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla have a long history together. They were captains of Northwest Division rivals when Iginla was still with the Calgary Flames. They were not just teammates, but linemates when Canada won the Olympic gold medal in 2002. So when Iginla expressed his wish to be dealt to a contender this season, Sakic found a way to make that happen, trading him to the Los Angeles Kings.

“I like what we did for Jarome Iginla,” Sakic said Wednesday after the passing of the NHL Trade Deadline. “It gives him an opportunity to try and compete for the Stanley Cup. It’s something that we felt was the right thing to do for Jarome.”

The 39-year-old Iginla was struggling to crack the top-6 for the struggling Avalanche, but still proved effective on the powerplay, netting four goals with the man advantage.  Set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he will now head to Hollywood, where he will be coached by a familiar face in Darryl Sutter, who was Iginla’s bench boss in Calgary.

“After talking to him and his agent Don Meehan, it was a place that he wanted to go and we gave him that opportunity.” said Sakic.

In return, the Avalanche didn’t ask for much. The Kings sent a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft to Colorado. It’s a pick the Avalanche may never receive, as it is contingent upon him either winning a Stanley Cup (and playing in 50 percent of the remaining games) or re-signing with the Kings. The Avalanche also retained 50 percent of his $5.333 million salary. For Sakic, it wasn’t all about the return, nor about the money, nor the roster spot.

“It’s a respect thing,” Sakic said. “It’s a respect for Jarome Iginla; him as a person, him as a hockey player. He’s a Hall of Fame player for his career. Discussing [it] with him, we wanted to give him an opportunity in a great place where he wanted to go.”

Some coaches are referred to as “player’s coaches. Perhaps Sakic is a player’s general manager. Perhaps that’s something that will benefit the team this summer when it comes to courting free agents. Perhaps it’s a little easier to sacrifice for a team if their head honcho is willing to sacrifice for you as well.