Five things: Where is Iginla going?

Ryan Lambert
March 21 2013 10:02AM

 


 

Germane to the conversation last week about the possibility of the Flames dealing a number of their more tradeable assets from last week's 5T is that in the seven days since that was published there sure is starting to be a lot more of that "Iginla's definitely getting traded" talk kicking around. That includes very legitimate speculation about where he could go and even disquieted, somewhat-annoyed quotes from the man himself yesterday.

So with that in mind, I figured it might be wise to look at the five teams I've heard brought up most often in connection with Iginla's name, and whether they can match the rumored asking price of a first-round pick in this year's draft, a (possibly defensive) prospect and a solid roster player with whom they might be willing to part.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

This is the team you most often hear in connection with Iginla, and one that seems to make the most sense on paper. Jarome Iginla playing alongside Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, and Kris Letang on a top power play unit seems particularly unfair in general to the rest of the NHL, even as the Penguins continue to pile goals on everyone they play. Plus Canadians in particular would like to see Crosby slotted in with Iginla just so they can relive that overtime goal a few dozen more times a night.

Do they have the pieces? Do they ever. If the Flames, as rumored, want defensive prospects in particular. The Pens have Joe Morrow, Simon Despres, Olli Maata, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin all looking like they're going to be NHLers at some point in the next few years. They also have their first-round pick for this season, and a guy like Tyler Kennedy seems like the roster player the Pens would be happy to part with in exchange for a player of Iginla's reputation.

Will it happen? Probably not. As Rob Rossi pointed out over the weekend, it's tough to see where Iginla fits in with the Pens, as their top two right-wing slots seem to be as full as they are down the middle. With Crosby goes Chris Kunitz, who's on 18 goals and 40 points in 31 games. With Malkin goes Neal, who scored 40 goals last season and is up to 17 this year. So why on earth would the Pens give up that kind of haul for someone who would be relegated to third-line minutes and power play specializing? Doesn't make sense, even the team probably has the best combination of pieces the Flames would want. Unfortunately for Jay Feaster, that just isn't how it works.

2. Boston Bruins

 

You hear this one a lot too, and it makes a pretty healthy amount of sense as well. Maybe the return wouldn't be quite as good, but this is a team that has more obvious deficiencies in attack than Pittsburgh.

Do they have the pieces? Their prospect pool is a little top-heavy from what I can tell, and they're sure not about to let Dougie Hamilton go. Would Calgary take a Ryan Spooner or potentially Alex Khoklachev — maybe even Jordan Caron, but that seems unlikely — as forward prospects? Tough to say. It is important to note, though, that the roster player the Bruins give up would likely be better than Tyler Kennedy (think perhaps Dan Paille or Greg Campbell). They do have their first-round pick for this year, but given the team's quality, it could be exceedingly low.

Will it happen? Gun to my head, this is the team to which Iginla would be traded if he were, just because they might have the greatest need for him and might therefore be a little more desperate to acquire him than everyone else.

3. Los Angeles Kings

This is a club that's only more recently come up for discussion as being interested, but that's like, "Capital I" Interested, from everything I've read. I'm a little skeptical, but let's at least look under the rock for the sake of doing so.

Do they have the pieces? They traded their first-rounder to Columbus in the Jeff Carter trade, but they're probably pretty happy with the move considering how the playoffs went for them. Nonetheless, that's probably a hurdle they'd have to get over in a hurry if this were to happen. On the other hand, if you want defensive prospects, the Kings have a few, perhaps most notably rookie Jake Muzzin who's been very good on their blue line this year but could be the price they have to pay for someone to help on their right wing. As for a roster player, they have a few useful forwards Calgary probably wouldn't hate choosing from.

Will it happen? Well, let's just say Justin Williams is getting their second-line right wing minutes, so Iginla would almost certainly be an upgrade. It also makes sense in the reuniting of Iginla and Darryl Sutter. The rumors of interest kicked up fast, which makes me think there's more to it than just idle HFBoards-ing from the hockey media. I wouldn't be shocked if it happened but man, their not having a first-round pick in this draft has to be considered a major impediment. Can you imagine Feaster trying to justify that return?

4. San Jose Sharks

This, on the other hand, seems the ultimate in idle HFBoards-ing. The Sharks currently sit in eighth place as of this writing, tied with Phoenix and (haha) Columbus at 30 points and if they're going to wring one more meager attempt at doing something noteworthy in their playoffs, this looks like their only chance.

Do they have the pieces? Their prospect pool is a little bare from what I can surmise, but they have a couple decent-ish players in the system. No one that'll bowl you over but a few that project into decent NHLers, including Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto. Whether they'd be willing to give up their best prospect or two is, I guess, another matter. They also probably have a decent roster player like TJ Galiardi or Tommy Wingels to deal, and they haven't offloaded their first-rounder yet either.

Will it happen? If the rumors are to be believed, they'd probably have to get into a bidding war with the Kings, a division rival, and that doesn't seem like something that would go well for the Sharks overall. One imagines they'd have to get exceedingly desperate to pull it off, which isn't out of the realm of possibility.

5. Detroit Red Wings

Of the teams with an outside shot to land Iginla, I'd say the Red Wings are the front-runners. They're trying to keep hope alive with regard to making the playoffs, Iginla certainly helps pad out that lead they have over eighth, which is three points and can't feel all that comfortable. But if they think this makes them in any way a contender, they're sadly mistaken.

Do they have the pieces? They're not giving up Brendan Smith, but a number of other defensive prospects look fairly intriguing, as do a few forwards as well (Jurco, Frk, Jarnkrok, Nyqvist, Tatar and other guys with silly last names probably). They have their first-round pick, and maybe they throw in an Eaves or Abdelkader to round out the deal. Not a great haul, but one that seems at least a little realistic.

Will it happen? Again, this looks like a team that would have the pieces if they didn't have anyone bidding against them, but I don't know how that returns stands up against, say, LA's or Boston's, except to say, "Not that well."

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#51 Kurt
March 21 2013, 04:49PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Iggy for Lu!!!! Get bent!

"He can be moved later" because that has worked out sooooo very well for the 'Nucks.

No.....just.......NO!!!!

There has been speculation about VAN (gag) but I just can't see it. Aside from a complete headache for Feaster to justify, I don't they have the pieces we may want. If they want to go Scneids I would consider it, But, just like the Jbo rumors to EDM, the return would have to be a complete raping of our most hated rivals.

If they would trade Iggy for Scneids you would *consider* it? Haha... People have serious misconceptions about a rental UFA Iggy's trade value if you think Vancouver would offer up Schneider and you'd have to consider it.

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#52 the-wolf
March 21 2013, 06:06PM
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RexLibris wrote:

What makes you believe that Steve Tambellini, Mr. Reticent, would ever make a move to acquire Jay Bouwmeester?

I'm not taking a shot at you here, but these are the things that are against it, in my mind:

- The Oilers have established a contractual line in the sand with the Hall and Eberle contracts - $6 million, no more. Bouwmeester's contract blows that out of the water.

- They have been extremely hesitant to part with any prospects and picks that have been dealt are in the 3rd round or later.

- Tambellini right now doesn't appear to be able to coordinate a lunch order for he, Lowe and MacTavish, nevermind trying to organize a three-way deal with two opposing GMs.

I think they try to acquire a younger defenseman by exchanging a future pick or a roster player. "Buy low" is the echo I keep hearing from the organization.

That or they just clone Justin Schultz.

Oh, I get all that. But it was in response to the rumors that they were interested that was posted earlier. By no means do I think it will happen.

How much stock do you put in the Yakupov being moved rumors?

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#53 McRib
March 21 2013, 06:26PM
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@Kurt

Half the league hates Vancouver, they are the most hated team in all of Hockey!!! Ryan O'Reilly and Shane Doan both turned down big offers from them. Of all the players NEVER going to Vancouver you can put Iginla at the top of the list!! They are also hardly a cup contender. If Iginla is going to a middle of the pack Western Conference team its LA/Detroit, he always lights it up against them. Also why do the Flames need a goalie; Ortio, Broissot, Gillies, Taylor and Macdonald? If they are just going to go for a rebuild...

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#54 McRib
March 21 2013, 06:38PM
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For Iggy, how about to Boston for Ryan Spooner, Griffith/Knight and a first.... Spooner is very underrated!!! Detroit makes the most sense though with all their NHL ready prospects. Chicago also has some good pieces Brandon Saad and a first.... Or Teravainen straight up.... I know I can dream. Or to Pittsburgh for a Pouliot and a second or Joe Morrow /Beau Bennett and a first. Those two former/current Portland defenders make sense with their history playing with Sven, think one of them would be in a trade from Pittsburgh. When Calgary traded down in last years first think it was because Derek Pouliot went a lot higher than they were expecting.

Ryan Lambert great list though mine is very similar: 1. Pittsburgh 2. Boston 3. Los Angeles 4. Chicago 5. Detroit

I know in the past during interviews that Iginla could be seen wearing an LA Dodgers cap and I believe its somewhere his family often vacations, plus there is the Sutter history and being of African heritage would help in that market.... Honestly LA is a great fit other than a questionable return available.

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#55 McRib
March 21 2013, 07:06PM
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Just had a Lightbulb go off..... How about George "Bud" Holloway as a piece in a trade for Iggy, he is lighting up the Swedish Elite League for the second straight year and never got a chance with LA. Think they still have his rights.... Tanner Pearson, Bud Holloway and a second?

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#56 T&A4Flames
March 21 2013, 07:31PM
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Kurt wrote:

If they would trade Iggy for Scneids you would *consider* it? Haha... People have serious misconceptions about a rental UFA Iggy's trade value if you think Vancouver would offer up Schneider and you'd have to consider it.

Dude, it's Vancouver.....

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#57 Baalzamon
March 21 2013, 09:06PM
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@McRib

... Are you sure that "lightbulb" wasn't a brain aneurysm?

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#58 RKD
March 21 2013, 09:49PM
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I don't see San Jose or Detroit in the mix for Iggy, Det I see in the mix for Jay-Bo. A very top hockey insider has said while it's not clear if Jarome has given the Flames a list of teams he would like to go to, the wheels are already in motion to deal the long time Flame.

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#59 Baalzamon
March 21 2013, 11:00PM
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@RKD

I'd love to get Calle Jarnkrok. A deal centered around Jarnkrok and Bouwmeester?

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#60 McRib
March 21 2013, 11:54PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

... Are you sure that "lightbulb" wasn't a brain aneurysm?

Not at all, Bud Holloway is the leading scorer with 72 Points, 17 more than his next teammate. He is the reason Skelleftea is tops in the SEL. As a comparison he has 29 more points than Calle Järnkrok and is only a few years older. He has better size, work ethic as well as being used to the North American game. LA has turned down big offers for him to screw him over, second and a legitimate prospect from multiple teams.

Bud Holloways profile from Elite Prospects: "Holloway is a very well-rounded winger. Can launch rockets while playing the point on the powerplay. Is also a skilled passer. Has good leadership qualities and work ethic."

Calle Järnkrok "A very skilled center that will get the job done on the wing as well. Järnkrok's main asset is his outstanding hockey sense... But he is not a physical player, plays pretty well through heavy traffic although in need of gaining strength and muscle. Good character....Is a good skater, but there is still some room for improvement in that department. "

Anyway not sure why I am crazy to suggest Bud Holloway and other chips for Iginla, when everyone else is saying Calle Järnkrok. Someone who clearly has questions about size having never played on smaller ice.

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#61 Baalzamon
March 22 2013, 12:20AM
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@McRib

There HAS TO be a reason Holloway isn't playing for the Kings right now. Like, seriously. The guy had a 60 point season in his last AHL year. There must be something seriously wrong with him.

The difference in their ages is 3.5 years. Holloway is 25--which, as studies have shown, is the year forward production typically peaks. Jarnkrok is 21.

anyway, if Holloway won't sign with the Kings, why would he sign with the Flames?

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#62 Tach
March 22 2013, 11:11AM
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Weighing the relative merits of Tyler Kennedy, Greg Campbell and Justin Abdelkader makes me oh, so very sad.

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