Where Does Jarome Land?

Iginla and Toews between period interview

– pic via Paul Harrison

 

It’s not really a Calgary issue anymore, but I’m sure many Flames fans will be interested to see where Jarome Iginla ends up signing this weekend. The former captain to date has not be re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins and given their rapidly dwindling cap space with the re-signing of Pascal Dupuis (and the retention of Marc-Andre Fleury) it’s a good bet Jarome will be looking for the third stop of his NHL career very soon.

With the cap going down it means there are a lot of potential players already out of the running for Iginla’s services. Besides the Penguins, the Philadelphia Flyers (-1.25M), Minnesota Wild (-0.132M), San Jose Sharks ($4.5M), Vancouver Canucks ($4.7M) and Boston Bruins ($4.7M) are all either over or periously close to the cap ceiling already.

You can probably also add the Los Angeles Kings to that list. Sutter’s Kings have around $5.0M in cap space, but need to replace or re-sign guys like Brad Richardson, Kyle Clifford, Dustin Penner, Trevor Lewis, Jake Muzzin, Keaton Ellerby and Alex Martinez. Not a lot of budget there.

So that’s a big chunk of the NHL’s money spenders and contenders. Who’s left?

Possible Iggy Destinations

Chicago Blackhawks

The cup champs boast one of the strongest line-ups in the league, but they have already begun to lose some pieces, including Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik (traded at the draft). Word is they are going to let Viktor Stalberg leave as a free agent and it’s probable healthy scratch Jama Mayers will join him.

The Hawks have almost $11M in cap space to play with but that will be whittled down a bit when they re-sign RFA Nick Leddy. They also have to re-sign Markus Kruger, find a back-up for Crawford and replace pending UFAs Michal Roszival and Michal Handsuz.

It’ll be close, but if Iginla is more motivated by a chance to win than by a pay check, he could probably land in Chicago. The team is strong enough up front that Iginla could settle into a nice, secondary scoring role where he wouldn’t have to play the tough minutes at even strength.

Detroit Red Wings

They’re not quite a league heavyweight anymore, but the Wings are still highly competitive. Detroit has about $8M in cap space right now, but will need to re-sign RFAs Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith as well retain or replace Val Filppula, Daniel Cleary, and Ian White.

Meaning there’s some wiggle room but not much. Again, Iginla will have to be mostly motivated by the team and organization than the dollars in order to land with Detroit. My guess is he’d also be thrust in a bit more of a primary role, especially if they lose Filpulla and Cleary to free agency.

New York Rangers

No one in the league likes to chase after big name players quite like Glen Sather in New York, even if they are clearly on the downslope of their career. The Rangers have $12M in budget space and a handful of RFA’s to re-ink (Hagelin, Stepan, Falk, McDonagh, Moore). McDonagh, Stepan and Hagelin should eat a big chunk of dough, but there’s no question Sather will make the call to Iginla’s agent if manages to retain any cap space at all. 

The Rangers are a middle-tier club, although they don’t lack star power in Richards, Nash, Lundqvist, etc. Iginla would be thrust into the spotlight and would probably land a top-6 spot in NY, at least to start. It would certainly be a tougher gig than, say, Chicago (just ask Brad Richards!).

Edmonton Oilers

It’s terrible to contemplate, but Iginla is an Edmonton native, the Oilers have about $10M in cap space and they would no doubt be enamoured with acquring Iginla’s experience and leadership for their very young dressing room.

The Oilers have other needs, including re-signing Sam Gagner and replacing about half of their rather sad blueline, but it’s possible they’ll have some dollars remaining for Jarome. That said, Iginla would have to be okay with joining a club that has yet to raise itself out of the Western Conference basement and, of course, more or less spitting in the eye of Flames fans everywhere.

This one is possible, but not likely.

St. Louis Blues

If they have interest, the Blues might be the odds-on favorite to land Iginla. They are a strong contender in the West, boast nearly $13M in cap space and, like the Hawks, could deploy Iggy in a more secondary/support role.

The one roadblock is the fact the Blues already have 12 pretty capable NHL forwards signed, including Backes, Oshie, Perron, Berglund, Steen, Tarasenko, Sobotka and Schwarz. If they re-sign Chris Stewart, it might be difficult to shoehorn Jarome into the line-up.

Ottawa Senators

Finally, the word around town is the Sens could lose Daniel Alfredsson to free agency (whaaaat?). They have over $21 in available cap room and, if Alfie leaves town, a giant hole in the "over 35 inspirational RWer who can still play" area of the roster. Ottawa is also a good enough team that they could convince Iginla they are contender and unlike some of the other options listed, they could probably pay him more than a few bills to sign on.

If he’s added to replace Alfredsson and for more than a marginal amount, Iginla will no doubt be expected to be a top-6 forward on most nights for Ottawa. Probably not the most ideal role for him at this point, but that’s for Jarome and the bug eyed walrus to worry about I suppose.

Conclusion

naturally, the list above isn’t comprehensive and we can only speculate about Iginla’s motivations. Maybe he wants one last big contract more than anything else? Or maybe he just wants to move in a nice warm climate and ride into the sunset? Still, assuming Iginla wants to win and he stenjoys a good reputation around the league, these are the clubs I judge to be his most probable destinations right now.

Around the Nation

  • mk

    Loved every minute watching Iginla as a Flame. I will cheer loud for him a time or two when he scores on us in future games too.
    But aside from that I cheer for the Flaming C as well and Jarome the hockey players not a Flame player no more
    Jarome the Flames icon is alive and well in my heart and I look forward to the day his jersey is retired from our rafters.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Off topic: please don’t trade Backlund, Gaudreau etc for Seguin. There must be reason Seguin on block.

    Stick to rebuild, suck it up and draft McDavid.

    Seguin is good but not worth the asking price. Don’t get duped Feaster!

    PS-Why have we not heard public comments from Weisbrod post draft?

  • schevvy

    God, love this guy . Jarome is my favourite athlete of all time, and I wish him well, even if that is Vancouver.

    If I had to put money on it, I would say LA would take him. Darryl I bet pulls a lot of strings in the upper management and I bet he would want Iggy. St. Louis is an intriguing destination for him, hadn’t thought of that one. Depends on what kind of contract or role he wants.

    I’ve given up hope on him coming back to Calgary with this contract. That being said, after this deal is done (he’ll probably get a 3 year deal), and the Flames become more competitive, I could see him coming back. But I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

    Also- for the love of god people, it’s JAROME not JEROME. Possibly my biggest pet peeve ever.

  • schevvy

    @mk
    > That’s just one of the superstitions they keep here [Vancouver] about the reason they’ve never [won] one.

    “Never” is a long time — so long that most people forgot about Vancouver’s cup win.

    The Millionaires won the Cup back in 1915.

  • First Name Unidentified

    don’t really care where Iginla goes, he will be a defensive liability wherever he goes. Hence, would love to see him in Vancouver. He will make them so much worse and old. And his attitude would be a slow poison in that locker room.

    Phew! Now that I’m done saying that, here is my UFA/Acq/RFA wish list:

    Clarkson

    Mueller

    Weiss

    Coburn

    Horton

    • BurningSensation

      Mueller, when healthy, looks like a real player. He’s the right age, and has an nice package of skills. He’d also be cheap.

      Horton is the big one. A genuine sniper with size and wheels. He’ll have his choice of teams to go to for a nice pay day.

      Weiss has declined the last few years, and never had a ton of offense, I’d let him go elsewhere.

      Coburn is an interesting candidate, but I suspect the price on him from Philly is prohibitive.

      Clarkson is a classic case of the guy to avoid. He typically plays 20 games or so at a ppg, and then spends the rest of the year putting up mediocre numbers. He’s a great 3rd line guy, but will get paid like a 1st liner ($5.5m+ for 5+ years). He’s a cap destroyer.

      Filpulla does so many things well, I’d be happy to have him come on board to shelter the pups.

      • RE: Mueller. I don’t get why people seem to want him so bad. He’s had 2 major concussions, as well as IR time due to post-concussion symptoms, and he’s had a bad groin injury. Dude’s hero is Jason Arnott. Also, his advanced stats aren’t exactly a glowing recommendation of his skills.

        No thanks!

  • RE: Iginla. I don’t know why no one has suggested Colorado yet. Denver and Calgary are basically the same city (in many, many ways). He would be playing on a good young team, reunited with Tanguay, and provide veteran leadership. Throw him on a line with Tangs and MacKinnon, shelter them, and give them 50%+ OZ starts, I’d say he hits 30 goals no problem. MacKinnon would likely win the Calder as well.

    RE: Mueller. I don’t get why people seem to want him so bad. He’s had 2 major concussions, as well as IR time due to post-concussion symptoms, and he’s had a bad groin injury. Dude’s hero is Jason Arnott. Also, his advanced stats aren’t exactly a glowing recommendation of his skills.

    RE: Weiss. I’ve always liked Weiss, but again, he’s been injured so many times that I think he’s in a special club with Arnott.

    RE: Horton. Apparently wants a small market where he can go unnoticed. Won his Cup, now it’s time to go somewhere else. IE not Calgary.

    RE: Clarkson. Solid boon to our RW depth, probably play 1st line. Probably going to be an overpay if the Flames do land him (I think around $4.5M per yr x 5 yrs). That wouldn’t be awful, but I wouldn’t pay much more than $5M or give a contract longer than 5 years (he’s 29 right now).

  • Burnward

    iggy will end up in big d, reunited with his kamloops buddy gags. that way he can by pass the coach and gm and hang with the owner, thereby having immunity to playing any defense what so ever. yep quality veteran leadership at its best.

    • schevvy

      Dallas is a ridiculous destination. If he wanted comfort and familiarity he would have just re-signed in CGY. He’ll go to a contender.

      Also, enough with the hate on Iginla. He did a lot for this organization. He did all that was asked of him. Age caught up with him a little bit. Doesn’t mean he’s some crappy, lazy veteran who doesn’t care. Ugh.

        • schevvy

          What I’m saying about Dallas is if he wanted comfort and familiarity with the owners, he would’ve stayed in CGY. Let’s be honest, Dallas and Calgary are both far away from being Cup contenders. I think Iggy wants a Cup more than being buddies with the owner. That’s why I think it’s a ridiculous destination.

          PS- You’re not the first one to bring up Dallas, I just think it doesn’t work

      • supra steve

        “He did all that was asked of him.”

        Iggy was a great offensive producer, world class. He was also a great personality for the organization to help “sell” the franchise around the city and league.

        He was not, however, a selfless player in the Yzerman mold. By that I mean that he was not willing to change his style of play to sacrifice personal stats for the betterment of the team. Now, to be fair, not many players are willing to be that selfless. Particularly those that can boast Art Ross Trophy type offensive skills. But those that do make that kind of sacrifice, those are men that other players will follow.

        A lot of players get branded as “leaders” because they have the natural talent to put the puck in the net, or because they are willing to drop the gloves from time to time. Iggy was known and loved for those traits, and much more. But, I wonder what Iggy may have become if he had been guided by a coach like Bowman in some of his early years, would he have made a similar choice to Yzerman? If he had, he may have earned less adoration from the fans and he certainly would have scored less, but would his name be beside Yzerman’s on the Stanley Cup?