With speculation growing about a possible Jarome Iginla deal, recent credible Twitter reports are suggesting Iggy has agreed to waive his No-Trade clause for the following NHL teams – Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.
Darren Dreger Tweeted: Iginla trade spec grows by the day. Source says Pit,Bos,Chi,LA on his list with ongoing discussions. CGY will not comment,confirm, or deny.
Interestingly, the four teams believed to be candidates to acquire Iginla also happen to be the four previous Stanley Cup champions. He has good taste in contenders.
Where does Iginla fit best? Jarome is a beast on the forecheck. He likes to get the puck in deep and punish opposing defenders with his size and strength. As a scorer Jarome is a shoot first, ask questions later type of sniper. He has a great shot he tends to release quickly. His game is cohesive with the playing styles of the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings more so than the Penguins and Blackhawks. The Pens and Hawks prefer a possession game over the North/South attack the net with force attitude the B’s and Kings possess. That being said, adding Iginla would make all four contenders stronger.
Boston Bruins: Jarome Iginla was born to be a member of the Boston Bruins if he doesn’t remain with the Flames. He embodies everything the Bruins are and have been for decades. Iggy has the heart of a lion and a physical presence that instills fear in his opponents. If there is a player in the league right now whose play resembles former Bruins’ great Cam Neely, it’s Jarome. The comparison suggests the Bruins face a low risk of altering team culture if they acquire Iginla.
The Bruins have had trouble scoring lately and Iginla can score. Boston have only six goals in their last four games causing head coach Claude Julien to rearrange his lines for the first time this season. According to BostonBruins.com the B’s will have a new look up front when they play the second half of a home and home with the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night at TD Garden. Iginla would look nice in that top nine.
With Andrew Ference and Nathan Horton becoming UFA’s this summer it is realistic that the Bruins could extend Iginla’s contract without running into cap problems over the next few seasons. Some of the other teams on the list would have more trouble fitting Iginla in if he wants a contract with his trade.
Pittsburgh Penguins: In the 2010 Winter Olympics Jarome Iginla made a quick pass to Sidney Crosby who whipped the puck at the net beating G Ryan Miller to score the Golden Goal that won Canada the gold medal. Pens fans and management would love to see those two connect on a goal of similar importance in a few months from now in the Stanley Cup Finals. Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla connect on 2010′ Olympic winning goal.
The Eastern Conference playoffs is always a rugged battle of will and attrition. Adding Iginla to an already gritty Penguins squad would put the final touches on an outstanding group of forwards. The Flames’ winger is one of those rare scorers that can burn you with offense or crush you with brute force. Whether it’s throwing a vicious body check or dropping the gloves and swinging fists at your head, Iginla would add some punch to the Penguins’ top six forward group.
The Pittsburgh Penguins made a move today with the Dallas Stars that saw them acquire physical veteran winger Brenden Morrow. TSN confirmed the trade to be Brenden Morrow and a 3rd round pick in 2013 for defenseman prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick in the upcoming entry draft.
The addition of Morrow to the Pens lineup could make an Iginla deal less likely. If the Pens only wanted to add one piece to their forward group then Morrow is it. However, adding Iginla as well would give them two experienced former NHL captains with a lot of intangibles, something the Penguins could be considering after last season’s disappointing loss of composure that led to an embarrassing first round loss at the hands of their bitter rivals the Philadelphia Flyers.
Chicago Blackhawks: Everyone would love to add Jarome Iginla to their club but the Chicago Blackhawks seem like the least likely fit in this four team group. GM Stan Bowman must consider that sometimes it’s the move you don’t make. In the 1994-95 lockout shortened season, inevitable Stanley Cup champs the New Jersey Devils made one small move before the deadline then went on to win the prize with a sweep of the Detroit Red Wings. Bowman wold not be wrong to stick with what he’s got. The Hawks are playing extremely well this year and all their forwards have proven they belong in the starting lineup.
The Blackhawks are very deep at right wing. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp are their top two RW’s when healthy. Consider that Patrick Kane is also a natural RW and it makes the Hawks less likely to part with assets to acquire the aging Iginla. It should also be taken into account that Hossa and Sharp have substantial long term deals in place moving forward. If Iginla wants a deal with his new team the Hawks would not be in a realistic position to add more big money on the right side when they could use those dollars to address other needs.
Los Angeles Kings: Much like the Boston Bruins, Iginla fits the mold of the LA Kings. He could jump in and secure a spot on Anze Kopitar’s right wing, immediately adding to the physical style the Kings already play.
The Darryl Sutter connection could also play a role in the decision to trade for Iginla. Sutter was Iggy’s coach when the Flames went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. Let’s say the Flames want a king’s ransom for Iginla, the Kings may be willing to oblige. Darryl Sutter’s relationship with JI could be the tipping point in making a huge deal like this happen. Sutter may go to bat for his old pal.
The emergence of the Anaheim Ducks as a Stanley Cup contender makes the Kings likelihood of acquiring Iginla very reasonable. LA and the Ducks are bitter rivals who may do head to head battle in the upcoming playoffs. For the Kings, the thought of adding a warrior like a Iginla would come especially handy in a seven game series with a very tough and physical Ducks side.
Calgary Flames: Calgary is home for Jarome. The allure of winning a Stanley Cup is obviously tempting but it isn’t easy to leave home. If the Flames don’t get what they want for Iginla they may decide to keep him and he will probably be okay with that. If the Flames are going to trade their captain and franchise leading scorer they will understandably want a lot in return. If they don’t get something substantial back they have no business trading Iggy. This deal has to provide Calgary with notable assets or they may as well keep their captain.
If the Flames are shifting their strategy to rebuild mode over the next few seasons they can look at the impact Daniel Alfredsson has had on young players in Ottawa and decide it’s better to keep Iginla around and unload all the other veteran contracts on the team instead.
There are ten days remaining until the April 3, NHL trade deadline and over those ten days the speculation will grow. Whichever organization has Iginla on March 4 one thing is for sure. That team will be happy knowing he’s on their side.