The trade deadline is inching closer and closer every day, with little more than two weeks left until the most exciting day in Canadian sports television. As we get nearer to the trade deadline the playoff picture is becoming increasingly clear. That’s not to say it’s an exact science in labeling the likely buyers and sellers (if it were, just try explaining the Calgary Flames to me), but it’s one hell of a fun educated guess. Oh so much educated guessing...
Speaking of the Calgary Flames, they just so happen to be the focus of today’s trade deadline preview. In years past it would be easy to assume that Jay Feaster, in his everlasting denial, would continue to pretend his team had a shot at making the playoffs and stand pat. Best case scenario, he would add a depth defenseman in return for a draft pick he so desperately needed to put to use in the impending rebuild.
According to many though, this is finally the year they begin to rebuild. With that being said, I have to think for the right price just about anyone is available. I even suggested in another column written today, that this is finally the year Jarome Iginla is traded. Yes, even Iginla. The Flames aren’t going to get as much in return as they could have for their over the hill veterans, but the moves they make will finally start the rebuild. Then again, we are talking about Jay Feaster so, who knows what’s coming. The obvious move is to stockpile draft picks and prospects. Below I’ll list some of the players I think will fetch those desperately needed picks and prospects. Enjoy.
Jarome Iginla: The big name on everybody’s mind this upcoming deadline has already given a shortlist of teams he would accept a trade too. This supposed list includes the Penguins, Bruins, Kings and the Blackhawks. For the sake of the team and Jarome Iginla I can only hope this is finally the year they trade him. He’s in the final year of a 3 year $21M contract, so it’s probably their last chance to get something in return for him. The reported asking price is two draft picks, a prospect and a roster player. That seems a little bit steep at this point in Iginla’s career, but I’m sure somebody will step up to the plate.
Jay Bouwmeester: Speaking of Flames who are seemingly constant fixtures in the rumour mill... Bouwmeester has one more season after this one with a cap hit of $6.6M. It’s an incredibly high number for a defenseman whose production has been in steep decline since joining the Flames, but then again, as they always say, he logs a lot of ice time. A lot of ice time against the opposition’s best lines to boot. Somebody is sure to overpay for him to play those “tough” minutes for their team. Detroit seems like a likely destination.
Miika Kiprusoff: If the Flames can get a goalie out of any possible Iginla deal, that makes it all the more likely that Kiprusoff and the final year plus of his contract, that carries a cap hit of $5.8M will be shipped out of town also. Much like Iginla, his departure will also be at the very least two years overdue. Not sure there are many teams in need of a quick fix in net though, that will be willing to pay whatever it takes to land Kipper. Maybe Philadelphia?
Roman Cervenka: I’ve heard very little to this point about a possible trade for Cervenka, but I can’t imagine why they’d keep him at this point. To say he hasn’t worked out as planned is a bit of an understatement. His poor grasp of English lended itself to communication breakdowns, that forced Hartley to move Cervenka to wing. He was supposed to play center, like he did in the KHL just one year ago. His performance however hasn’t been all that bad though. Might be worth it for a team like maybe Vancouver or Ottawa to take a flyer on Cervenka.
Chris Butler: I don’t think the Flames will be overwhelmed with calls for Butler, but if your team is in need of a bottom pairing stay at home defenseman he might be worth the late round draft pick it would take to land him. His $1.25M cap hit on a contract that expires at the end of this season would mean there is virtually no risk associated with adding him to your roster.
You can follow J.D. Burke for more hockey commentary, stats, tweets, etc. @WeveGotTwins and find his blog at We've Got Twins