Multiple sources reported on Sunday that Jarome Iginla has submitted a list of teams he would be willing to waive his no trade clause to join. Some are saying this list includes four teams, which are the Blackhawks, Penguins, Kings and Bruins and others have gone so far as to say the Red Wings are also on his shortlist.
No matter the length of this list, his departure from the Calgary Flames is nearly three years overdue. For the sake of both the Flames and Iginla I can only hope this is finally the year he is sent to a contender, and the Flames begin a long and overdue rebuild.
All of the teams on Iginla’s reported shortlist have the cap space to take on his $7M cap hit for the remainder of this season, and in some cases might even be able to resign him for next. The Penguins make a lot of sense as a potential destination based on the chemistry Iginla displayed with Pittsburgh’s star center Sidney Crosby during the 2010 Olympics. Some doubts have been placed on the likelihood of Iginla joining the Pens however after their acquisition of Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars. That being said, they also got a third round draft pick which could be thrown into any potential deal with the Flames. The Bruins seem like a good fit as well based on their need for that pure goal scorer in the top six to go alongside Tyler Seguin. Iginla also fits the traditional mold of a gritty, physical and hard to play against Bruins forward.
It doesn’t matter where Iginla goes, it just matters that by April 3rd he’s anywhere but Calgary. As much as both the team and Iginla have tried to delay this trade, it’s now or never. At 35 years old Iginla’s best years are behind him. He’s already starting to lose a step, and his production is in decline. The Flames aren’t going to get as much as they would have had they shopped him two years ago, but trading him now guarantees they won’t lose him to free agency for absolutely nothing. Much like the Leafs did many years ago with Mats Sundin. For Iginla, he more than deserves another chance to compete for a Stanley Cup. Calgary is in for a long rebuild, and Iginla could be 40 by the time this team is competitive again.
As admirable as both Jay Feaster’s loyalty to Jarome Iginla and Iginla’s to Calgary is and has been, nobody will think the less of either of them for parting. No matter where Iginla spends the remainder of his career, and no matter where he finishes it, he will always be remembered as the captain of the Calgary Flames. The Flames need a rebuild and Iginla deserves a cup. Sadly for both sides, neither is possible unless they split.
You can follow J.D. Burke for more hockey commentary, stats, tweets, etc. @WeveGotTwins and find his blog at We've Got Twins