With the trade deadline fast approaching both Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames have some tough decisions to make. The Flames currently sit last place in the Western Conference with 24 games remaining.
Iginla is the Flames all time leader in games played, goals and points but his future is not as bright as his past. Calgary’s immediate future does not look bright either with Iginla and Kipprusoff not getting any younger and no prospects in line to replace them. Jarome’s best chance at winning a Stanley Cup in his career will come with another organization.
Iginla has only 7 goals this season in 24 games making him on pace for 14, or roughly about 25 goals in a full NHL season. His production is down but it isn’t hard to tell by watching the big Flames’ winger that he still has some good hockey left. For the Flames this is a great chance to move their aging star and accumulate assets for the near futre. An NHL rebuild takes as long as you want it to take. The Flames are in a great position to speed up that process by trading Iginla now.
On December 5, 1995, the Calgary Flames traded their captain and leader Joe Nieuwendyk to the Dallas Stars for a young man named Jarome Iginla. At the time of the trade the Flames appeared to be taking a big risk trading their captain for an unproven kid. It was a risky move that really paid off for the organization as Iginla went on to do amazing things in a Flames jersey, including an Art Ross trophy in 2002. Trading Iginla now is very comparable to the trade made to acquire him almost two decades ago.
The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis reported Sunday that the Flames are not currently discussing a contract extension with their captain. They have 3 weeks to sign Iginla before they lose the ability to trade him for a significant return.
The heavily talked about candidates to acquire Iginla before the deadline according to various rumours being thrown around are the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. Ultimately, if Iginla is going to be traded then any contender should be considered a candidate. Iggy is one of the premiere power forwards in the game and would make any team in the league better.
A good example of what not to do is what the Leafs and Mats Sundin did in 2008. Leafs management had significant offers on the table for Sundin but no deal was made because Mats Sundin decided to remain a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs and take a shot at making the playoffs in the last month. They did not make the playoffs. In the end, Sundin missed a great opportunity to see his name on the Stanley Cup and the Toronto Maple Leafs received no assets for their aging captain. Everyone lost. Calgary has been losing a lot lately. This is one they need to win.