Flames captain Jarome Iginla is entering the last year of his five year deal with Calgary, where he has played his entire career. At 34 years old, Iginla is entering the twilight of his career, and many have begun to wonder if a trade is on his horizon.
Iginla still has a ton of skill, having posted 67 points this past season and 86 the year before. He would add scoring and a solid veteran presence to any team that may be able to obtain him from the Flames.
At the draft, Calgary’s pick seemed to have a long-term goal in mind. It may be that the Flames are getting ready to enter a total rebuilding period. If that is the case, sending their beloved captain to another team to pursue the Stanley Cup elsewhere could net them a few good prospects.
There would be no shortage of suitors for the talented veteran, but in the slides that follow are 9 teams that would truly benefit from Iginla’s presence.
Many of the teams in the following slides barely missed the postseason, with a few exceptions. They are, however, teams that should be going after a talented veteran to help themselves become legitimate contenders.
The Sabres had a number of issues last season that started to turn around near the end of the season.
Adding the veteran leadership of Iginla would add the presence of a highly skilled team player, one that the rest of the Sabres could rally behind.
Buffalo currently has a decent mix of young players and mid-aged players that seem to be lacking direction. The addition of Iginla to the team would be a focal point for these players.
They have a few prospects who will be looking to break into the lineup next season; that may be of interest to Calgary.
Buffalo has the talent to be contenders in the playoffs; adding the leadership of Jarome Iginla could be the piece they are missing to make that push forward.
The Blues made a splash this season with a young core of players they had developed in their minor league system.
The oldest forward this past season was upcoming free agent Jason Arnott, who tallied 34 points this season.
Jarome Iginla nearly doubled the output of Arnott.
The young core that helped the Blues make a run for the President’s Trophy this season would benefit heavily from the veteran presence of Iginla.
The Blues still have a number of young prospects in their system that could be used in a trade with Calgary to obtain the star winger.
They may also have to part with one or two players on their current roster to trade for him. but with such a young team that has already proven that they can win, Iginla could be well worth it.
The Canadiens are a team that has a large number of mid-aged players and a number of young prospects hoping to break into the lineup next season.
While the third overall selection of this years draft, Alex Galchenyuk, will most likely play for the Hamilton Bulldogs next year, there’s a chance he could make the Canadiens.
It would be beneficial to have a star veteran like Iginla to help lead Montreal's young players.
The Canadiens were plagued by injuries this past season that saw them fall to last place in the Eastern Conference.
Veteran Iginla has not missed a regular season game in the past five years. The fact that he is also still a top-line points producer makes it likely that his presence would help the Canadiens rise out of the cellar.
The deal that the Canadiens would have to make would involve one of their younger NHL-ready players as well as a few prospects, which Montreal has a number of.
Colorado is another team that has started rebuilding; they have a roster filled with young guys that would do well under veteran leadership.
The Avalanche currently have the veteran presence of Milan Hejduk. The 36-year-old winger notched 37 points in 81 regular season games this year.
While Hejduk is a talented veteran who the younger Colorado players can learn from, adding the star presence of Jarome Iginla would be a huge benefit to the team.
The Avalanche have quite a few mid-aged players in their system that could be of interest to Calgary if they considered trading Iginla to Colorado.
They have prospects such as Patrick Bordeleau, who was one of the last players cut before this past season began, and Zach Cohen, who had 10 points and 35 penalty minutes with Lake Erie this season.
The Avalanche have a good mix of young and middle-aged players who would benefit heavily from having two talented veterans on the team.
If they can obtain Iginla, the Avalanche could be right back in the playoff picture by next season.
The Jets’ main focus this offseason will most likely be on the blue line. However, if they could obtain Jarome Iginla, it would add more depth to their offense as well.
They already have 32-year-old Nik Antropov as their veteran presence, though adding a player like Iginla would only add to that.
The Jets only just missed the playoffs last year, ending the season with 84 points. Adding another offensively talented player like Iginla could make the difference for next season.
They would be able to trade a few players on their roster who are in their mid- to late-20s, along with a couple of prospects.
While some may feel the price is too high, Iginla has been a steady producer and a locker room leader that would certainly benefit the Jets.
The Oilers have received the top draft pick the last three years in a row. The latest No. 1 overall selection was Nail Yakupov.
These young players need a solid and talented veteran in their midst to help them reach their potential.
It may be tougher for Edmonton to obtain Iginla from their division and provincial rivals.
With Ryan Smyth becoming a free agent on July 1, the Oilers will need a veteran on their team.
Smyth has said he wants to retire in Edmonton, and he will be looking for a deal from the Oilers that would accommodate that; a better option for them is to try to trade for Iginla, though.
Iginla is a better player than Smyth and would be an anchor for Edmonton should they be able to land him.
They should not, however trade any of their last three picks to Calgary for Iginla, as they have a few other players not as highly touted that could be packaged instead.
The Wild are a team looking to make a number of changes this offseason, and they have been linked to rumors surrounding Zach Parise.
Should the Wild be unable to lure the Devils' star forward to his home state this offseason, Iginla could be another option.
With only three players tallying more than 40 points this season, adding the prowess of the veteran winger could do wonders for the Wild, who are filled with middle-aged players.
They have a few names on their current roster who may interest Calgary and who could be packaged with some prospects to obtain Iginla.
Players like Cal Clutterbuck and Devin Setoguchi both had decent seasons and are both in their mid-20’s, which could be attractive to a rebuilding Flames team.
Clutterbuck managed 27 points while Setoguchi had 36.
Using one of these two as the anchor of a trade with a few prospects could be a good backup plan should the Wild not be able to land Parise.
The Panthers surprised everyone last season when they ended their playoff drought by taking the Southeast Division championship.
With a number of mid-aged and veteran players, the addition of Jarome Iginla could be the scoring addition they need to raise their game to the next level.
The do possess a few younger players who would benefit from the star winger being on their team.
The Panthers need to add to their offense next season, and Iginla has been a top producer his entire career.
The addition of his skills with the puck could help the Panthers make a run for the Stanley Cup next season.
Iginla would add a new depth of offense to the Panthers for next season. They would be able to trade one of their middle-aged forwards and a few prospects in return to Calgary.
The Dallas Stars have been trying to become a younger team, with players like Jamie Benn leading the way.
Currently, team captain Brenden Morrow is the veteran player that is helping the young Stars develop.
If the Stars can land Iginla, he would be a great teacher for Jamie Benn to learn under.
They have a number of young players that they could construct a deal around, but they should try to keep their top-producing young players.
With quite a few players nearing 30, the Stars could try to use one as the anchor for a deal to Calgary.
A deal with a mid-aged player may end up being prospect heavy in order to help the Flames rebuild.
But as the Stars were close to making the postseason this past year, a small change like Iginla could be enough to raise them into the playoffs.