St. Louis Blues: Why the Team Should Trade for Iginla at the Deadline

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St. Louis Blues: Why the Team Should Trade for Iginla at the Deadline
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The St. Louis Blues have put together a three-game winning streak and look to continue it Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. But with just 20 games left and the Blues sitting in fifth in the Western Conference, the team needs to start focusing on the playoffs and the roster it wants to bring into the postseason. 

The Blues were hit by the injury bug hard in the month of February, losing Andy McDonald, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen. T.J. Oshie recently went down with a shoulder injury against the San Jose Sharks, and Alex Pietrangelo was out with the flu against Anaheim

Overall, the Blues have had many different players in the lineup, and it seems that everyone is starting to get healthy at the right time. The Blues still need one final piece to put together a team that could legitimately contend for a Stanley Cup. 

That player is Jarome Iginla.

Iginla has been the go-to trade rumor for the past couple years now. The Calgary Flames are in no way, shape or form a playoff team, and many project Iginla to pull a Bourque: get traded to a team in hopes of winning a Cup before retiring. Even though Iginla has stated he wants to stay in Calgary, the Flames would be smart to trade him to start the rebuilding process.

The Blues have some pieces that would interest the Flames. For starters, the Blues have to get rid of a goaltender. Rookie Jake Allen has played like Brian Elliott did last year, and Jaroslav Halak has proven to be a good enough backup for Allen while he rides his hot streak. This leaves Elliott as the odd man out.

The Blues have no reason to be carrying three goaltenders going into postseason play, and with his one-way contract, Elliott would be used better in a trade than being sent down to Peoria and possibly claimed off waivers. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Flames could use someone like Elliott while Kiprusoff is still around. Kiprusoff has only a couple more years left before he is forced to retire, and back in his day, Kiprusoff was lights-out. Imagine if the Flames could have him be a mentor to Elliott. If Elliott returns to his 2011-12 form, the Flames would have another franchise goaltender.

And is Joey MacDonald really getting the job done? His 2.85 GAA and .900 save percentage aren't bad, but those aren't the kind of stats you want from a starting goaltender expected to play 65-plus games.

The Blues also have young talent that could be included in a deal that would make Calgary seriously consider their offer. Kevin Shattenkirk and Jaden Schwartz are the two heavy hitters, but the Flames may also be interested in players such as Ty Rattie, Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter or Phil McRae.

All of these players could turn out to be big names, and the Flames could use some young talent that would have fans forget they traded away the face of the franchise of the last 15 years. 

Should the Blues trade for Iginla?

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If the Blues and Flames were to make the trade, it would most likely go down like this: The Blues would give Calgary a third-round pick, Brian Elliott and either Cracknell or Porter for Iginla and a second-round pick. The Blues would add the veteran leader the team has been missing this season, as well as someone who can light the lamp in pressure situations.

The Flames get a goaltender who has shown he can be elite, a winger who can develop into a top-six forward and a pick that they can put toward their rebuilding process.

The Blues have never been known to pay for big names at the deadline in order to win in a single season alone. But perhaps that's why the team has never won a Stanley Cup. The Blues could benefit from grabbing a guy like Iginla, and with the current play of Allen, it's hard to see why the Blues don't make a run that could bring the city its first Stanley Cup. 

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