NHL trade rumors are becoming the dominant water cooler topic around the league as the February 28 trade deadline inches closer and closer.
And among the names that will be heavily talked about will be Calgary's captain, Jarome Iginla. New GM Jay Feaster has said Iginla, perhaps the best player in franchise history, isn't going anywhere. But the thought of a trade has to be lingering in the minds of the Flames' front office, as the team is staring down a rebuild.
So with that in mind, and stating up front that there is no imminent trade for Iginla right now, here are the 10 best destinations for Iginla.
The Avalanche could use another power forward to complement Chris Stewart and a veteran presence for young players like Matt Duchene to learn from. Plus, Iginla would add a physical element that's lacking from the Avalanche right now. But Calgary would have to get a lot in return to trade him inside the division to a team on the rise.
Steve Yzerman's group is a young bunch that has overachieved and quickly become a contender in the East. A veteran like Iginla would do wonders in terms of leadership and secondary scoring, but Yzerman's also said he's not going to go all out for a run this year. He's building something long-term.
St. Louis has hung around in the playoff race, and their need for offensive forwards has been well documented. However, I don't think the Blues will be looking to blow up the roster either, especially with some of their young forwards coming back from injury.
The Penguins have Sidney Crosby, and many times this season that's more than enough. But the Penguins could also use an upgrade at winger and some help for Crosby and Malkin. Of course, it will depend on whether or not the Penguins would clear the cap space and part with the pieces to make a move.
The Leafs probably wouldn't want to take on Iginla's salary right now, but they'd still want an offensive forward that can score. And while they'd really like Brad Richards or a playmaking center, they'd still take any help they could get. Although they are playing much better as of late.
The Thrashers have had a fine season and are very much in the hunt for a playoff spot. That being said, some offensive help would be nice to fill out the top two lines, and Iginla would provide nice veteran leadership and more playoff experience to a roster that already has Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien.
The Rangers' trade for Wojtek Wolski got the Rangers some offensive help and also cleared some cap space. Of course, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing for Rangers fans, because it could mean a move for a big contract could be coming. Although the Rangers could use some more offensive punch, Iginla would be overkill, as defense should be the focus now. But with Glen Sather, you never know.
As we learned this week when the Flyers missed out on Jamie Langenbrunner, Philadelphia would like to add a forward. Iginla will be tough, especially because of his cap hit and what the Flyers would have to give up in return. But that gritty veteran type of player would be a perfect fit for Philadelphia and the type of forward the Flyers are looking to add.
The Canadiens could use some skill, some finish and some toughness. Iginla would add all three, and the Canadiens would like to add a forward now that they've addressed the back end with James Wisniewski. Montreal has been a small team the last year or two, and Iginla would be a great fit in that locker room, should Montreal make a move like that.
There are some who say it wouldn't be a good fit between Iginla and the Kings. But there's something to be said for the interest the Kings showed in Iginla earlier this year, and they could still add a forward to help the offense. I've talked about the combination of prospects and cap space that makes it an attractive option, and I still feel that the Kings will be in on Iginla if the Flames change their mind.