Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla has to be traded this season in order for him to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in his storied career—one that will soon be recognized at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
The Flames won't win the Stanley Cup anytime soon, and with Iginla at 34 years old, he does not have a ton of time left to find a winner.
He is still a top-tier player and would be a great addition to every team in the NHL. His contract has a salary cap hit of $7 million and has one more year after this one left on it.
Let's look at five reasons the Flames need to trade Iginla now.
Just like how the Boston Bruins owed it to Ray Bourque to find him a contending team to win a Stanley Cup on towards the end of his career, the Flames owe Jarome Iginla that same chance for glory.
Iginla has given so much to the Flames organization and is a class act. He doesn't complain publicly when things are going bad, and his play on the ice has been nothing short of fantastic.
The team owes it to him to find a contending team because it's clear he won't win the Cup with Calgary unfortunately.
At age 34, Jarome Iginla is not a young star for a team to build around, and it's unlikely he has many more seasons left, if any as a 40-goal scorer.
His trade value is not going to get much higher so the Flames have to trade him this season to get maximum value in return.
Not many teams will consider giving up a lot of talent for him next season when he can become a free agent in the summer of 2013.
The Calgary Flames need to rebuild. The team isn't likely compete for the playoffs this season and currently sit in 12th place in the Western Conference.
Along with Iginla, the team has several players who have good trade value such as goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and forward Rene Bourque. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester might also have some value to a team needing defensive depth such as the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flames already have some solid prospects, and getting some more proven NHL talent by trading Iginla could really help them build a contender again.
It's likely that near the trading deadline, there will be at least one team willing to overpay to acquire Jarome Iginla.
He's a star who would help teams sell tickets, jerseys, merchandise, etc. With a team that has better talent around him, his offensive production would likely go up as well, and his physical style of play would make him a fan favorite very quickly wherever he goes.
The Flames have to trade Iginla this season and there will be no shortage of teams interested, and there could be a few willing to overpay for a Stanley Cup run.
The Penguins need another scorer if Crosby is not going to return and certainly have the pieces to acquire the Flames star.
The Red Wings would be boosted by Iginla's offensive talent on a team already stacked with veteran players looking to make another Stanley Cup run.
The Bruins give Iginla the best chance at a Stanley Cup title this season and probably in the future as well, and his power-forward style of play would be a perfect fit with the "Big and Bad" Bruins.
Calgary won't have trouble finding teams interested in Iginla as the trading deadline approaches.