A long time ago I wrote a, “What would Iginla asking price be” for the Flames. Of course it was met with a lot of vitriol. No one wants to think that their best prospect may be included for an aging star like Iginla but make no mistake, if the trade happens the Flames will only do it if the return is an overpayment, otherwise why do it?
Iginla will only go to a team that has a legit shot of making a run, in that respect it should be assumed that roster players will probably not be coming back as that team is loading up not pairing down. All trades below will involve a first round pick to start with, this year the draft is deep and it makes sense the Flames would pull the trigger this year as this crop is looking really good and the late pick they get from a playoff team might still be a pretty decent prospect. I’m basing this list on rumour, logic of who are legit cup contenders and assumed personal ideals Iginla may look for.
Here are the teams I see moving for him and what would be involved.
The why- This is a team that has a lack of true right wingers, Horton and Thornton make up the 1st and 3rd RW’s so Iginla would be an excellent fit on the 2nd line here. While things are stil tight in the east Boston looks just a couple pieces away.
The return- Ryan Spooner is a slick Center who leads the Providence Bruins in scoring. Ryan is a 2nd round pick with skill and faces an uphill battle looking at Seguin, Bergeron and Krejci ahead of him. To be clear if the Flames asked for Hamilton it would be no deal, I’m kind of putting out more plausible trade thoughts than a wish list.
The why- Pittsburgh has the Centers that can win cups. Malkin, Crosby and Sutter are a terrific trio down the middle. Sitting 2nd in the East as of today could always use more scoring punch, especially as a rental. Kunitz and Neal do provide good wings but Iginla gives team that amazing guy for the powerplay, who has under rated passing ability and a howitzer shot.
The Return- Joe Morrow or Derrick Pouliot. Iginla will not come cheap and top prospects are the asking price. These guys represent future top four Defencemen and with Olli Maata still in the wings the Penguins could afford to lose one or the other. The other, less probably scenario involves Brandon Sutter but would also probably include another player going back to Pitts i.e. Iginla and Stajan/Butler for 1st and Sutter.
The why- If Iginla is confirmed to be on the market then the hockey universe will always include the Leafs. Of course being the Leafs will probably just want to give up Komisarek or something equally horrible. From Flames fans perspective the thought of another star player going to Toronto is almost unbearable after the Gilmore and Phaneuf deals set the franchise back years.
The Return- Joe Colbourne and Carter Ashton. In this case two prospects and the pick. Why? Simply that if Iginla even wants to go to Toronto they will have to better other offers just so it’s palatable for the fan base. This would be a large overpayment, essentially a first, a decent Center prospect and a two way forward prospect but if the Leafs want their first cup run in a long time to be successful then the price will be high.
The Why- Iginla screams Philly. Today they are tied for 8th seed however this will likely change after their slow start. A line of Hartnell, Giroux and Iginla is positively terrifying. Philly though would pay a steep price and one which they might walk away from.
The Return- One of the young centers, now that the Schenn brothers are together in Philly they will likely take discounts to stay, this means Couturier. It will make some flyers fan blanch and recoil a little but with Schenn and Briere the offensive lines have their centers and Talbot is a great 3rd line Center. Having said this this would be the one team there would not be a first involved with, perhaps a 2nd and Couturier but not a first.
The Why- A surprise to be on this list but again a top team in the east with Centers galore and need of right wingers. Semin usually turns into a ghost in the playoffs so Iginla’s addition would be a natural fit with one of the Staal Brothers.
The Return: Victor Rask. The Centers are taken care of for a long while in Carolina and Rask fits the needs of the Flames perfectly. They get to see a ton of him for the Hitmen and might add to the Hitmen sales (which the flames own) never underestimate the money side! Some might say Ryan Murphy however this is pie in the sky, a non-starter.
Detroit Red Wings:
The Why- Perennial Stanley contender who needs some serious size and scoring on the RW. Pretty good depth on Center and being such a good team could mean this team is on Iginla’s list. Of all the teams on the list Detroit has blockbuster written on it. They need some more defence to make a run and Calgary has depth to do this in the form of Butler.
The Return: Straight up for Iginla would be Gustav Nyquist, a future top six LW but you could make a whole series of random trade scenaerios with Detroit.
The Why- Reigning Champs will want to boost their chances and being in L.A. might be easier to swallow for Iginla’s Family for a cup run. The interesting thought here is if Iggy would want to reunite with Sutter, we know Sutter likes players he knows.
The Return: Tyler Toffoli, listed as a Center who more plays Right Wing that has skill but average skating OR John Bernier which would make Kipper available for trades as well and this to me makes the most sense.
Notable exceptions are the NY Rangers and Blackhawks who just have no room for a RW like Iginla or at least don’t right now.
Bruce Garrioch wrote there would be no interest in Iginla just recently and I think the rest of the hockey world just realized his best days are behind him. I’m not sure the last time he was right about anything, can someone tell me?
Should Iginla decide to go I hope there will be little negative said about it, class act who gave it his all here and fell just one game short of the ultimate prize. Arguably the best Flame ever should have our lasting respect if he moves elsewhere.