After the latest comments from both Jarome and Jay Feaster, it should not come as a surprise to any Flames fan if Jarome is moved this off-season. I don't think the writing can be any more clearly on the wall after recent comments.
Every year Jarome is involved in trade rumors but this off-season will be different. The phone calls have likely already started between GMs in reality and not just in the wishful thinking of those who like to speculate on trades.
If you are someone who loathes the thought of Jarome being traded, you may want to not read the rest of this article. If you are someone who has been waiting for a rebuild announcement for some time and want to read a little trade speculation on possible destinations and possible returns read on.
I am going to carve out some broad strokes on possible destinations and possible returns for Jarome. Be forewarned I am not a trade wizard, but nonetheless I like the exercise of speculating. Feel free to comment and critique and offer up your own scenarios in the comments.
(1) A Cup Contender - Jarome will undoubtably have influence on this process. His primary focus will be to go to a Cup team that is in a healthy window for the next 3 years min.
(2) To an Alternate Conference - The Flames will prefer teams not in their new Conference.
(3) Watch for early playoff exits - The results from this years playoffs may provide a early indication of teams that may be more heightened to go after Jarome. Watch for teams that have early exits. Round 1 will see one of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh lose out and that loser may become a prime Iginla hunter for example.
(4) Cap and an uncertain CBA future - Jarome is on his last year and will be expensive but he can be anticipated to re-sign at a decent value. This is due to him likely being part of the process in picking the teams. The questions surrounding the CBA this off-season do not help matters because Jarome isn't getting any younger BUT a shortened season could be seen as a boon for a team looking to get a strong performance from an older player.
(5) Value is in the Mind of the Buyer - I think the return for Jarome will be higher than most analysts expect out there. The reason is that he brings more to the team than just 30+ goals. His intangibles of leadership and character may make some teams hungrier than others for him, may make some teams willing to pay extra to get his mentorship into their room. Especially if they have a surplus in a position or in prospects the Flames will highly value.
(6) Linemate context - Teams that have strong line-mates to provide Jarome may see him with much more value and anticipate him actually upping his current production. Watch for teams with good Centre depth to go after Jarome because even in a 2nd line role he remains a 1st line threat.
The New Realignment
It is highly unlikely that Jarome will be dealt to a team in the new Mini-Conference with Calgary. That will just be awkward for everyone involved.
Like breaking up with your long-time girlfriend and still seeing her at all the parties with your friends. It is possible but the offer would have to be significantly better than other teams. This means that candidate teams like the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and so forth will not likely be destinations.
Jarome Iginla was not ideally used by Brent Sutter this season but still managed 32 goals and 67 points. We are still talking a ~ 70 point player and one of the most consistent in NHL history. In a more sheltered role he can emerge as a significant contribution to a team's top 6.
It is also important to note that although I include 1st round picks in many of my trade proposals, these will be extremely low 1st round picks, in the 20th to 30th overall range.
Cons of Jarome
Primarily age - Even though he is extremely well-conditioned and can be expected to play on for up to 5 more years he is an an asset with a shorter time line. Only a team in their Cup window will consider offering a strong return.
Pros of Jarome
Consistent goal and point producer
A resurgence in point production can be anticipated with better line-mates
His shot remains lethal - one of the best in the NHL
He is durable and injury free
A PP presence with an accurate and lethal one-timer
He is tough and can fight
Still a good power forward
A leader / mentor
Jarome fits the Red Wings MO to a tee. They have welcomed Vets for years and continue to get maximum performance from them as the NHL's oldest team. IF Nicklas Lidstrom retires next year the dollars will be there for Jarome. They are not currently as strong on RW with Jiri Hudler holding down the top spot. Jarome would slot into this team fairly well.
The problem is the Wings are not known to be a team that makes the splashy big trade. The offer on the table might be paltry and not include what the Flames really want, young players which the Wings are always loathe to part with.
The other downside is how does this team do minus Niklas Lidstrom? Is it still the Cup contender it is today or do their fortunes take a turn south without him. Does Jarome gamble that the Red Wings continue their unprecedented run as Cup Contender for another 5 years?
Will Jarome want to risk going to the Wings knowing they may decline in near future? Although people have said this for years, the Big Red Machine never appears to have even a loose bolt.
Probability - Low
The rise of the Blues has occurred this season. They have a ton of Cap room and they have really impressed me in the games I have watched them play. This is a team that looks to be in prime position to enter a long Cup window. Does this young strong team have need of a Jarome Iginla? A leader, mentor, a top 6 RW?
The answer is no. They are strong down the RW and have Andy MacDonald under contract for next year. Top line RW slots are filled on a rotating basis by T.J. Oshie, David Perron and even Andy McDonald. Chris Stewart has underperformed this season but he should slot in as the young power forward on RW in the Iginla mold.
The team has done really well and exceeded expectations. They will likely be more inclined to re-sign existing older players for leadership like Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott at a far lower cost. Leaders who they already know. They already have their mix of strong youth and leaders. All that remains to be seen is how far it takes them in this years playoffs.
The Blues are highly unlikely to tamper much with a formula that has proven so successful this year.
Probability - Very Low
A paper team that should be elite is floundering. They will likely be bounced in the first round by Boston and the soul searching will start in D.C. at that point.
With the projected increase in Cap room plus the exit of the expensive Alexander Semin this team will have the dollars and be in a strong hunt for some changes. They are not an ideal candidate but may be a surprise team in the running. More likely looking for Defense and Goaltending but leadership may be in their equation and with the anticipated exit of Semin, they may give serious consideration to Iginla.
A Ovechkin, Backstrom, Iginla line has to send chills through the opposition. Are the Capitals searching for a better leader than rock-star Ovie as part of the solution to their woes? Is Jarome their missing link both on and off the ice?
The Capitals will have the money and may have the will to get in on the Jarome discussions. The more pressing question is does Jarome see them as a team that can get back to their potential? If they resign Vokoun, hard not for him to at least give them some thought. He may be the spark that team needs to drive to the Cup.
Probability - Moderate
Rights to Alexander Semin (conditional pick if not signed) or Rights to Dennis Wideman (conditional pick if not signed)
11th overall pick (Colorado's)
Someone is going to lose in the first round this year between the Flyers and Pens and regardless I expect both teams to be in strong discussions for Jarome. I also see him being very inclined to go to either team.
The Flyers do not have a ton of Cap room coming up and will be prioritizing Defense but given the success of Jagr on the team this year as a elder statesman one can see how this team may want to repeat the process with Iginla in a similar role.
He slots into this team, so deep in quality C nicely. Whether he plays top line with Giroux or 2nd line with Briere or Sean Couturier. The Flyers have a lot of options at Center due to depth. Jarome production will surge on this team due to his linemates and the Flyers more open offensive system. In short he fits this team very well in on-ices style, in a dressing room role and positionally given the exit of Jagr.
The issue will be the Cap hit. This Flyers will have to move a roster player due to the Cap, even with a Cap increase the 7 million for Jarome is going to be too high unless Pronger is out for the season on LTIR.
The exit of Jagr, assuming that happens, opens up 3.3 million and the only trade I can see working is Brayden Schenn who costs 3.11 million.
That will be close enough to Jarome's 7 million Cap hit for the Flyers to make it all work. This trade assumes that Holmgren will value Iginla for more than just on-ice performance. It assumes Holmgren will foresee a jump in Jarome's production to 40+ goals with better line-mates. It assumes Holmgren sees value in Iginla filling a mentor / leadership role on the team. It assumes Holmgren is comfortable with his young C depth and that he is willing to go with Giroux, Courtier and Briere as his C options.
Bottom line, it assumes a lot.
Brayden Schenn is going to be a top 6 Center in the NHL and he is definitely performing well.
Last year the Flames may have gotten him AND Simmonds, this off-season. No chance, Simmonds play has elevated and he will not be included, I'm being optimistic thinking the Flyers will throw in their 2nd round pick as well but the Flames may have to off-set that with a prospect or later pick to even get that included.
Probability - High
2nd round pick (55th overall)
Again, like the Flyers this team might be bounced in the first round and take a hard look at Jarome. Like the Flyers they are thick down the middle. Like the Flyers they would certainly anticipate Jarome's production to increase with either Crosby or Malkin as his Center. Like the Flyers they have an older player on the top 6 who will likely not re-sign in 38 year old Steve Sullivan.
The Pens will see great appeal in Jarome's forechecking and tough game and his ability to step up and fight anyone who messes with Crosby or Malkin. That is something that you really can't put a price on and it will be interesting to see how Shero values it.
Like Paul Holmgren, Ray Shero may calibrate a forechecking Iginla as being very valuable with a significant surge in goal and point production with his two elite Centers. To even a greater degree than Holmgren, he may value his leadership and mentorship for his two young stars in Crosby and Malkin. If you ask John Tortorella they need someone like Jarome, so does Don Cherry and a growing number of voices in hockey circles that are saying the two young superstars need to get a grip on the on-ice bitching.
But they are bitching because they take cheap-shots, will they tone it down if it starts to stop with Jarome on their Wing and ready to drop the gloves for the culprits? Win / Win
But the Penguins, like the Flyers will have Cap issues. They can not take on Jarome without moving a roster player and a trade that has been rumored for years and years is Jordan Staal. The man stuck for years as third line C in Pittsburgh would instantly be 1st line C in Calgary. At age 23 he is the kind of player that can keep Calgary in a playoff conversation. His current Cap hit is 4 million and if it is moved out, the deal can work Cap wise for the Pens.
Once again this trade comes down to how much Shero, like Holmgren is comfortable with his Center depth. How is Crosby's health? Staal stepping up this season to fill in on 2nd line in Crosby's absence is a big reason the Pens stayed at the top of the standings. Questions swirl around in the background on this one and there is also the risk for Calgary in taking a player who is going UFA.
Will Staal give the Flames a single season and bolt like Ian White? There is risk here but the Staal family is a class act and it may be minmal. Jordan may also relish leaving the shadows of two of the NHL's greatest players and stepping into the spotlight in Calgary where he can shine.
Probability - High
3rd round pick (86th overall)
- The New York Rangers
You simply can never count out the Rangers when the big trades are made. They have money to burn and are always looking to buy. They have a good amount of Cap room this off-season and they will not be scared to spend it. They are rock solid in net with Lundqvist. They have a strong young D core and are full of good prospects. If they snag Rick Nash in the off-season their probability will drop to low but until they do, Jarome will get a good hard look.
He will come cheaper in only having one 7 million dollar year left and he will resign cheaper in the following season. This leaves him more attractive than Rick Nash who is a literal contract marriage to the team he goes to and even more expensive at a 7.8 million Cap hit. Sather will probably look first to the Flames and Iginla because the asking price on Nash is going to be so high.
Sather probably won't see the leadership as that much of a draw. The Rangers have their leaders and Jarome may compete with Gaborik for top RW but it will be a competition. Iginla does not slot ideally into the Rangers because they have decent RW depth with Gaborik and Ryan Callahan.
They will probably let Fedotenko go this off-season and again they have no Cap issues, so do not need to move any roster player. If UFA is not good to them they may go hard for Iginla because this is not a team that hesitates to spend money and they will see him as a short-term asset to solidify their forward ranks.
They are burning a year of Chris Kreider's entry level contract by bringing him up for the playoffs. That is a signal to me that they are looking to move him and want to give teams a look at the kid on NHL ice.
Probability - Moderate to High - pending UFA acquisitions
1st round pick ~ (27th overall pick - pending outcome of Stanley Cup Finals)
3rd round pick ~ (89th overall)
Next Article by moi - The Kipper Candidates