“I’d like to add to the mix as opposed to trade players away. We’re not looking to change the mix we have. We’re looking to add to it. We don’t want to change the chemistry we’ve developed.”
-- Stan Bowman, March 16, 2013
The trade-deadline talk is starting to heat up as the April 3 deadline looms. And with the Pittsburgh Penguins making some moves over the past two days, one name has risen to the top of the trade-bait list: Calgary Flames captain/right wing Jarome Iginla. And the Blackhawks, reportedly, are on his list of teams he’d go to in search of that Stanley Cup.
My take: the Blackhawks aren’t the team for him.
Iginla is a great player with some gas left in the tank and tremendous leadership qualities. He deserves a shot at the Cup. Two outlets have reported two different lists of teams he would waive his no-trade clause to join; Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos has the Blackhawks, Bruins, Red Wings, Kings and Penguins on that list while RDS’s Renaud Lavoie has all those teams, minus the Wings, as Iginla’s possible landing spots.
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But that doesn’t mean Iginla’s right for the Blackhawks. First, what’s it going to take to get him? Again, reports have been anywhere from a prospect and a draft pick to two prospects and a draft pick, to a roster player, prospect… you get it. With the Penguins getting active early -- trading for Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow on Sunday and San Jose Sharks tough guy Douglas Murray today -- the price is probably going up for Iginla.
There will be some team willing to pay that price – Boston is probably feeling the pressure with what the Penguins are doing. Even if obtaining a roster player isn’t on the Flames’ wish list for Iginla right now, it could be by the time a bidding war reaches its peak. The Blackhawks, especially if it gets to that point, shouldn’t bite.
But, just to argue with myself, let’s say the Blackhawks contemplate getting Iginla. Now, where do you put him? Do you put him on the top line in place of Hossa? Do you put him on the second line in place of Kane? Those guys, when healthy, (and Hossa could be back this weekend) have been stellar. Leave them alone. And don’t even think about giving me the “just put Kane back at center” routine. I don’t care that it’s an option. It’s a bad one. Look at what he’s doing this season at wing. Leave him there.
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If Iginla were a center, I’d be all for going after him with more fervor. The Blackhawks are looking for depth at center; Bowman said that, as well as the quote above, more than a week ago.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Iginla is in a Bruins or L.A. Kings jersey by the trade deadline. I wouldn’t be completely stunned if Iginla stayed with the Flames – hey, he’s been part of trade rumors for more than one season. Although with Calgary 14th in the standings, it seems more likely that the Flames trade their captain to rebuild their team and give him that Cup shot.
Iginla deserves a chance to hoist that Cup. He’s a true class act in this sport, and should be traded to a team with Cup potential. But the price will be high, and the Blackhawks shouldn’t pay it.