Jarome Iginla is on the market, and he’s likely coming east if a deal is made.
So believes the members of the Hotstove panel who, on Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada, agreed the Calgary Flames captain is being shopped around the league as the April 3 trade deadline approaches.
"What we believe is going on is that the process had begun to trade him, and the list of teams is very small and it’s Stanley Cup contenders," said host Elliotte Friedman, who admitted the story is tough to follow because no one from the club to the player to the agent (Don Meehan) is talking, either on or off the record.
For panelist Glenn Healy, the problem was always that ownership and management didn’t want to trade the 16 year veteran scorer, while coaches were less enamoured of him.
"Finally, we're at a stage now where management says 'Yeah, it’s time.'"
Iginla has played 1,217 regular season games for the Flames going back to 1996-1997, scoring 524 times on the way to 1,094 points. Twice he’s scored 50 or more, though the last time was six seasons ago (2008-2009) and has 28 goals in 54 playoff contests.
Meanwhile, the club itself has fallen on hard times, having not made the playoff since 2009, and is struggling again this season, one that has seen the captain score eight times on 21 points.
If Iginla is available, the cost may be steep.
"If you ask around what the price is," said Friedman, "it’s good young prospects or first-round picks."
Panelist Kevin Weekes said Iginla is likely caught between two emotions here.
"He’s the captain of the team, you don’t want to be the first off the ship, but also you have to do what’s best for you," he said.
"He’s had an outstanding career in Calgary -- he's a Calgary Flame through and through – but at this point they aren't any closer to winning a Stanley Cup, so if I'm him I look at the best opportunity to go to a contender."