It’s been more than a week since the Calgary Flames’ season came to an end, but they continue to make headlines in the rumor mill, where the trade status of right winger Jarome Iginla remains a hot topic.
The Calgary Sun‘s Eric Francis conducted a poll of more than a dozen NHL GMs, which concluded there would be considerable interest in the Flames captain if he’s put on the trade block this summer.
Francis noted several factors would affect Iginla’s trade value, the biggest being the uncertainty over what the next collective bargaining agreement will contain and the potential for another lockout.
Iginla’s contract status – one year remaining at $7 million – is another factor, as interested GMs would want him re-signed to a contract extension before agreeing to trade for him.
He also possesses a full no-movement clause, which limits potential destinations.
Finally, there’s Iginla’s age, as he’ll turn 35 on July 1. While he’s had 11 consecutive 30-goal seasons, his career is starting to wind down and he doesn’t have many productive seasons left.
Despite these factors, Francis reported that his poll revealed the Flames would probably be able to land a first round pick, plus a top-six forward and/or a top prospect.
One should never underestimate the ability of an NHL GM to overpay for an aging star.
Given the lack of top-flight talent on this year’s unrestricted free agent market (the best forward is New Jersey’s Zach Parise) and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ expensive price tag for right winger Rick Nash, Iginla would be a more affordable, short-term option, especially for those losing out in the Parise and Nash sweepstakes.
To date, Iginla hasn’t requested a trade and GM Jay Feaster hasn’t tipped his hand if his captain will be on the trade block. It could take until the end of the playoffs in mid-June to get a clear picture of Iginla’s future.
WILL THE OILERS MOVE NO. 1 OVERALL PICK?
It didn’t take long following last week’s NHL draft lottery for speculation to arise about the plans of Edmonton Oilers management regarding the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported Oilers GM Steve Tambellini had listened to offers for the first overall pick last year, but didn’t seriously consider moving it and drafted center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. This season, however, Tambellini is more willing to consider all his options.
Dreger and the Edmonton Journal‘s Jim Matheson believe Tambellini won’t trade that pick unless he ‘s offered a young, top-pairing defenseman who would blossom into a star.
The possibility of the Oilers pick becoming available prompted The National Post‘s Bruce Arthur to call on Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke to make a pitch.
Arthur suggested a combination of Cody Franson or Luke Schenn, a second round pick and/or a minor league prospect such as Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne or Carter Ashton might be suitable enticement.
It remains to be seen what Tambellini will do with his pick, but he’s under no pressure to shop it. He can always use it to draft the best available prospect – in this case, Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting – and acquire a defenseman via free agency or a separate trade.
OMARK-TO-MONTREAL RUMORS MAKE NO SENSE
Matheson also reported a rumor out of Montreal suggesting the Oilers should trade left winger Linus Omark – who took to Twitter last week to make a trade request – to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Yannick Weber.
“Not sure why the Habs would want another small forward,” Matheson wrote.
It’s a good bet the Canadiens front office, still interviewing candidates for its vacant GM position, hasn’t given any thought toward trades at this time.
Matheson doubts the Oilers would get more than a fourth round pick for Omark, as they picked him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.