As many have reported over the last couple days, future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla has reportedly given a list of teams to whom he would accept a trade to the Calgary Flames.
The teams on that list were Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh; with the Penguins acquiring Brenden Morrow from Dallas on Sunday, they would figure to be out of the running at this point.
Should the Blackhawks pursue a deal for Iginla?
Iginla would certainly bring the physical element many Hawks fans have desperately wanted, and the Hawks can afford Iginla; he is in the final year of his contract and works under the cap.
However, there are two significant issues we have to recognize when considering a deal for Iginla.
One major consideration that has to be recognized when thinking about a deal for Iginla is that acquiring him would be strictly a rental for the Blackhawks. There isn’t cap space for Iginla to remain in Chicago after this season.
The second issue is where Iginla would skate. As we talked about when considering Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, Iginla plays the same right wing position that Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane currently occupy in Chicago. He is a right-handed shot, however, which is something the Hawks need; most of their top nine forwards shoot left-handed.
If the Hawks added Iginla, where would he fit? Would he push Patrick Kane or Patrick Sharp to center on the second line? Would he push Brandon Saad off the top line? Those are your two options if adding a top-six forward that isn’t a center.
Where Iginla would play presents the most significant logistical issue, but we also have to think about the cost. The framework for a package being used in Iginla rumors is a roster player, a prospect, and a high-round draft pick.
When it comes to moving draft picks, Stan Bowman has been more likely to add than subtract selections over the last three summers. But Bowman was also re-stocking a prospect pool that was among the worst in the NHL when he took over as GM, and cap issues forced him to do that through the draft. He has now built a strong talent base in the organization, and he has some organizational depth to draw from when considering which prospects or picks to move in any deal.
Which prospects would Bowman be comfortable moving?
Saad appears to be a lock on the Hawks’ NHL roster moving forward, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Hawks would move him for a rental. And based on conversations with individuals in the organizations, we believe Adam Clendening is not available. Jimmy Hayes appears to have the inside track on the next available roster spot in Chicago, which means he might not be available.
On the other hand, Brandon Pirri has had two good seasons in Rockford but hasn’t been able to stick with the Blackhawks for more than a couple games over the last two years. Would a good young center be good enough for Calgary GM Jay Feaster? And should the Hawks give away a productive, young player like Pirri for a rental?
What about the roster player involved in the deal? The obvious targets would be two forwards that are set to hit free agency this summer: Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell. But is there more to the Blackhawks giving Michael Frolik ice time with Saad and Jonathan Toews tonight than just filling the hole left by Hossa? Are the Hawks shopping one of their primary penalty killers?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when thinking about Iginla in a Blackhawks sweater. If the Flames do move their captain, it appears the Hawks are on the short list of potential destinations. How much should they move for a rental? And where does Iginla fit if he comes to Chicago?