So, it appears according to speculations, that Jarome Iginla has submitted a list to the Flames and will accept a trade to one of 4 teams, who also happen to be the last 4 Stanley Cup Winners – Boston, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Chicago.
While Pittsburgh acquired Brenden Morrow from the Stars yesterday, I wouldn’t completely count them out of the running for Iginla.
So putting aside which of the four teams might have interest in Iginla as well as what they have to offer, just looking at the rosters, who has the most to gain by adding him to their lineup.
KEY INJURIES: Chris Kelly (broken tibia, likely gone for season)
NEED: While you can never have too much depth for a long playoff run, it is hard to see where Iginla would fit in on the Bruins’ top 6. They were in the mix for Brenden Morrow, but he seems more like a guy you could play on your third line every day and get full value. I don’t see Iginla in that role.
KEY INJURIES: Malkin (shoulder, could return any time), Kris Letang (lower body, day to day)
NEED: While Morrow fills one hole on Malkin’s wing, you have to think that the Pens would like to move Dupuis to a third line role and Iginla would fill the slot alongside Crosby. While some would suggest that they need help more on the blue line, Iginla is still a commodity that I would be chasing if I were them. Possible Iginla/Bouwmeester blockbuster?
KEY INJURIES: Sharp (shoulder, expected back any day), Hossa (upper body, short term)
NEED: If Chicago wants to fill a need, it would be for a 2nd line centre. Dave Bolland has emerged as an adequate player in that role, but has been injured often and is probably more suited in a third line role on a championship team. The could get by with what they have already. Iginla doesn’t really fit any needs.
NEED: I don’t know if I would be comfortable with Dustin Penner in my top 6, and in fact the Kings have experimented with rookie Tyler Toffoli in that slot. Iginla would be a revelation in LA, and having him on the opposite wing to Carter would give opposing teams fits.
So in conclusion, while Boston and Chicago might be preferred locations for Iginla to land, I am not sure the fit is really there for them. Obviously they will be inquiring about adding a premiere competitor, but not at any price. Pittsburgh could still benefit from adding him, and have a space in their top 6 for him without too much trouble.
However, LA seems to be the team with the gaping hole in their top 6 forwards, and would be my choice, based on need alone, as to where Iginla would have the most impact.
Where he ends up is anyone’s guess at the moment. But the Penguins got the ball rolling with Morrow’s acquisition so it will be an interesting few days leading up to next Wednesday’s trade deadline.