That’s Jarome Iginla scoring the winning goal Sunday night for the Calgary Flames, who won only their twelfth game of the season, 3-2, over the St. Louis Blues. Normally, a late-weekend hockey contest between a pair of dregs of the Western Conference wouldn’t muster much attention in Boston, but with the NHL trading deadline (a national holiday in Canada) only 10 days away, all eyes are on Calgary and what the Flames ultimately decide to do with their veteran captain.
According to multiple reports, the Bruins are one of a handful of teams in on acquiring the 35-year-old Iginla, whose 22 points this season would place him third on Boston, tied with Tyler Seguin. According to TSN, Iginla has submitted a list of four teams he would waive his no-movement clause for: Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston – the last four Stanley Cup winners, for what it’s worth.
Wipe the drool from your mouth.
Theoretically, that list is down to three with the Penguins acquiring Brendan Morrow from the Dallas Stars over the weekend after failing to come to an agreement with Calgary. Morrow is a guy that the Bruins were allegedly in on, but let’s be frank; aren’t you sort of glad he went to Pittsburgh, paving a less-crowded avenue for Iginla, a name that Bruins fans have been muttering since the beginning of this shortened season?
The cost? Uh, steep. According to The Globe and Mail, Calgary asked the Penguins for a top-four defense prospect, a draft pick, and a player off the team’s roster. The Penguins said, “No thanks.”
So, what does that mean for Boston? Translate that to what the Bruins can offer, and let’s just say it’s Torey Krug, a draft pick, and Rich Peverley. Do you make that trade? Yup.
Alas, it won’t be that easy. That’s not discounting Peverley’s importance in a Bruins sweater, but acquiring a player like Iginla for a team that was in need of some offensive firepower even before Chris Kelly went down for what is likely the remainder of the regular season with a broken tibia. For a superstar like Iginla, you sacrifice Peverley. Of course, there could also be the bigger shoe to drop by sending Milan Lucic to Calgary in the deal, a prospect that would have polarizing reaction within a Bruins fan base that is continually frustrated by his lack of awareness in stretches. After his role in Saturday night’s loss to the Leafs, the Bruins could have traded Lucic for a bowl of pasta overnight and it probably would have elicited knee-jerk applause from the general public Sunday morning.
However, the name that has been most bandied about when it comes to the theory of landing Iginla is Bruins goalie prospect Malcolm Subban, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2012. The 19-year-old Subban has star potential, like his brother in Montreal, but he remains a raw project between the pipes that is probably at least three years away. There is the percolating thought that the team is ready to wrap up a five-year deal for starting goalie Tuukka Rask in the near future, and despite Saturday night’s hiccup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 26-year-old Anton Khudobin has thus far proven to be a steal by GM Peter Chiarelli.
By the time Subban is ready to take over, the Bruins’ championship window with this core group may have already closed. Yes, even with the understanding that Boston goalie prospects are sure things (No disrespect, Hannu Toivonen), I’d be willing to cut ties with the kid for a veteran scoring presence like Iginla.
Let’s face it, this Bruins team, as constituted right now, doesn’t have enough to make a deep playoff run but is only a piece or two away. Kelly is gone until later next month, David Krejci is clearly playing hurt, the defense has been suspect at key moments, and the inconsistencies have finally encouraged Claude Julien to shake up his lines in practice Sunday, sending Brad Marchand to the top line, and Lucic to the third. Clearly, this isn’t the same team we saw burst out of the gate.
Maybe Chiarelli can pull off deals for lesser-appreciated commodities, like he did with Peverley and Kelly two years ago, but for a team with a chance to win its second Cup in three years, with cap space, being in the hunt for Jarome Iginla is simply too good to pass up despite the cost. Draft picks, prospects, or a share in Delaware North, whatever. With Iginla, the Bruins would be a much more dynamic hockey team. Not to go all Ray Bourque on you, but Iginla would bring that veteran determination of finally winning the Cup.
As long as the rights to this nifty little number come back east too.