Jarome Iginla – RW, 6-1, 210 lbs., age 39; current stats: 32 games, 4 goals, 4 assists
Here we are again scoping an aging Cup-less veteran who can piggyback on the Blackhawks all the way to the Stanley Cup. Jarome Iginla had the chance to join the ’Hawks in 2013 and 2014, but he chose to play for Pittsburgh and Boston, respectively. Iginla is currently playing on the worst team in the NHL, and his numbers aren’t proving he has much in the tank, but numbers can be deceiving.
Iginla has never won a Stanley Cup and would be a great fit on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. He brings leadership, physicality, and powerplay skill that the Blackhawks could use. The problem will be what the Avalanche will want in return and how much salary they will be willing to retain.
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Being 39 and in the last year of his $5.3M contract, Iginla will simply be a rental for the remainder of the season. For the last few seasons, the ’Hawks have been buyers at the deadline, so they are no stranger to this kind of transaction. They rented Antione Vermette and Andrew Ladd but had to give up first-round picks and top prospects. Trading for Iginla will be no different.
If the Avs and Joe Sakic are smart, they will begin to look toward next season and take advantage of any expiring value they may have. Stan Bowman and the cap-restricted Blackhawks will need the Avalanche to retain at least two-thirds of Iginla’s salary and will probably have to give up one of their top young forwards since they will be keeping all of this year’s picks with the draft being held in Chicago.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a young forward and a future pick to make this happen, but the ’Hawks are in “win-now mode,” so don’t put anything out of the question.
Prediction: Blackhawks 3, Avalanche 2
After the Avs got blown out in Montreal by nine goals or so, they responded with a good win in Toronto. With the holiday just around the corner, the Avalanche probably just want to get to the break as quickly as possible.
We’re all waiting for the holiday break to get started whether you play hockey or not. And sometimes we tend to start that break early. Let’s hope the ’Hawks catch the Avs in that mindset.