(Sports.Yahoo.com) – “I would like to, at the deadline, go somewhere,” Iginla said in an interview with Puck Daddy before the Avalanche played the Kings. “I would like to be in the playoffs. I would hope that there is some opportunity to go and play in the playoffs. Those are the best games, the most fun for sure, and you have a chance to win. So no, I haven’t given up on that chance to win.”
Remember that time the Pittsburgh Penguins highjacked an Iginla-to-Boston trade and then still got pumped by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final? Or that time Boston did sign Iginla but choked on their own President’s Trophy against the Habs in the playoffs? Well I sure do. And those had to be recurring nightmare inducing experiences for the legendary #12.
Nearly four years later the soon-to-be 40 year old is still seeking his first Stanley Cup.
It’s a damn shame. It really is. Jarome Iginla is one of the all-time greats and a true bad ass who got wrongfully snubbed off the recent “NHL 100” list. There isn’t one thing not to love about the guy. But to be honest I never understood him signing with the Colorado Avalanche. Sure, the team was coming off a Central Division title, and Iginla got the cash he deserved, but for a guy hell bent on getting a Cup the Avs never made sense even at the time. They had only made the playoffs once in the previous four seasons and certainly didn’t seem to be a short term Cup contender. And they haven’t sniffed the playoffs in his time there.
Depending on how long Iginla wants to (and thinks he can) stick around, there is a decent short-list of teams he could target for a one last hurrah. If he’s thinking next year is the final year for him then that leaves him just two bullets at a shot for the Cup. If I’m Iggy I narrow it down to San Jose, Washington, Chicago, Anaheim, the New York Rangers, and Columbus. There are obvious financial issues that would need to be addressed as some of those teams are right up against the salary cap ceiling, but there are ways to get him on one of those desired rosters for this spring’s playoff run. Iginla’s remaining cap hit for the year is $1.7 million (as $3.5 million has already been accumulated this season) and Colorado could help a suitor by retaining half of that $1.7 million remaining salary/cap hit owed. He’ll then be a free agent, off any teams books, this summer. Then he can take a one-year, $1-2 million deal for the 2017-2018 season. It’d be similar to Brad Richards deal he did with Chicago for his twilight Cup run.
And if Iginla wants to (and thinks he can) be productive through the 2018-19 season, when he’s approaching 42, then this summer he could widen his net a bit to some secondary teams. Iginla would then want to consider Edmonton, Nashville, or even Dallas (the team that drafted him 11th overall in 1995) as those teams are a few tweaks from climbing the ladder. Wherever he went he’d play a similar depth role as a then 43-year-old Mark Recchi did when he got his third Cup in 2011 with the Bruins.
Whatever the hell Iggy decides to do I hope the guy gets his ring. He doesn’t need one in order to validate his first-ballot hall of fame career, but it’d be great. From a Bruins fan perspective, the B’s blew their chance with Iginla and Chiarelli completely ruined the teams salary cap situation in the process. The least we can do is root for the legend to hoist the Cup elsewhere while we watch our average team in the distance.
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