Warm up the 'Jarome Iginla to the Pens' Rumors?

Bruce Bennett

It's never too early to dream about the NHL Trading Deadline and reports of whispers linking Jarome Iginla's name to the Pittsburgh Penguins have started up already.

From Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts:

13. I was asked on Calgary 960 Radio about the Flyers being interested in Jarome Iginla. The big question is, 'Would Iginla be interested in them?' If he goes anywhere, he's going to take a run at the Stanley Cup. Ninety-nine years out of 100, Philadelphia is in that race. This just might be a case of awful timing for both of them. You can see the opening in the Penguins lineup, though.

The Calgary Flames are currently 1-3-2 with just 4 points in the standings, a league low. But they've also only played a league low six games so far this season, so keep that in mind too.

Still, it's going to raise eyebrows anytime anyone in the know starts saying the words "Jarome Iginla" and "Pittsburgh Penguins". For the Pens, it'd be a great thing, if the price was right. Iginla is a guy who played with Sidney Crosby with Team Canada, you may or may not remember a famous pass Iginla made to Sid to clinch some sort of game..Being American my memory is a little lax on that.

But, seriously, the question will come down to Calgary. Will they fall far enough out of the playoff race to trade their team captain, a guy who's been around since 1996? Will Iginla (who has a no-trade clause) actually want to leave? And what sort of return will Calgary want?

Ray Shero opened up the bank in 2008 for Atlanta to get Marian Hossa- the Pens sent their first rounders in 2007 + 2008 and Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen (then 2 NHL ready and fairly impressive young assests). Iginila, at 35 years old, isn't quite in the prime of his career, but he's still got a lot of gas left and he definitely would be a significant return for the Flames. And not just a wishful scenario like "Tyler Kennedy, a prospect and a pick" type of return.

The Pens, very likely would have to give up one or two of their blue-chip defensive prospects (Olli Maata, Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington, Joe Morrow, Brian Dumuolin), this year's first round pick and maybe a young professional player with a future like Simon Despres or Beau Bennett. It's going to be a heavy price to pay, but Pittsburgh has stocked up the trading chips enough to make that call if they want to, and are far enough under the cap to make it work as well.

For now, we'll watch how Iginla and the Flames do over the next few weeks of play....But for the Pens fans searching for this year's Hossa or Bill Guerin type of addition, wow would Iginla be a home-run.

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