First of all, stop what you're doing and check out the latest from Mike Colligan. It's basically required reading when he drops an article and the newest, entitled "Penguins Primed for Major Trade" is no exception.
A lot of knowledge dropped, highlighted by:
Shero and his staff have set themselves up perfectly. They’ve accumulated an almost laughable amount of those valuable puck-moving defensemen. They have the ability to add $16m in cap hits as of today and still have $10.6m in space under next year’s lower cap (to sign about five depth forwards). The Penguins have even tried everyone outside of their mascot Iceburgh in the scoring line void this season to make sure the answer wasn’t already in the organization.
Unfortunately for anxious Penguins fans, the elusive hockey deal may not appear until the offseason.
That doesn’t mean Shero will stand pat at the deadline. But it doesn’t mean he’ll surrender top picks and prospects for an Iginla rental either.
Like James Neal on the powerplay, Shero is just waiting, watching, ready to pull the trigger.
Colligan theorizes the Penguins are ever-waiting for that right deal to come along, but all the conditions have to align. Could such a thing be happening in Calgary with Jarome Iginla?
Iginla, at age 35, has been with the Flames since 1996. For all intents and purposes, he is the Flames. But, unfortunately, he doesn't have much talent at all surrounding them and their organizational depth is almost as bare. For Calgary, the best thing might be to do about the unthinkable- and trade Iginla.
With a no trade clause, Iginla can call his shot. If he chooses to go to Boston or Philadelphia or Chicago or any other team, that's up to him. Yes, Iggy's played with Sidney Crosby before with Team Canada, but it's not like they're the best of friends and we've seen first hand, friendships don't mean much when it comes to business. (Parise, Zach). Which is as it should be.
But if Iginla was interested in Pittsburgh, and Calgary was interested in listening to a trade to move their long-time captain, what would it take?
I exchanged emails with Justin Azevedo of SBN's Matchsticks and Gasoline blog, and here's his perspective on the situation:
Personally, I think that Maatta and a 1st would be a good return for Iginla. [The]Flames are lacking in quality prospects and dangling 2 1sts in front of the team picking second to try and get [a top prospect like] MacKinnon or Drouin would be mouthwatering as a fan. If they could get another young player like a Despres as well? All for it.
Flames fans have theorized for a while that he'll only waive [his no trade clause] for a legit cup contender, and along with Chicago at this point Pittsburgh is one of the favourites.
At this point in his career, iginla can't be used in tough minutes without a lot of help, but he still has that offensive acumen - he'll finish at pretty close to a ppg pace this season and depending on the amount of shots he gets he'll get around 20 goals as well. pair him with Crosby and I expect those numbers to increase pretty dramatically.
Now, as far as the chances he'll actually get moved? probably less than 20%.
As Colligan said - all the conditions have to come together, and Justin still sees it as a 20/80 longshot that Calgary's even interested in such a trade. At that point, Iginla would have to sign off on Pittsburgh over top contenders who also would be interested in acquiring him, setting the odds even long. On top of that, Penguins management would probably have to give up, at least, one of Olli Maatta or Simon Despres and probably their upcoming first round picks.
It'd be a heavy price to pay, and a lot of things have to break just right. It's far from likely that Jarome Iginla will don the black and Vegas gold this spring, but there's no doubt that Shero and the Pens are going to be looking from all angles to best address the Penguins needs in hopes of boosting them for a deep run at the Stanley Cup.