The Kings drove a stake deeper into Calgary's playoff hopes on Monday, handing them back to back defeats. Now Pierre LeBrun of ESPN thinks the two teams could work out a trade for their captain, Jarome Iginla.
While it’s been widely (and accurately) reported that Boston and Pittsburgh have interest in the Flames captain should he become available, I believe the Kings would be right there in the mix as well and could be willing to dangle young backup netminder Jonathan Bernier.
One would imagine that would interest the Flames since life after Mikka Kiprusoff isn’t far off. But then again, who knows with the Flames? [...]
I think the Kings would want at least a draft pick to go along with Iginla -- whose contract expires after the season -- in return for a future franchise goalie like Bernier.
Basically, we're not certain the Flames are even interested in Bernier, but LeBrun sees a potential fit. I have no problem believing the Kings are interested in Iginla, though.
The real eyebrow-raiser is the idea that the Kings would want the Flames to add. Iginla by himself is not enough of a return (!).
Lombardi may be hesitant to send Bernier to a future division rival. However, if Calgary does put Iginla on the market, they'd finally (finally) be looking to build for the future. Shipping a draft pick our way on top of their best trade asset doesn't seem likely. Feaster should want to add picks and prospects, not subtract them.
We also know top contenders like Boston and Pittsburgh are in the running. A bidding war between several attractive teams would naturally make the price go up. Again, not a good situation to ask for more of a return for a young netminder.
Iginla does have a no-trade clause, so he controls his destination. If he decides that Sutter's team and only Sutter's team will do--and we're assuming the Kings remain in a good playoff position here--the Kings might have an edge. But if they get a bigger prize for Bernier in the bargain, Lombardi should try his hand at spinning straw into gold. There would be no limits to his powers.
Mutual interest between Iginla and the Kings wouldn't surprise me. However, we'd need to get a clearer picture of what the Flames would actually want in return.
Another question is what the Kings would be willing to offer beyond Bernier. The Kings don't have their first round pick this year, leaving them with only one 1st round selection in 3 years (Tanner Pearson). With the cap going down next year, they can ill afford to market their most attractive NHL-ready prospect, Tyler Toffoli, for a rental. Pearson and Vey are possibilities, but they have a great need for cheap top six talent going forward if they are to contend beyond next year. Derek Forbort, their first round selection in 2010, would be nice to hang on to when they don't know what is happening with Mitchell and Scuderi.
Lombardi could face some tough choices about how much of their future they would be willing to sacrifice for the here-and-now.
What do you think? Are you interested in Iginla, or would you rather trade for a defenseman? What do you think Lombardi would or should offer if he becomes available?