Jarome Iginla joining the Los Angeles Kings has always made some level of sense, and is practically an obvious move now that Darryl Sutter’s behind the bench.
It keeps him in the Western Conference. It’s finally a move to a large market for Iginla, but not a pressure cooker. It’s a team that has a Stanley Cup, and has looked poised for another one at times this season.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN sees a fit there, especially if the Kings were to ante up Jonathan Bernier:
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. It’s not clear if Iginla has any interest in moving, his no-trade clause gives him the hammer to decide his future, but you have to think the Kings might be an intriguing fit for him.
Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail, however, believes Iginla was a better fit for the LA Kings back before they captured the Cup:
Years ago, when Terry Murray was still coaching the Kings and long before Jeff Carter and Mike Richards ever landed with the NHL team, Iginla might have been the perfect fit in L.A., a team that seemingly needed a boost of veteran leadership to get over the hump. The wrinkle now is that the Kings did get over the hump last June, winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history; and they did it without Iginla.
So why would he suddenly be a fit in L.A. now? It doesn’t really add up, especially not if the cost is young goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who is finally getting some playing time because starter Jonathan Quick is having an erratic season, a development most likely attributable to his off-season back surgery, though you never get much of an explanation out of Quick, ever for anything.
Another factor in all of this – besides the no-trade clause Iginla wields – is what the Calgary Flames would actually want out of dealing their captain and franchise player.
Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review hears the price from the Flames is a top-four defenseman prospect, a roster player and a draft pick, for what could amount to a rental as he’s a UFA this summer.
Sean Gentille of the Sporting News sees the Pittsburgh Penguins as a fit, given the personnel they could offer.
Over the past few years, Pittsburgh has stockpiled high-end defense prospects: 2009 first-round pick Simon Despres is in the NHL. Joe Morrow, a first-round pick in 2011, is playing for Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, as is Brian Dumoulin, acquired as part of the Jordan Staal trade. Scott Harrington, Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maata are all top players in the CHL. Penguins GM Ray Shero could easily use some of that depth to fill holes elsewhere.
That said, a "roster player" could mean a lot of things—Tyler Kennedy and Dustin Jeffrey are obvious choices and at least capable of eating minutes on a second- or third line, but it's tough to imagine the Penguins taking other pieces away from their current lineup. Also, there's the issue of the draft pick.
But the necessity to add a winger to Sidney Crosby’s line – always a driving force in an Iggy-to-the-Pens trade – appears somewhat diminished, what with Chris Kunitz deciding he wanted to score all the goals this season.
Where do you think Iginla ends up?
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