After opening the 2016-17 campaign with three wins in four starts under new head coach Jared Bednar, the losses have come fairly steadily for the franchise – including eight times in the past 10 outings.
As is the case with any team languishing in or near the basement, trade chatter is bound to pop up.
39-year-old Jarome Iginla is playing out the final season of his three-year, $16 million pact and there have been numerous stories generated in recent weeks about the possibility of him ‘chasing the Cup’ with another club.
Elliotte Friedman had a mention in Saturday Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada last weekend, and followed it up in Tuesday’s 30 Thoughts – each time noting Adrian Dater’s original report on the winger.
30 Thoughts, No. 8: “If you have interest in Jarome Iginla, please contact the Colorado Avalanche. Iginla did not wish to waive his protection last year, but told Denver-area reporter Adrian Dater he would consider it in what could be his final NHL season. Wonder if his hometown Oilers would think about it. Would be a heck of a story.”
Wednesday, Friedman made an appearance on NHL Network and was asked about the chances that Iginla could be on the move.
The Insider cited some of the same information, but had more time to expand on Iginla and the franchise’s position in general.
“I think that they’re going to try to make it work,” said Friedman. “You know, last year Jarome Iginla was very honest. He had a year left on his contract. He said, ‘I would not agree to waive my no-trade clause.’ And he didn’t. This year, he told a local reporter, Adrian Dater, in what is the last year of his contract and potentially the last year of his career, that he will do it. And the word I understand is the Colorado Avalanche will accommodate him, should there be a willing buyer.
“So I think what you’re going to see is the Avalanche reach out, they’ll probably try to confirm it with Iginla to say, ‘Are you willing to do this?’ He likely would for a Stanley Cup contender. And the Avalanche will begin to find out is there a contender out there that sees a potential fit. So I think there is an opportunity for something here. Let’s just see where it goes and see what the interest level is.
“The other thing too I would like to say about the Avalanche is when they got clobbered in Montreal last weekend, there were a lot of questions about whether or not they would do a fire sale or rip apart their core. First of all, I think it’s never a good idea to react that way to a loss like that. Secondly, I’ve always been kind of informed that the Avalanche’s plans were they have $17 million coming off their cap at the end of this year, and they were going to do what it took with that kind of freedom to try add at least one defenseman, but hopefully two. I still do think that’s their plan, though I’m sure they’re getting lots of calls asking them if they feel any differently.”
So this brings us to another Wednesday segment from this week, when Darren Dreger was asked on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 about the approaching holiday trade freeze.
Did the Insider, at that time, have a sense that anything might happen on the trade front before then, or have things been pretty quiet?
“Really quiet. Painfully. Painfully quiet,” said Dreger. “And frustratingly quiet for some who are interested. And there are teams out there who are looking. I believe Pierre LeBrun reported yesterday that the Tampa Bay Lighting continue their search for a defenseman. Well, there are so many teams in that market. And Yzerman would like to add a Top-4, but there’s no one throwing that name into that mix just yet. So he’ll have to be patient.
“Arizona isn’t going to continue to flounder. Hanzal’s name has been out there, but the asking price on him is too high and I don’t specifically know what it is. But it speaks to the parity around the league. So many teams are still in it. Nobody is officially out of it, per se, yet. And we know how restrictive a cap system can be. It usually has to be contract for contract. So that’s the reasoning behind why there aren’t more trades.
“You do have to look at some of the hot spots. Arizona might be one based on play. Colorado – 30th in the National Hockey League right now. Come on. There’s a lot that’s going to develop there from a speculative standpoint and there’s some big names that are going to be circled. No one is surprised that Matt Duchene’s name surfaces from time to time. I mean, that’s been the case for the past two-plus years. But this summer, believe it or not, I heard Gabriel Landeskog – the captain of the Colorado Avalanche – his name included in trade discussions as well.
“So I’ve got to believe that Joe Sakic is soon going to be willing to consider just about anything.”
For reference: Covering the Insiders