Iginla On The Move
It's more than the Maple Leafs got for Mats Sundin.
That, folks, is about the best that can be said from a Calgary perspective after Jarome Iginla was traded to Pittsburgh late Tuesday night.
And it's not much, is it?
The growing hockey nightmare in Calgary grew substantially larger when Iginla, the Flames captain, was traded to the Penguins for two U.S. college players, neither a first round pick in their draft year, and Pittsburgh's 2013 first rounder, likely No. 25 or lower.
Yes, how the times have changed.
Iginla was acquired 18 years ago from Dallas for centre Joe Nieuwendyk, but nothing remotely similar to that was available in 2013 when the Flames finally acknowledged what the rest of the hockey world had seen for years, that this was a franchise badly in need of rebuilding.
Sad, really. Iginla could have fetched more in a trade a year ago, but instead Calgary ownership and management preferred to live in a delusional dream world in which the veteran winger could still be a factor on a Calgary playoff squad.
Indeed, you could argue that Brenden Morrow fetched more from the Penguins in trade than Iginla, which is shocking really, given the career accomplishments of the two players.
Now, Iginla's departure means the fire sale is on in Calgary, with goalie Miiika Kiprusoff and defenceman Jay Bouwmeester clearly also available.
What can GM Jay Feaster get for those players? Draft picks and marginal prospects, probably, as the evidence mounts on how badly Calgary management has handled the dismantling of a team they insisted until last week was playoff worthy.
Kiprusoff, even if he's willing to play in the NHL next season, is worth less on the open market given that Vancouver is definitely looking at a last minute deal to move Roberto Luongo and Phoenix might be willing to part with free-agent-in-waiting Mike Smith. There's great confusion over whether Kiprusoff will report to another team if dealt, which, in conjuction with the reality that the Leafs may be the only team hunting for netminding, could mean he is moved for a lower draft pick and nothing more.
Vancouver has pretended all season there's a strong market for veteran goalies, but it's clear there isn't. That means Kiprusoff, if dealt, may go for much, much less than Iginla despite the fact the Finnish netminder could have a much greater impact on the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has added Iginla, Morrow and defenceman Douglas Murray in recent days, sacrificing only top blueline prospect Joe Morrow as an asset of any significance.
The road to the Stanley Cup final in the Eastern Conference quite obviously goes through Pittsburgh. Fans in Calgary, meanwhile, can only sit back and cheer for one of their fan favourites to emerge with a championship ring.