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Is UFA-To-Be Iginla Worth Giving Up The Assets For Penguins?

That's really a common question at every trade deadline every year, for every team, in every pro sport, particularly those that are legitimate championship contenders.

The Penguins rolled the "trade for the impending UFA" dice back at the '08 trade deadline, acquiring Marian Hossa (and "throw-in" Pascal Dupuis) for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, highly regarded prospect  (at the time) Angelo Esposito and a 1st round draft pick.  Not only didn't Esposito pan out in the NHL, but Hossa helped the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup Finals that year.

As we hit the T-minus 10 day mark before this year's trade deadline, the Penguins appear to have a similar conundrum on their plate:

Do the Penguins expend the resources that it will most likely take to acquire Jarome Iginla?

But more importantly, do the Penguins really NEED Jarome Iginla, and thereby give up those assets, in light of other team needs?

I"m trying not to be myopic when discussing a potential Iginla trade, considering the Penguins are riding high on an 11-game winning streak.  But let's face facts:  The winning streak is gonna end one of these days.  Moreover, the Penguins most likely are gonna have a stretch where they may struggle.

That said, the Penguins are the NHL's highest scoring team, by a pretty comfortable margin.  And that's with reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin missing eleven games already this season due to injury, not to mention Kris Letang missing five games as the NHL leader in defenseman scoring.

So it's not like the addition of Iginla would hurt the Penguins' lineup, of course not.  He would fit in as a Top-6 winger, whether that's on the top line with Sidney Crosby or on the second line with Malkin.  The question is whether the Pens would give up the assets that it's gonna take to get Iginla.

Last night TSN's Darren Dreger gave an updated status of Iginla's potential trade, saying:

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi then provided a reminder on what he believes is GM Ray Shero's priorities at the deadline:

The common feeling when it comes to what it would take to get Iginla was a Top 4 prospect, roster player and a 1st round draft pick.  So if you're GMRS, are you willing to give up a Simon Despres, or Joe Morrow, or Beau Bennett, or Scott Harrington?

As far as the roster player, don't believe for a second that the Flames will acquiesce and take Tyler Kennedy off the Penguins' hands.  It's gonna have to be a better player than that.

Would GMRS part with a 1st round draft pick?  For the right deal, I'd think so, even though I'd sure like to see him start drafting high with some forwards and replenish the organization.

All of that - For a player who may very well help you to a Stanley Cup, but most assuredly would NOT be on the Penguins' 2013-2014 roster.  This isn't like the '08-'09 offseason, where the Pens were pretty confident that they would be able to resign Hossa.  That didn't happen, but the Penguins could not even consider Iginla's salary with impending new contracts to both Malkin and Letang.

So if not Iginla, who then?

Well, for starters I'd like to see them get a stay-at-home, physical defenseman.  While the Penguins defensive corps has played much better recently, some depth would make that group that much stronger in case of injuries.  The name thrown around a lot lately has been Buffalo's Robyn Regehr, although Regehr will be a UFA after this season as well.  Regehr wouldn't cost nearly as much as Iginla, though.

They also need to shore up their 4th line.  While not noted for scoring, the Penguins 4th line mostly of Craig Adams, Joe Vitale and Tanner Glass through 32 games has a total of five goals and five assists.  The 4th line also has three of the bottom four players on the team in terms of plus/minus.  Rossi mentions in his latest update that GMRS is looking at improving his penalty kill, which he might be able to do at the same time with a 4th liner acquisition.  The Pens' PK, while performing better recently, is tied for 19th in the NHL at an even 80% success rate.

GMRS will probably do a couple of these moves, most likely not all three though.  But I just don't know whether that should include pulling the trigger, and giving up the assets, for Iginla.

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Paul's avatar

To answer your question.. Yes, if you are not a fan of the Penguins.

Now to get serious, Iginla is going to have to adjust to a system no matter where he goes and I say knowing any player would have to adjust, but Iginla only knows one system, his.

The team who gets him, and he is leaving, may have to adjust more to his system rather than Iggy adjusting to their system.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/24/13 at 11:08 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

1st off why in Hell would they need C Depth ? Sid, Gino, Sutter & Joe Vitale are more than good !

The Problem is Jack Adams continues to use Glass & Adams to lose FO’s on the PK when Vitale is Statistically the Better FO on the Pens

& Please Stop using Rob(Michalek for Yandle)Rossi for Trade Rumor info

Posted by Evilpens on 03/24/13 at 11:25 AM ET

Tony's avatar

Any other orders, EP?

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 03/24/13 at 11:43 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

No “Orders” just said Please

Posted by Evilpens on 03/24/13 at 11:50 AM ET

Tony's avatar

Rossi is no different than any other team’s beat writers.  He talks to several people within the organization.  Some of his speculation pans out, some others do not.

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 03/24/13 at 11:55 AM ET


The team’s got more of a bottom 6 problem than a top 6 problem (Kennedy, Glass) insofar as it could be argued there’s any problem in an 11 game winning streak.

Having said that, adding Iginla for, say, Kennedy, one of the billion D prospects and a first allows them to move Dupuis to the third line, which shores up three lines instead of the current two that are in good shape when everyone’s healthy. Might not be fair to Dupuis, considering the season he’s having, but it could be good for the team. Duper had a career year with Cooke/Sullivan and Staal, so it’s not like Cooke/Sutter/Dupuis would be insulting as such.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, though, the #1 thing the team needs to take care of is to get its least important player, Tanner Glass, the Hell out of the lineup. But I"m not sure you’d need to move actual assets to accomplish that. Might be able to flip Glass and a fourth to <team> for <guy who isn’t Glass>.

Posted by larry on 03/24/13 at 01:05 PM ET


Oh, and Regehr is shot, to my eyes. Moves around like Gill now, but doesn’t have the reach or any of the practiced workarounds (read: mauling guys without being called for anything) that make Gill great.

Posted by larry on 03/24/13 at 01:08 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Good points, Larry…

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 03/24/13 at 01:15 PM ET


Third rounder at best!

Posted by timbits on 03/24/13 at 03:22 PM ET

Tony's avatar


So much for all this speculation, eh ???

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 03/24/13 at 06:34 PM ET

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Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

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