The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/10/13 at 11:40 AM ET
Via Paul, the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis wondered what might happen with one soon-to-be-36-year-old Jarome Iginla if the unrestricted free agent chooses to a) not return to Pittsburgh and b) take half of the $7 million he earned this past season (okay, it was 48 games' worth of $7 million, but still) to make his cap hit more palatable to contending teams.
While most pundits believe that Iginla will either remain with Pittsburgh at a stiff discount, try to latch on with former coach Darryl Sutter in LA, or perhaps explore the option of signing with the cap-strapped team that was #3 on his 3-team, "I will accept a trade to here, here and here" list before the Bruins-thought-they-got-him-but-the-Peguins-did bizarro land trade fandango went down...
The Vancouver Province's Ben Kuzma believes that Iginla should remain in the Eastern Conference...By signing with the Detroit Red Wings:
IGGY SHOULD WING IT: Jarome Iginla wants to re-sign with Pittsburgh — or should we say repay the Penguins’ trade-deadline persistence — even though the once-dominant right winger went pointless in the Eastern Conference final series with just five shots and a minus-4 rating. Even though he looked so slow he ended up on the third line and on the left side. Ray Shero has pumped Iginla’s tires and the Penguins general manager believes the dozen points (4-8) in 11 playoff games that Iginla compiled before the Bruins mauling is a better barometer of what’s left in the tank of a player who turns 36 on July 1 and whose expiring $7 million US contract will have to at least be chopped in half to warrant roster consideration in Pittsburgh or anywhere else. And Shero has more pressing problems in an expected showdown with Penguins chairman Mario Lemieux over the fate of coach Dan Bylsma, contract extensions for Evgeni Malkin and Chris Letang, 10 free agents and who’s his starting goaltender.
Iginla in the right frame of mind and in the right place may still bring out the best in the former Calgary captain. And he need look no further than former Flames teammate Todd Bertuzzi. It was taking a 50 per cent pay cut that made Bertuzzi 50 per cent better with the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Mike Babcock got Bertuzzi to play a 200-foot game and extend his career before mounting injuries limited the winger to seven regular season and six playoff games this season. The 38-year-old Bertuzzi could be a compliance buyout because Justin Abdelkader has filled in admirably and with another often-injured right winger in Mikael Samuelsson, 36, there is something in re-uniting the Olympic coach Babcock and Iginla. At his best, nobody questioned Iginla’s compete level but it became a constant query in Calgary. Did Iggy get too comfortable there? Perhaps. Can Babcock re-ignite the fire of desire? Probably.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.