If there’s one thing you’ve probably learned about MayorsManor through the years it’s that we don’t waste much time on trade rumors. Such articles are great for driving traffic to a website, but they’re also a maddening exercise that usually bears very little fruit. Instead, we prefer to deal with real stories, not hypothetical ones.
Occasionally though, there are scenarios where we can approach things from a ‘hockey’ perspective. Think of it as the written equivalent to those long sought after ‘hockey trades’ – not trades where teams are dumping salary or trades where teams are trying to acquire draft pics, but deals that are mutually beneficial.
So, that’s what today’s article is, a mutually beneficial discussion.
We’ve been asked repeatedly about the Kings’ possible interest in Jarome Iginla. With the NHL Trade Deadline just a week away, let’s talk about it.
When faced with similar situations in the past we offered helpful articles (or at least we thought so).
Before the Kings hired Darryl Sutter as head coach – while the rest of the media was ridiculing the idea – we offered an article explaining why the hire would make a lot of sense (read it here).
Then, we doubled down last spring. As everybody else was talking about Rick Nash to the Kings, we wrote why Jeff Carter was actually the smarter move (read that one here).
Now, we’re going for the hat trick of sorts, as we’ll tell you why Jaromir Jagr would be a much better fit of the Kings than Iginla.
On the surface, one usually wouldn’t write an article saying a 41-year old forward should be the preferred trade target for the defending Stanley Cup Champions looking to stock up before a second run – especially when the other option is a young player who scored 43 goals just two seasons ago.
But, Jagr is many things. Typical isn’t one of them.
To start with, let’s look at value.
Neither player is signed beyond this season, so salary cap isn’t a major issue.
The rumored price for Iginla is three assets, most likely two top-end prospects and a draft pick.
On the other side, the Stars have talked about wanting to resign Jagr. However, they haven’t done it, and in the right deal, he’s still available.
So, what would he cost a team?
Here’s what it won’t cost – Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Toffoli and a draft pick.
The Kings would be better off trading ‘lesser’ prospects and/or picks for Jagr.
Forget the fact that LA seems to need Bernier now more than ever before, given the erratic play (at times) of Jonathan Quick this season. Forget the fact that Toffoli will likely be a consistent 30-goal scorer in the NHL. Forget the fact that the Kings biggest need right now is on defense, not offense. Just know that if you’re moving assets of that caliber, you better be getting back more than a rental player in return.
The quick retort from some is, ‘Well just sign Iginla to an extension.’ There’s one minor (read: major) problem with that line of thinking. The salary cap is coming DOWN next season and the Kings have plenty of contracts to deal with already. Even if you assume Dustin Penner is coming off the books, they still need to re-sign Slava Voynov and re-sign/replace Rob Scuderi. Then, there’s all the RFA’s Lombardi will need to re-sign too.
The bidding for Iginla will be high. Several teams in the Eastern Conference want him. More importantly, the Flames are seeking a large ransom for him because (a) he’s their captain and (b) if they more the face of the franchise, they need to show that it was ‘worth it’ to their fan-base.
The same can’t be said in Dallas. Jagr just signed their last summer. He doesn’t have any deep ties to the franchise.
Although he’s been a popular player over the past three months, their fan-base already knows they’re in a modified rebuild mode. Their GM just traded Brenden Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nobody is going to riot in Dallas if Jagr is moved.
Plus, at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, he’s exactly the type of player the Kings love adding to their line-up.
Best of all, Jagr’s production has been stellar this year – not only in the games against the Kings, where he has been phenomenal, but overall. His 14 goals (and 25 points in 31 games) are well ahead of Iginila’s nine goals.
Finally, and this point is a possibility, not a guarantee. Iginla has been ‘the man’ in Calgary for more than a decade. He wouldn’t be that in LA. Would that be a plus or a minus? How would he adjust? Nobody knows for sure. However, we already have the answer with Jagr. He knows what it’s like to be part of a team rather than the guy carrying the mail.
On balance, the best trades come with a sense of value.
Iginla is a great talent, there’s no denying that point.
When you weigh it all out though, a trade for Jagr makes much more sense for the Kings.
RELATED CONTENT: Dean Lombardi – ‘Bernier trade not feasible, he’s too valuable’
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