Colorado Avalanche: Finding Jarome Iginla a Stanley Cup Contender

It’s no secret that Jarome Iginla wants to win a Stanley Cup before he retires; now, it’s up to the Colorado Avalanche to find Iginla a Cup contending team.

Jarome Iginla has been a good player for the Colorado Avalanche during his stint; however, this season he is struggling on a team of struggling players.

Furthermore, he is unlikely to get offered another contract at the conclusion of this season, so this season may be his final chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Iginla is one of the most respected players around the league, and he has certainly been an extremely respected player on the Avalanche. Therefore, the Colorado Avalanche need to make it their top priority to find Iginla a Stanley Cup contending trade partner.

Today, I’ll take a look at the teams that have the best chance at winning the Cup, and do some small analysis on trade viability.

The teams are listed in order from least likely to win the Cup, all the way up to the most likely. However, that does not mean that the teams most likely to win the Cup present the best fit for Jarome Iginla.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Montreal Canadiens

Seemingly every year the Montreal Canadiens have an extremely hot start, and then cool off as the season moves along. This year they are maintaining a good pace to their season, but they have certainly cooled off since the year started.

Nonetheless, the Montreal Canadiens are a Cup contending team this year. They have the best goalie in the game, a stout defense, and a pretty good forward lineup. However, Jarome Iginla could help them solidify their forward lineup.

If Iginla can find his form again on a good team that possesses the puck in the offensive zone, then he could be a valuable asset to the Canadiens.

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The Canadiens have three real good forwards — Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, and Alexander Radulov. Beyond that, they are made up of depth forwards.

Unfortunately, the Canadiens are right up against the cap this year so some shifting around would have to be done in order for them to make room for Iginla. They are probably the least likely to win the Cup out of the teams I have listed, but they might be the best fit for Iginla.

As far as what the Avs could get in return? At this point the Avs cannot get much for Iginla, but they could still get a third or fourth round draft pick for him, and possibly a low ranking prospect like Dalton Thrower.

Let’s move onto the next team.

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals are currently the best team in the league, and they have the highest goal differential at +54. They are smoking right now.

However, they are second on this list because they always choke in the playoffs. Which is where a player of Jarome Iginla’s caliber could come into play.

Iginla is a leader, and would provide the Caps with a veteran presence in their locker room. He would immediately fit into the top 9 of the Capitals, and would certainly play well in Barry Trotz’s system.

Unfortunately, the Capitals are also right up against the salary cap, and would probably need the Avs to take a player like Daniel Winnik or Lars Eller home with them.

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If the Avs do end up taking on a contract like that, then they can ask for more in return from the Capitals.

The Avs could possibly ask for a 2nd round draft pick, and a middle level prospect like Jonas Siegenthaler, especially if they throw in a fourth round draft pick themselves.

The Capitals have a real high chance of winning the Cup this year if they continue to play the way that they are. Jarome Iginla would be a nice addition to their team because he brings veteran leadership, and a calming presence in the locker room.

Let’s move onto the next team on this list.

Minnesota Wild

I hate the idea of this trade, and I hate admitting that the Wild have a chance to win the Cup this year, but so be it.

They have the second highest goal differential in the league at +51, and they have given up the second fewest goals on the season. The only team in front of them in both categories is the Washington Capitals.

It’s safe to assume that the Wild have a chance at skating in their first Stanley Cup Final in team history this year if they keep up their pace.

Unfortunately, the Wild are extremely deep at the forward position this year, and the Avs may find it difficult to make a trade with them. Zach Parise is 9th in team scoring to give you an idea.

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Nonetheless, the Wild play a stifling game that isn’t really based on speed, so Iggy would be a good fit for their system.

He could most certainly fit into the top nine, and be a valuable asset for the Wild. And, the Wild rejuvenated Eric Staal’s career, who’s to say they can’t get one more burst of success out of Iginla?

In return, the Avs would be looking at a lot less then the previous two teams, just because the Wild don’t really need his services.

The Avs would be looking at a third or fourth round draft pick to my estimation, and no prospect in return.

Pittsburgh Penguins

I put the Penguins as the final team on this list because I couldn’t bear giving the Wild that honor. I also believe that they have an extremely high chance to repeat this year.

They didn’t see much turnover in their roster since last season, and they still have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, and Matt Murray.

That’s some of the best makeup of talent in the entire NHL, if not the best. There are two problems with this trade though.

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First, the Penguins are literally in the red with cap space right now, as in they have none. Second, the Penguins have already tried a stint with Jarome Iginla, and they felt he didn’t really fit their systems well.

That’s even more the case now as the Penguins are one of the fastest teams in the league. So, where exactly would Iginla fit in the roster? The answer is, he doesn’t really have a spot to fit on their roster.

So, even though the Penguins have the best chances at winning the cup this year, they are probably the worst fit for Iginla. The Avs would be looking at close to nothing in return in this kind of a deal. Furthermore, the Penguins simply don’t have the cap space to make this kind of a deal either.

Conclusion

Finding a trade partner that wants to acquire Jarome Iginla, and can simultaneously push for the Stanley Cup is going to be a tall order for the Avalanche.

Finding a trade partner that Iginla feels comfortable waiving his no-movement clause to go to also throws a wrench in potential negotiations.

However, the guy wants to win a Cup, and he deserves a chance at that honor.

Most teams have to be skeptical as to how much he can offer at this stage in his career though. Nonetheless, if nothing else he certainly still brings veteran leadership to the locker room.

Of the teams above, the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals look to be the best fit. Their systems would fit Iginla’s playing style at this stage in his career, and both teams could use him in the middle of their forward lineup.

His name is certainly being shopped at this point, and hopefully the Avs are able to find a partner that gives him a good chance at winning the Cup this summer.

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