Jarome Iginla was picked 11th overall in the 1995 draft by Dallas and was traded to Calgary later that year for Joe Nieuwendyk. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Twittersphere was abuzz earlier this week over speculation the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings would swing a deal involving Flames captain Jarome Iginla.
On Tuesday, Dean Millard of The Pipeline Show tweeted he’d been told Kings promising center Brayden Schenn was in the minors “as he would be part of the package for Iginla,” whom Millard claimed the Kings were pursuing hard.
The Flames made a trade the next day, but it didn’t involve the Kings or Iginla. Instead they shipped defenseman Ian White and left winger Brett Sutter to the Carolina Hurricanes for blueliner Anton Babchuk and right winger Tom Kostopoulos.
And, no, Sutter wasn’t dealt because of his recent altercation with an Arizona cab driver. Various reports claimed Sutter was part of this package deal when it was still in the discussion stage, well before the incident took place.
As for Millard’s report, GM Darryl Sutter and assistant GM Jay Feaster vehemently denied the rumors Wednesday, telling the Calgary media there’d been no discussions with the Kings or any other NHL team regarding Iginla.
Don’t expect those denials to keep Iginla out of the rumor mill. Darryl Sutter’s critics will merely point out he denied defenseman Dion Phaneuf was on the block last season, before trading him to Toronto only weeks later.
What must be remembered, however, is Iginla’s no-movement clause, which he suggested in April he’d waive only if management asked him to do so.
If the Flames do make that request of Iginla, there would be a limited number of teams he’d consider going to, plus a smaller number that could comfortably absorb his $7-million salary.
That rules out the Buffalo Sabres, who some in the blogosphere have been trying to link to Iginla for several weeks.
WHERE WILL MARC-ANDRE BERGERON LAND?
Free agent defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron is close to being medically cleared to return to NHL action following off-season knee surgery.
In a recent interview, Bergeron rated his current recovery status at “90 percent.” He also said he expects to be ready to return by early December.
That’s good news for teams seeking a hard-shooting defenseman to anchor their power play.
Bergeron expressed interest in returning to the Montreal Canadiens, where he played last season, but also said he wouldn’t sit around waiting for the Habs to call and admitted his agent has dialogues with several teams.
Agent Paul Corbeil confirmed he’d recently spoken with Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman and suggested the Lightning had “serious interest” in Bergeron.
It remains to be seen where Bergeron will end up, but it appears he’ll be returning to the NHL at some point this season.
VANCOUVER’S EHRHOFF A TRADE CANDIDATE?
Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff’s contract status has garnered considerable attention during the past week.
Recent reports claimed talks between Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Ehrhoff’s agent stalled, raising speculation Vancouver will attempt to trade him if the sides are unable to reach an agreement by the Feb. 28 trade deadline. Ehrhoff currently accounts for $3.1 million against the salary cap.
The Vancouver Province’s Jason Botchford recently injected some common sense into this topic by reminding readers Gillis had been through similar newsworthy “impasses” with the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond, only to end up quietly re-signing each of them.
Ehrhoff will have to decide if he’ll accept less money to remain with the Stanley Cup-contending Canucks or opt for free agency where he could chase more money from a lesser club.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.