Last season, Colorado right winger Jarome Iginla was insistent that he would not waive his no-trade clause under any circumstances. When Adrian Dater of Bleacher Report asked Iginla whether he’d be willing to do so this year, he gave a noncommittal answer while stopping short of saying an unequivocal no:
“I’m really not thinking about that. It’s too soon in the season.”
The Avalanche are currently in a playoff position but have a sub-.500 record at 7-8-0 through 15 games. If they start to fall out of the race as the season progresses, it’s likely that they will become sellers and Iginla as a rental player will be towards the top of the list for several contending teams. For his part, Iginla remains confident that the Avs can make it to the postseason this year:
“I want to play in the playoffs. I think it will be here, that we have the ability to get there.”
Iginla is off to a slow start this season with just two goals and an assist while he has been dropped to the bottom six in recent weeks. Despite that, his style of play is suited to postseason hockey while he has a track record of success in the playoffs. However, with a cap hit of $5.3MM, there may not be many teams that will be able to afford him on their cap come the trade deadline.
Iginla is no stranger to being a rental player after he was shipped to Pittsburgh back in 2013. Back then, the Penguins were believed to be the only team he’d waive his no-trade clause for. Will we see another situation like this in a few months? It’s still too early to tell but the possibility seems a bit more realistic than it did before.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- The Blackhawks’ exhaustive search for a top line winger continues with no end in sight, writes Mark Lazarus of the Chicago Sun-Times. Since the beginning of last season, no fewer than 12 different left wingers have been tried with Jonathan Toews. Head coach Joel Quenneville acknowledged that they’re still looking for the right fit but considering that six different wingers have already been tried this season, they’re starting to run out of internal options in a hurry. In the meantime, they’ll likely keep rotating the players they’ve already tried in the hopes of finding some short-term chemistry. Given their cap situation (less than $50K of space per CapFriendly), going outside of the organization to find a new option doesn’t seem like a likely scenario at the moment.
- Louis defenseman Robert Bortuzzo could make his return to the lineup tonight, report Jeremy Rutherford and Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has missed the last eight games with a lower body injury and participated in his first full practice yesterday. The team is hoping that Bortuzzo, who has played in just four games so far this season, will get the green light from team doctors later today and then will decide on whether or not to insert him into the lineup at that time.