Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 NHL Trade Deadline's Two Most Interesting Players

There are several players whose names have been bantered about as potential trade targets, as the 2013 NHL trade deadline approaches.  A couple of these names are extremely interesting when it comes to the impact that they could have, not only to their potential new team, but in leaving a void for the current team.

1.  Corey Perry - With the recent signing of teammate Ryan Getzlaf to an 8-year $66 million dollar deal, and his removal from the unrestricted free agent market, the situation with the Anaheim Ducks and Corey Perry has gotten just that much more interesting.  Think about the factors that come into play here.  A team that, as currently constructed, is playing well enough to contend for the Stanley Cup this season.  A salary cap that is shrinking by about $6 million next season.  A teammate, and one of the best players in the league, who has just signed one of the biggest contracts in the NHL.  And another unrestricted free agent to be addressed, one who was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league MVP in just two seasons ago, while this Stanley Cup caliber team heads towards playoffs.  How could trade rumors not swirl around this?  It seems like Corey Perry really does have the upper hand in any negotiations here.  He's playing very well for a team with Stanley Cup hopes.  Everyone can see what his teammate and fellow unrestricted free agent was just awarded.  Now, even though the salary cap is decreasing, and they just distributed a large chunk of payroll, the Ducks would have room to sign Perry to a similar contract as Getzlaf signed, if they wanted to do so.  I personally don't see how they could trade Perry at this point.  If you let him go, there is a potential, and a strong one, that the team performs not nearly as well as they are currently.  So what should Anaheim do?  Pay Perry and move forward.  If Perry is willing to accept the same amount as his teammate and to stay in Anaheim that is.  If the Ducks approach him with such an offer, and he doesn't go for it, they could wind up with nothing at the end of this season.  And that's where trade potential becomes interesting.  Does Anaheim risk losing Perry to free agency with no return?

2.  Jarome Iginla - Iginla is and always will be a Calgary Flame.  But that doesn't mean he couldn't and wouldn't play for another NHL team.  Despite all the talk about how Iginla was not producing, the fact of the matter is that he is contributing well offensively for the Flames.  He starts off slow, but then heats up.  This is known.  He has 19 points in 25 games in this lockout shortened season.  That is production.  And he hasn't scored less than 30 goals since 1999-2000, when he was 22, and even then he scored 29 goals.  So, forget all the talk about Iginla not producing.  The real question here is does Iginla fit into the longer term plans for the Calgary Flames organization?  This all depends on what kind of salary Iginla is looking for, and whether or not the Flames plan to go into a "rebuilding" mode.  If they believe they cannot compete for the Cup in the near future, and need to rebuild with young talent, then they just may be looking to trade Jarome Iginla in return for young prospects or draft picks.   (And they are looking for young talent based on their offer sheet given to Ryan O'Reilly).  I just find it hard to believe that with the cap room the Flames will have next season, they won't keep Iginla on their roster for a few more seasons.  And Iginla would no doubt like to end his NHL career as a Calgary Flame.  This situation gets more interesting if a team that is in contention for the Cup feels they need one more piece to put them over the top, and make the Flames an offer they cannot refuse.  Think multiple early round draft picks this year and next.  A team that may fit this bill would be the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins or St. Louis Blues.

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