For a few years now, the aging, though still skilled, Jarome Iginla has been the subject of trade speculations around the entire game of hockey. Obviously, Iginla has been one of the best players over the last decade, but at 35-years old, should other teams look to acquire the veteran forward?
On the season, Iginla has one goal to match his seven helpers. Not the greatest start to the 2013 campaign, making many believe that Father Time is catching up to him. However, a team that is one the outside of the playoffs looking in may want to look to target Iginla, despite what one of his former teammates stated about him.
Rhett Warrener, now retired and hosting his own radio show, offered his take on the regression of Iginla.
“His greatest asset was his shot but more importantly his compete-level — his refuse to lose attitude — and now you are watching and … it’s not there,” Warrener said. “He’s not Dany Heatley –slow, but he’s not getting there. I don’t know if he’s slowed down and his compete level has followed, but you don’t see that compete and fire in his eyes now. I think you see frustration setting in”.
While Warrener certainly knows Iginla better than I do, to say that he doesn’t want to win is a bit much if you ask me. We are talking about a guy who was an inch away from a Stanley Cup title back in 2004, where he ultimately was defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games. After coming that close only to fall, do you really think Iginla doesn’t want to compete to get back there again?
If I’m the GM of a bubble team looking for a veteran presence, I’d get on the phones to try to target this guy. Despite his age, Iginla is still logging a tad over 20 minutes per contest, is a natural born leader and can provide offensive upside easily. Put him around the right players with young, emerging talent, and both parties will benefit strongly.