Window Shopping: Jarome Iginla

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If the Avs go looking to replace top six players, Jarome Iginla should be high on the call sheet.

Jarome Iginla

#12 / Right Wing / Boston Bruins

6-1

210

2013 Cap Hit: $ 1,800,000 (kinda... it's actually $6,000,000)

Age: 36


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT

2013 - Jarome Iginla

Playoffs

78

12

30

5

31

2

61

7

34

0

47

12

4

2

0

0

8

2


209

26

14.4%

19.2%

Strengths:

Now I know that Iggy spent some time in Pittsburgh and in Boston, but lets be real for a second.  That Iggy in the picture, that's the Iggy that you all remember.  That's the one who was a thorn in our side in the old Northwest Division for years.  That's the one the Avs should strongly pursue if he makes it to free agency next week.

In his 17 NHL seasons Jarome Iginla has been the ideal model of a power forward.  He's big and strong. He skates well.  He finishes his checks.  He's got a hard shot.  He's tough in front of the net.  And he scores a lot of goals.  Now if you're worried about Iginla's age, don't be.  He's not going to replicate his 50 goal season from 2008, but he still scored 30 goals last year with the Boston Bruins, while adding 31 assists and 142 hits.  There's plenty left in that tank folks.  Iginla is a good skater and much faster than he looks.  He has a powerful stride which makes him hard to knock off the puck and easy to get steamrolled by.  Iggy is a renowned leader in the locker room, acting as captain for the Calgary Flames for most of his career.  He's a player for the ages who's he's still looking for a Stanley Cup to cap off what should be a Hall of Fame worthy career.

Weaknesses:

Age is absolutely a factor here.  When you reach your mid 30's, especially playing Iginla's physical brand of hockey, every year is another step slower.  Iginla scored 30 goals just last year, so you know he's not over the hill yet, but at this age a player's point production can dry up in a hurry.  Iginla is probably a little too old now to be "the guy" like he was in Calgary.  He won't carry the team on his own anymore and needs to be lined up alongside high quality players so that he can take on a role in the supporting cast.  Iginla has never been much of a defensive player and you'll never see him on the penalty kill, but he can still play 15-16 minutes of solid even strength hockey per night.

Contract:

Iginla is coming off of an incentive laden $1.8M contract with the Boston Bruins last season. Iginla was very productive in Beantown and hit a lot of his contract bonuses, bringing that deal up to a $6M cap hit which may force the Bruins to part with the power forward.  It's clear based on his last contract that Iginla is willing to take a discount, or at least a risk involving bonuses if it means he has a chance to finally win the Stanley Cup.  If Iginla signs with a true cup contender I think he could take another short incentive heavy deal in exchange for a chance to win.  If he signs with a team with an outside chance at a cup (like Colorado) he will likely be looking for a slightly longer deal with significantly more money guaranteed.

Why It Works:

Jarome Iginla would be the perfect mentor for Gabriel Landeskog as he proceeds through the formative years of his NHL career.  Iginla is everything Avalanche fans hope that Landeskog will become, and they could create a formidable line alongside any of Colorado's young centers.  If the Avalanche don't want to pair Iginla with Landeskog, they could always reunite him with his old linemate Alex Tanguay.  Iginla has enjoyed some very productive seasons alongside Tanguay.  From 2006-2008 Tanguay earned 99 assists.  Over the same stretch his linemate Iginla scored 89 goals.  Related? Well, when Tanguay left the Flames for two years Iginla's scoring did dip slightly, scoring 67 goals during Tanguay's absence.  Then, when Tanguay returned in 2011 the two duplicated their success as Iginla returned to 40 goal form and Tanguay scored 69 points in 79 games.  I don't think anyone would object to reuniting those former linemates.

There is one more small appeal for Iginla in Colorado.  Sakic and Iginla are old friends, playing on a line together during their 2002 Gold Medal bid at the Salt Lake City Olympics.  Since Sakic joined the Avs' front office, Adrian Dater has reported on multiple occasions that Sakic would love to bring his former Olympic teammate and division rival to the Avalanche.

My Take:

If Paul Stastny does in fact leave the Avalanche early next week, Jarome Iginla could be an excellent, albeit temporary replacement in the Avalanche's top six.  Even without a Stastny departure, Iginla is a great fit for the Avalanche in many ways.  He brings size, strength, a right handed shot, and tons of veteran leadership to a team lacking in all of the above.  The big problem here is that the fit isn't mutual.  Iginla is most likely looking to win a cup before his career comes to an end.  Even if the Avalanche manage to pull Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly back into the fold they are a number of years away from being true cup contenders, and Iginla likely doesn't have much more time to wait around.  Who knows, maybe Sakic can sweet talk Iggy on the Colorado vision, but personally I'd call this one doubtful at best.  It sure would be fun though... Can you imagine:

O'Reilly - Duchene - MacKinnon

Landeskog - Stastny - Iginla

I mean... wow

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