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Why the Calgary Flames Won’t Trade Jarome Iginla



As I'm sure most people are aware, about a week ago Eric Francis (everyone's favorite reporter!) wrote a piece implying that Iginla had asked for or stated he would accept trades to various teams. Now, to be sure, Francis didn't outright say as much, but the subtext was certainly there.
I reached out to the organization, who told me in no uncertain terms that, and I quote, "Jarome has not asked for a trade or provided us with a list of teams, it is completely false." So I'm not here to discuss whether or not he has or hasn't asked for a trade. I want to break down if a trade of the captain would happen and what would such a trade entail.

Jarome Iginla is an icon. Few players are as much associated with the Calgary Flames as he is and vice versa (for instance, I doubt anyone remembers Jamie McLennan on any team other than Calgary, but nobody gets asked about the Flames and thinks “Oh hey, wasn’t Jamie McLennan on that team?”). He’s not just the Flames superstar- he’s also the bluecollar roughneck fan favorite that every team has. He’s both Alexander Ovechkin and Brooks Laich. Hell, I even know some Vancouver fans who love him.

So surely Iginla could fetch such a large return that given both his current level of play and the quality of the Calgary Flames that GM Jay Feaster couldn’t afford not to trade him, right? Unfortunately, wrong. Trading Jarome Iginla is absolutely the right idea. Trading Jarome Iginla is something I will say will almost definitely not happen. Sure, there’s the bizarrely extreme scenarios in which Iginla is traded: Jay Feaster learns of his impending firing and trades Iggy out of spite, Jarome Iginla’s wife decides she wants to move to LA, HOPS takes a trip to the Brain Slug planet.

But really, no matter how much Eric Francis, Bruce “Malkin to the Kings” Garrioch, and Eklund report it, we won’t see Iginla move. The fact is, he’s a money maker for the franchise. Know what the Flames twitter feed does everytime Iginla scores? It posts something like “IGGY IGGY IGGY” five times over. How about anyone else? One tweet. His jerseys are constantly selling, so are his bobble heads, t-shirts, and public appearances. If he’s traded for a package of picks and prospects, who replaces that? Alex Tanguay? Miikka Kiprusoff? Mark Giordano? They’re all well-liked and respected players, but none of them are Jarome Iginla, a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

I will say that I forsee one (and a half, sort of) real possibility in which Iginla is traded, and that’s if the trade brings in another superstar. Though it’s incredibly unlikely, if the Flames were offered, say, Bobby Ryan (trade bait du jour!) and Emerson Etem for Iginla and one of Calgary’s stronger defensemen, I can’t see Feaster, King and Murray saying no. The trick is getting a player whose marketability nears that of Iginla. The half option would be if the Flames manage to land a big name free agent (Zach Parise = marketability!) but need to offload Iginla’s cap hit/salary at the same time. Basically the same concept, just not the same execution.

Despite that single unlikely circumstance, Jarome Iginla will almost certainly not be traded- let's face it, teams aren't exactly lining up to give away young franchise players for fading superstars.

by Arik Knapp