NHL RUMOR SUNDAY
Contenders would love a scenario to emerge where Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry, the top 2013 free agent, goes on the trade block at somepoint next winter but another player GM’s will have their eyes on all season is going to be Calgary’s Jarome Iginla. Iginla, 35, is entering the final year of his contract and while Iginla wants to win in Calgary, he’s not expected to sign an extension before the season starts. The Flames haven’t made the playoffs since 2008-2009 and it’s believed Iginla will take a wait and see approach.
One NHL insider, USA Today’s Kevin Allen, is among those predicting Iginla will be moved during the season, writing “the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs should be among the eager bidders.”
The Penguins will surely be a team that looks into Iginla if he ever becomes available and you can bet 10-12 teams will be chasing him. Crosby and Iginla hit it off during the 2010 Olympics so the Penguins could very well end up being a team Iginla would waive his no trade clause to, but talk around last years deadline was that if Iginla left Calgary, he has his sights set on playing for the Los Angeles Kings and indications from league sources is that hasn’t changed.
RANGERS STILL LOOKING TO ADD TO TOP-9
The New York Rangers on paper will go into the season as arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference but they are still looking to add another piece upfront. They have emerged as Shane Doan’s second choice but Doans remains set to sign with the Phoenix Coyotes once he gets official word from Greg Jamison and the league that the sale is official. While there’s been reports of Joe Thornton being a possibility to land in Broadway, one of the Rangers fallback options via trade after Doan is Dallas Stars winger Brenden Morrow who is coming off neck and back injuries but viewed as an excellent fit in the Rangers top-9 in John Tortorella’s system.
— The sense around the league is that Jay Bouwmeester is more likely to get moved once a new CBA is in place than this summer. However, the Flames continue to entertain discussions….. with the Red Wings, Blues, Predators, Penguins and Capitals having varying levels of interest in Bouwmeester, NHL sources say. Bouwmeester has not been asked to waive his no trade clause. Seeking a No. 1 defenseman to be paired with Kris Letang, the Penguins have briefly discussed Bouwmeester this summer internally, and Randy Sexton, the Penguins assistant director of amateur scouting, was the Panthers assistant GM during Bouwmeester’s final two seasons in Florida when he was one of the top defensemen in the game. Sexton despite working in the amateur department, often has GM Ray Shero’s ear and his opinion is strongly valued by Shero and other higher up’s in the organization.
Bouwmeester, 28, had 5 goals and 29 points with a woeful minus-21 rating last season. He averaged 25:57 of ice time last season and has played 82 games a season for seven straight seasons. Bouwmeester has two years remaining on his deal with a $6.68 millon cap hit. Bouwmeester posted back-to-back 15 goal seasons with Florida in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 but his offensive production has dropped significantly in three years with Calgary, collecting just 12 goals in 246 games, making him a big risk for his price tag. However, some teams believe a change of scenery will do Bouwmeester a lot of good and he can still be a top pairing defenseman and the offensive production can still be there.
— The Ottawa Senators have been getting calls on Sergei Gonchar this summer and during the draft were looking to move his $5.5 million salary. While the Red Wings and Flyers have been floated as teams kicking the tires on Gonchar, moving Gonchar would put the Senators below $45 million in committed salaries via capgeek, and they only have six defenseman signed to one-way contracts. Gonchar is training with Evgeni Malkin this summer and the two intend to play in the KHL if there is a lockout.
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