While it’s been widely (and accurately) reported that Boston and Pittsburgh have interest in the Flames captain should he become available, I believe the Kings would be right there in the mix as well and could be willing to dangle young backup netminder Jonathan Bernier.
One would imagine that would interest the Flames since life after Mikka Kiprusoff isn’t far off. But then again, who knows with the Flames?
It should surprise no one that the Kings have interest in Iginla. For starters, L.A. inquired about his ability a few years back only to be told he wasn’t going anywhere. More to the heart of the matter though is Kings head coach Darryl Sutter and his relationship with Iginla from their days together in Calgary.
I think the Kings would want at least a draft pick to go along with Iginla -- whose contract expires after the season -- in return for a future franchise goalie like Bernier.
It’s not clear if Iginla has any interest in moving, his no-trade clause gives him the hammer to decide his future, but you have to think the Kings might be an intriguing fit for him.
Another team that I believe has some level of interest in Iginla is Detroit, but the Red Wings have to figure out if they’re actually buyers come April 3 depending on where they are in the standings.
Canucks trade search
Sources around the league tell ESPN.com that Canucks GM Mike Gillis has been very active making phone calls over the past 7-10 days, checking in with nearly every team in the league to see if there’s any fit for a trade.
As we’ve seen with the lack of trades around the league, easier said than done.
Vancouver desperately wants to find help at center. The Canucks haven’t had a No. 3 center all year and No. 2 center Ryan Kesler is out for the second time this season because of injury.
Had Stephen Weiss not gone down with a season-ending wrist surgery in Florida, I believe the Canucks would have gotten into the bidding for the Panthers center.
I’m also told the Canucks checked in with the Buffalo Sabres recently. Steve Ott would be a perfect fit as the No. 3 center in Vancouver, and the Canucks had conversations with the Dallas Stars last season about him. But at this point, it doesn’t appear as though the Sabres are making Ott available.
The Blueshirts covet a right-handed, top-four blueliner and would also like to add a couple of bottom-six, grinding type forwards.
If Gaborik can be flipped in any trade to get those assets, I believe the Rangers would move him.
Thing is, with one more year left on Gaborik’s deal next season at $7.5 million, I’m not sure how easy it would be to move his contract with the salary cap going down next season, although he still remains an electrifying player when he’s on his game.
Hockey Canada and USA Hockey are taking advantage of the fact the NHL’s 30 GMs are gathering in Toronto next week to hold Olympic meetings.
USA Hockey will have a meeting Tuesday in Toronto with its national team advisory group, which consists of Brian Burke, Don Waddell, David Poile, Paul Holmgren, Ray Shero, Dean Lombardi, Dale Tallon and Stan Bowman. The group will touch on preparations for the upcoming men’s IIHF world championships plus, of course, the Sochi Olympics.
Team USA actually hasn’t yet named its GM for the Olympics and is waiting until the NHL officially signs off on Sochi participation.
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman will assemble with his Olympic management staff -- Ken Holland, Doug Armstrong, Kevin Lowe -- along with Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson and Hockey Canada senior director Brad Pascall on Thursday in Toronto.
Yzerman’s group will update their player evaluation list after the games they’ve been watching/scouting since the beginning of the season.
Canada hasn’t announced its coaching staff yet, waiting for the NHL to officially sign off on Olympic participation, but you can bet Mike Babcock will be back as head coach.