The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly looking for help at wing, and it’s possible they’ve considered Jarome Iginla as an option. The pairing was first brought up Tuesday by Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater, and then the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus followed up to mention Iginla’s name “has been thrown around a bit.”
Let’s stop right there, however, to note that this is a highly unlikely move. As Lazerus quickly noted afterward, it’ll be hard for the Blackhawks to make the money work even if the Avalanche retained 50 percent of Iginla’s $5.3 million cap hit.
The team is currently set to end the season with $738,136 in cap space, according to Cap Friendly. That’s if they kept the same roster for the remainder of the season, with a $72.26 million cap total. So finding a way to get Iginla onto the roster would take some real gymnastics that would almost certainly include salary retention.
There’s also another fair question here, which is just how good Iginla is at age 39. He’s one of the greatest players of his generation, and scored 51 goals in the previous two seasons, but his numbers aren’t great this season. He’s only recorded five goals and four assists in 37 games, which is just a 20-point pace over 82 games.
Some positive signs exist that make you see why the Blackhawks might consider him a worthwhile option to consider, though. He’s among Colorado’s best possession players this season, and his shot numbers aren’t that far off from last season. He’s spent most of his time with Blake Comeau, John Mitchell, Carl Soderberg, and Gabriel Landeskog this season, so it’s not like he’s being regularly set up by great playmakers.
And if given a real shot at a Stanley Cup in Chicago, Iginla could get a kick in the pants and step up his game. You can envision a scenario where the Hawks add Iginla to go next to Jonathan Toews, move Hossa next to Marcus Kruger, and try to genuinely rebuild some semblance of a four-line team.
Still, the different pieces seem unlikely to fit here.
Elliotte Friedman said in 30 Thoughts on Tuesday that he thinks the team has an “itchy trigger finger” to add a winger to play next to Toews. Maybe that’s what they had in mind with Iginla, or maybe it’ll be another forward. But with Nick Schmaltz and Tyler Motte in Rockford, the Blackhawks could really use some help.
The team has never been shy about making deals during the season to upgrade its roster, and its lack of depth is exposed every time a key player like Toews, Hossa, Kruger, or Artem Anisimov goes down. You can see why we’re starting to get into rumor season already.