Should Nashville Pursue Iginla?

Does there exist an opportunity for Nashville to make a major splash via a trade and should they do it?  There may actually exist two such opportunities.  One might be Zach Parise in New Jersey, however I don’t believe that truly exists.  I really don’t see a scenario where a player of Parise’s age, ability, and expiring contract status (RFA) leaves New Jersey.  The best and most likely available opportunity for Nashville, in my opinion, is to make a trade for Jarome Iginla.

How legitimate is that opportunity?

It all begins with Calgary’s motives.  From afar, they appear to be almost entirely a team of aging players across the board- two of those being elite-level in Iginla and Kiprusoff.  Based upon Hockey’s Future organizational rankings, Calgary’s prospect cupboard appears to be fairly bare (even more so with Brett Sutter’s trade).  They also have a payroll near or over the salary cap (with appropriate allowances).  The evidence would seem to indicate a need to drop salary, increase the talent-level of their prospects and the desire to add quality draft picks- essentially a rebuild of some degree.  That said, it’s been reported that Feaster has no plans to trade Jarome Iginla and that the path of rebuilding through the draft and/or prospects might not be his preferred method.

Would Nashville make a good trade partner?

Well, Nashville certainly has all the cap space in the world to pull it off,.  Can they do it and stay within their budget?  I think so and will illustrate later.  They are ranked as the top organization by Hockey’s Future in terms of prospects, with solid prospects at every position.  They have the draft picks, including the New Jersey Devils’ second round pick in the next draft- which should be near the top of the round (acquired in the Jason Arnott trade).  They also have the rights to Alexander Radulov to trade in the right situation.

Doesn’t Nashville have an internal budget of roughly the midpoint of the cap?

That has certainly been the case to this point.  Until we hear/see any different, it’s definitely unwise to assume otherwise.  That said, when I crunch the numbers (courtesy of CapGeek’s wonderful trade machine) I can make it work for this year and the following years.

Does it harm the ability to re-sign Shea Weber?

Nope.  Crunching the numbers for next season (again using CapGeek), I was able to bring Shea into the fold provided he had a cap hit in the $5.5 – $6.5 million range.  If that’s doable (and it should be provided it’s a long term contract), I would tend to think that signing a player the caliber of Jarome Iginla would encourage Shea to re-up.

What about Ryan Suter?

I was also able to re-sign Ryan Suter to a contract essentially the same as Weber’s new contract while staying under the cap midpoint provided the cap ceiling does not drop.

How in the hell did you do that?


It meant trusting in the educated guess that Calgary needed salary room, draft picks, and prospects first and foremost.  Then it meant parting ways with Steve Sullivan, Shane O’Brien, Joel Ward, Jerred Smithson, JP Dumont,  and Alexander Sulzer either via the trade, waivers, or when their contracts naturally expired.  It also meant parting ways with two top prospects.  For those two, I chose Ryan Ellis and Chet Pickard, but it could be others provided they are not from the same position group (forwards, defensemen, goalies).  I also parted ways with a couple of solid draft picks, including New Jersey’s 2nd round pick received in the Arnott trade.  Finally, if Calgary so desires, they could also have the rights to Alexander Radulov in exchange for slightly lower draft picks.

The trade in detail…

Calgary receives:

Two Prospects (say Ryan Ellis and Chet Pickard), New Jersey’s 2011 2nd, Nashville’s 2011 3rd, Joel Ward, Jerred Smithson, and rights to Alexander Radulov

Nashville receives

Jarome Iginla

Where does that leave Calgary?

It leaves Calgary with a lot more cap room for next season first and foremost.  It also gives them two top prospects that may be NHL-ready depending which two they choose (I’d say that Blum, Josi, and Ellis are definitely ready).  At the very least, they replace the 2nd and 3rd round draft picks for the upcoming draft that they had traded away.  I could see those draft picks sweetened somewhat.  They might come out of it with the rights to Alexander Radulov, depending upon the draft picks (dropping Radulov out if Calgary requires a 1st, etc.).

This more or less put’s Calgary in the mode that Nashville has worked in for the past several years- reliance on solid veterans and several younger players while developing additional young players.  The difference is that they can execute that philosophy (which has worked very well for Nashville) with a higher budget from the outset.

Where does that leave Nashville ?

Let’s talk next season first and assume that David Poile decides to keep Sergei Kostitsyn, Marek Svatos, Cal O’Reilly, Marcel Goc and Nick Spaling (w/ bumps all around except O’Reilly).  They do not bring back (assuming they are not included in the trade) Steve Sullivan, Shane O’Brien, Jerred Smithson and Joel Ward.

Specifically, assuming a cap of roughly $62 million next season, here is where I have Nashville (courtesy of CapGeek’s Cap Calculator):



Sergei Kostitsyn ($1.250m) / David Legwand ($4.500m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)

Martin Erat ($4.500m) / Matthew Lombardi ($3.500m) / Marek Svatos ($0.950m)

Colin Wilson ($1.725m) / Cal O’Reilly ($0.750m) / Patric Hornqvist ($3.083m)

J.P. Dumont ($4.000m) / Marcel Goc ($1.250m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.250m)

Wade Belak ($0.575m) / Nick Spaling ($0.950m)


Ryan Suter ($3.500m) / Shea Weber ($5.500m)

Kevin Klein ($1.350m) / Jonathon Blum ($0.941m)

Cody Franson ($0.800m) / Francis Bouillon ($1.350m)


Pekka Rinne ($3.400m) /Anders Lindback ($0.875m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)

(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)

SALARY CAP: $62,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $53,000,000; BONUSES: $1,112,500

CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $9,000,000

After next season, JP Dumont comes off the books allowing for the re-signing of Ryan Suter.

Nashville’s prospect pool remains very deep with two of Ellis, Blum and Josi as well as potentially only losing one of Klasen, Beck, Watson or Pickard.

For this year, it brings another shooter to the lineup- one that produces at elite levels regardless of who his center is.  It certainly brings additional leadership and playoff experience as well.  It would likely see Sulzer waived (assuming he’s not included in the trade) in order to stay under the midpoint this season (same for Ward and Smithson if they are not included in the trade).

While it would see the end of the Spaling-Smithson-Ward line, it would see an extremely dangerous top line of Kostisyn-Legwand-Iglina- one that could play against the opponent’s top line with relatively little defensive concerns.  PK duties would fall even further on Legwand and Spaling with help from Goc, Kostitsyn, Erat and Sullivan (when healthy).  From the power play perspective, it certainly can’t hurt.

I don’t know Feaster’s or Poile’s appetite for a trade like this, but if there exists an opportunity, I hope it’s explored.  If it exists with parameters similar to what I’ve outlined above, I believe one has to pull the trigger on that.

After all the good things that’s happened to this franchise this season (injuries aside), a move like this could really be the catalyst to drive this team deep into the playoffs.  The fans deserve it and so do the players and coaches working hard to take that next step.

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About the Author: Nashville Predators Blogger, Software Engineer (C#.NET), Novice Woodworker, Southern Cook, Husband, Father of Two. You may contact me at David.R.Singleton AT

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  1. DanDBradley says:

    I don’t want to live in a world where Ryan Ellis isn’t part of the Preds next year.

    • David Singleton says:

      Klein is developing into a solid number three defenseman.

      Some combination of Franson, Bouillon, Blum and Josi will be just fine if Calgary desires Ellis.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CrummyJoel, Rebecca Allen. Rebecca Allen said: If it happened….I dont know what I'd do. RT @SingletonPreds: Should Nashville Pursue Iginla? [...]

  3. nikoli1206 says:

    You really cannot be serious with this craziness. Basically trading 3 1st rounders, a 3rd, and two of our best grinders for a player in the twilight of his career? Radulov’s right are pretty worthless as he just signed for another 3 years. Nashville needs to stay the course.

  4. Kimmy says:

    Wow…Iam guessing you spent 3 hours putting this together. Next time, just spend it with your kids and save your insanity on the world. That proposal is so bogus, Brian Burke would laugh at it.

    • David Singleton says:

      Too much from Nashville?
      Too much from Calgary?
      Calgary would never part with Iginla?

      Just insane in general?


  5. Fred Poulin says:

    Yes quite insane David :)

    No seriously, it’s too much for Iginla. The Flames have no cap space, so they cannot negotiate much!
    If it happens, look for a 2nd round pick (NJ 2011), a prospect like Jonathon Blum and a salary dump like JP Dumont!

    • David Singleton says:

      I’d be happy with that. Giddy even. ;-)

      JP won’t be moved given his NTC (and Poile won’t ask him to waive it).

      Ward and Smithson are entirely salary dumps to fit Iginla in Nashville’s budget for this year. I doubt either is brought back next season, but Smithson has the best chance.

      Thanks Fred.

    • Jason says:

      If that’s what you’re offering Calgary will gladly keep our 33 year old sniper.

      While I agree that the proposal above seems exceptional, that’s really what it would take for the Flames to move him.

  6. Al Cimaglia says:

    The last thing the Preds need is a $ 7 mill player on the wrong side of 30….

    Actually it almost always a bad move to acquire a player with a lot of miles who is over 30 and is expenisve.

    For every Selanne, who can continue to produce as an older player, there are 50 former scoring stars who drop off drastically after reaching 30.

    • David Singleton says:

      It’s definitely a risk.

      However, Iginla had his best season at age 30 with 98 points (50G). That season did not represent typical totals for him either.

      He averages somewhere in the mid-30 goal range and 65-75 points.

      He is still tracking to those totals despite the team he’s on.

      Given that he’s not a player that relies on speed and that I feel he’d be on a better team in Nashville than Calgary, I feel he’s not too much of a risk and would take Nashville beyond the next level (when they are fully healthy).

      Thanks Al.

      • Al Cimaglia says:

        Dave…He hasn’t had over 60 points since that season…That’s a lot of cash for less than a point a game player.

        There won’t be a huge demand for maybe the Preds can get him without giving up much.

        But he is still going to be too expensive.

        • David Singleton says:


 indicates he had 89 points the following season and 69 last season (on that bad team).

          He’s on pace for about 70 this year- again on a bad team.

  7. [...] Should Nashville Pursue Iginla? | Hockey IndependentThis is nuts, but some folks love to chew over this stuff ahead of the trade deadline. [...]

  8. T.K. Malone says:

    While I think this specific trade proposal for Iginla runs up against the edge of plausibility, it does do justice to the very realistic possibility that we could add a player in the 4M salary range this season and retain that player past this season for many of the reasons listed in this article. Considering that a player we traded for would only have about half or less of his salary count against our cap numbers and that we would at least send some money back in the deal with a roster player of ours being included in the deal along with picks/prospects, it’s a deal that would help us now and also past this season. Could we pry a Matt Moulson away from the Islanders with an impressive package of picks and prospects? Maybe Mike Fisher from the Sens (though I’d like a better offensive player than him if possible)? The one thing any deal we might pursue should seek to accomplish is to not just give up a big package of picks and prospects for a rental player like we did in the Forsberg deal, but bring in a player that will be a key part of our offense for many years.

  9. [...] of acquiring an elite scorer, I got a lot of feedback from my suggestion that Nashville should pursue Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames- and it was all over the [...]