November 26, 2011
Stars align for Iginla trade
By Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
Keep an eye on the Lone Star State.
Tom Gaglardi, 43, a Vancouver-based businessman who finally realized his dream of owning an NHL team when he officially took over the Dallas Stars last week, could get aggressive in trying to get the club back on the hockey map.
While Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla would have to agree to waive his no-movement clause, don’t be surprised if the Stars show interest in trying to pry the 34-year-old winger back to Dallas, the team that drafted him in 1995.
Not only would Iginla help put the Stars back on the map, it just so happens Gaglardi is partners with Iginla, Mark Recchi, Darryl Sydor and Phoenix captain Shane Doan in the ownership group of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.
The belief is Gaglardi is going to give GM Joe Nieuwendyk the resources to spend. The Stars have a $51-million payroll and they can afford to take on the salary of a superstar after allowing Brad Richards to walk last summer.
The possibility of the Flames trading Iginla has always been scoffed at, but if they decide to go that route by doing a complete rebuild, there are going to be a lot of suitors and you can expect Dallas to at least be in the middle of those sweepstakes.
AROUND THE BOARDS
Tampa GM Steve Yzerman has been trying to satisfy two needs: Goaltending and defence. While we outlined the goalies available last week, Yzerman isn’t the only one looking for blue-line help. The Bolts aren’t offering up anything anybody wants in return to make a deal happen. The indications are they’d deal veteran D Mattias Ohlund in a second, but nobody is willing to eat his $3.607-million cap hit for three more seasons. The goalie Yzerman could be targeting: Jonathan Bernier (Los Angeles). Columbus is trying to make a trade for Bernier as well ... Don’t believe for a second Nelson Peltz is going to buy the New Jersey Devils. The Snapple billionaire, whose son Brad was drafted by the Senators in 2009, is a hockey enthusiast, but he has been sniffing around for years and has never bought in. Former Ottawa owner Rod Bryden tried to bring Peltz aboard as a partner before declaring bankruptcy in 2003.
THIS ’N’ THAT
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr is setting the table for collective bargaining talks in January after the all-star weekend. He has wrapped up his 30-team fall tour and is now going to focus on agents. He will hold small group meetings with agents in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.
OFF THE GLASS
Confirm or deny: Washington coach Bruce Boudreau has softened his approach in an attempt to keep everybody on the same page. There’s even talk he has been trying to take it easy on the Caps during film sessions ... Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, a longtime reader of this column, has been trying to move D Keith Ballard. The Canucks would like a blueliner in return and there’s some belief they may try to pry D Matt Carle out of Philly ... Forget the speculation the Islanders will move RW Kyle Okposo. He is wearing an ‘A’ and is signed through the next five years with a cap hit of $2.8 million per season. GM Garth Snow would like to do something to help his struggling club by bringing in forward help ... Former Senators coach Cory Clouston interviewed for an assistant’s job with Scott Arniel in Columbus last summer? The Jackets opted to hire former Minny coach Todd Richards instead.
RUMOURS DU JOUR
The heat has been turned up to a Rocky Mountain high in Colorado. While the Avs were considered a playoff team this season, they’ve dropped off after a strong start and there’s a strong belief just about anything could happen if Colorado doesn’t get its act together soon. All eyes are on coach Joe Sacco, who is in the final year of his contract, because the team isn’t responding to the message he’s been trying to send this season. The Avs aren’t improving, they’re only getting worse. Since GM Greg Sherman isn’t armed with a whole lot of experience, there’s also a belief he might swing a trade just to shake up his struggling roster. Even the name of C Paul Stastny, who has a cap hit of $6.6 million, is being mentioned. Though many will dismiss the thought of dealing the 25-year-old Stastny, a league executive noted anything is possible in Colorado. The Avs dealt Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk to St. Louis for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement ... The Flames may be interested in Edmonton C Sam Gagner. They likely won’t keep C Olli Jokinen and C Brendan Morrison, both looming unrestricted free agents, past this season and Calgary GM Jay Feaster has been telling anybody who will listen they need to get younger ... After signing D Tomas Kaberle to a three-year, $16.75-million deal in July, the Hurricanes haven’t been thrilled with the way he’s playing. GM Jim Rutherford has been sniffing around to see if there’s any market for Kaberle. Moving the contract at this juncture would be improbable, but Rutherford is trying to make changes ... The Hawks were able to get LW Rostislav Olesz and his $3.125-million salary off the books by sending him to the AHL. GM Stan Bowman will spend by dealing for a blueliner. The Hawks now have more than $4 million in cap space.
Have a nice Sunday.