Latest on the Oilers and Lightning – December 13, 2016
Should the Edmonton Oilers pursue Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla? Will the slumping Tampa Bay Lightning make some moves? Read on for the latest.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Edmonton Oilers announcer and insider Bob Stauffer suggesting the club should consider acquiring Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla. He feels the Oilers could need a shooter at forward more than a right-shooting defenseman. Stauffer acknowledged Iginla’s slower now but believes one shouldn’t give up on him, claiming he’s still competitive and can one-time the puck. The Avalanche would have to retain some of Iginla’s salary, but as he’s an unrestricted free agent in July, it’s only a short-term issue.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staples offers up his own lengthy take on the subject which I recommend reading. He points out the Oilers’ depth at right wing isn’t terrible, but if they’re in the playoff hunt near the trade deadline, he can see them wanting to add another veteran.
I’m not so sure right now that Iginla is the best choice. At this stage in his career, his best years are well behind him. He’s got only seven points in 27 games this season, on pace for a career-low 30 point performance. Yes, he’s a well-respected leader with two decades of experience, but I just don’t think he can help the Oilers. I hate saying that, because Iggy’s one of my favorite players, but there’s no sugarcoating the truth. He hung on for one season too long.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning fans demanding a shakeup for their slumping club could be disappointed. While they could trade goaltender Ben Bishop, that move probably won’t happen until closer to the March 1 trade deadline, when the market could improve. Earlier in the season, general manager Steve Yzerman suggested he could retain Bishop for the remainder of the season, even at the risk of losing him for nothing to free agency in July. Smith also dismissed the notion of head coach Jon Cooper losing his job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries to key players, such as Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan and the recently returned Anton Stralman haven’t helped. It’s worthwhile remembering the Lightning also struggled at this time a year ago, but rallied in the second half, easily made the playoffs and came within a game of advancing to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Yzerman will be patient with his club and won’t make any hasty moves.