NHL Rumor Mill – September 1, 2017
Latest on the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Flames general manager Brad Treliving dismissed speculation linking his club to unrestricted free agent right wings Jaromir Jagr and Jarome Iginla. “I don’t know where all this talk comes from — we certainly never made a statement saying we’re looking at so-and-so,” he said.
Treliving acknowledged both are future Hall of Famers, as well as Iginla’s contributions during his years with the Flames. However, he said the notion his club has been in contract discussions with either player is rumor and declined to comment further. He adds his priority is to re-sign restricted free agent forward Sam Bennett. “We’re going to get Sam signed,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem for Jagr (45) and Iginla (40) is they now lack sufficient speed to be worthwhile additions to the Flames. At best, they can be power-play specialists and provide additional leadership. I know some Flames fans would love to see Iginla finish his career in Calgary but I don’t see where he or Jagr fits in as a regular contributor who can help the club improve into a Stanley Cup contender.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Oilers insider Bob Stauffer rejecting a rumor linking the club to Iginla. “I don’t believe it makes sense and I’m not getting any indications it’s going to happen at this time,” said Stauffer. He doubts Iginla would accept a professional tryout offer and wonders if he’d be comfortable accepting a lesser role. He also notes the Oilers already have depth at right wing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, I suggested the Oilers as a destination for Iginla, citing his experienced leadership and his previous relationship with GM Peter Chiarelli. However, I defer to Stauffer’s insight on this matter. What I said about Iginla and the Flames can also apply to the Oilers. While he could be helpful to Edmonton’s power play, his reduced speed and declining production likely rules out any chance of his joining the Oilers.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the agent for restricted free agent winger Andreas Athanasiou said there’s a wide gap between the offers his client received from the Detroit Red Wings and those he’s getting from some KHL teams. Darren Ferris said he expected a decision by Athanasiou this week but Wings GM Ken Holland said he’s still in contact with Ferris.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athanasiou must decide if he wants to play in the NHL this season or chase a more expensive contract in a lesser league. If he chooses the latter, the Wings will retain his NHL rights. He wouldn’t be the first Red Wings RFA to play a season in the KHL. Former Wing Jiri Hudler spent one season (2009-10) with KHL club Moscow Dynamo and returned to Detroit on a one-year contract awarded the previous summer via arbitration.