Thursday, December 01, 2011

On the Topic Of Loyalty and Trade Rumors

Despite having a No-Movement Clause in his contract, rumors of Jarome Iginla being traded out of Calgary continue to be a hot topic the hockey world. While Iginla and GM Jay Feaster said that there's no trade imminent or even being considered-- these things still pop-up.

The biggest argument seems to be the desire for others around the league to see Iginla raise the Stanley Cup in almost a Ray Bourque-esque fashion. Yet, there's a guy across the country that had some questions about his future with the team he's been with his whole career; but it seems that he's been forgotten about when it comes down to it. That person is Daniel Alfredsson.

When you look at the two, there's a lot of similarities between the two:
  • Both played with the same team their whole career
  • Both the face of their franchise
  • Both long-term captains
  • Both right wingers
  • Both helped their team to the Stanley Cup Finals
  • Both won Gold Medals (though Iginla has two)
Though, as Spector's Hockey's Lyle Richardson pointed out on the November 30th FOHS, Iginla seems a little more of a desirable acquisition because of his playing style. He's a gritter player than Alfredsson, willing to go to the dirty areas for a puck, as well as stick up for himself when play gets rough.

Yet, at the same time-- you'd think that Alfredsson's offensive upside is what's needed when it boils down to needs-- especially with their ages coming into effect. Coming into the season, Alfredsson had a 0.97 points-per-game average, while Iginla had only a 0.91 average. Albeit, Alfredsson is older and has played less due to injury, but he knows how to put points on the board when he is healthy. Iginla's age is definitely another nod to his upside for teams looking to put something together that will apparently never happen. That said-- while he's a 35+ contract, Alfredsson doesn't have a No-Movement Clause in his contract; so if he wants to go-- he can be shipped out, but you know the Senators will respect his wishes if he wants to stay or not due to his tenure.

In the end though, neither of these guys are likely to be traded this season. Next season, maybe a different story for Alfredsson, but Iginla controls his own destiny. Plus, as Lyle said during the show, too-- not every player wants to have the Bourque moment and could be fine without winning the Cup, legacy be damned. Most fans and some GMs just like the return and if they don't get the return-- they resent the player and deem them to be selfish. The player is screwed if he wants out, screwed if he wants to stay.

The fact of the matter is that while Iginla is getting all the publicity; it's interesting to see Alfredsson pretty much getting pushed to the side, though they do have parallel careers in length and decent enough upsides-- though Iginla has the grit X-factor going for him. Just food for thought.

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