Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster responds to recent Jarome Iginla trade rumors, speculation on which players the Montreal Canadiens might be interested in, the Blues could be testing their fans’ patience, and an update on Sheldon Souray.
CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane reports Flames GM Jay Feaster mocked recent trade rumors linking team captain Jarome Iginla with Philadelphia, Montreal and the NY Rangers. He admitted receiving calls from rival teams though he declined to say which clubs but his answer regarding Iginla is always the same. “Certainly, nothing stops a team from saying, ‘Hey, if you ever …,’ Feaster said. “All I say to those is, ‘Thanks. I’ll note your interest.’ ”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Feaster has repeatedly stated he’s not shopping Iginla, yet some folks who really should know better insist on keeping the winger’s name in the rumor mill. Aside from Iginla’s NMC, his unwillingness to waive it, Feaster’s oft-stated claim he’s not trading Iginla, and the fact Iggy’s salary is as much a trade deterrent as his movement clause, the Flames are currently only two points out of a playoff berth, thanks in large part to Iginla’s play and leadership. No way in hell they move him now.
CANOE.CA: Yvon Pedneault suggested the Montreal Canadiens lack depth in skilled veterans to compete well against the Eastern Conference’s better teams. He noted New Jersey’s Jason Arnott would be an interesting trade candidate as he would bring imposing size which the Habs need. Pedneault also noted Florida center Stephen Weiss, who played for Habs head coach Jacques Martin when he coached the Panthers, suggesting he might be available at the trade deadline but wondered if he could help address Montreal’s need for offensive depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weiss is also a small forward, something the Habs already have in abundance. As for Arnott, he’s got a no-movement clause which he might not be willing to waive to go to Montreal, plus he’s also 36 with a lengthy injury history which has hampered his performance. The Canadiens should avoid Arnott and look elsewhere, but if he’s their only viable option they must avoid overpaying for him, provided of course he’d be willing to play for the Habs.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Bernie Miklasz reports the struggling Blues are starting to test their fans’ patience with their play of late, which has included blowing leads and failing to perform with consistency. He acknowledged the Blues are a rebuilding club which this season have lost some key players to injuries but pointed out other clubs have gone through or are going through similar issues yet are out-performing the Blues. He also noted they have limited financial resources but questioned if they’ve spent their money wisely. Miklasz believes the roster, not the management or coaching staff, is in need of a shake-up and while he doesn’t claim to have answers believes it’s up to the front office to find them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Easier said than done in today’s salary cap world. Perhaps those answers might become available for the Blues as the trade deadline nears, but if by that time they’ve fallen too far out of the playoff race to make up the lost ground it could be a useless exercise. One thing the Blues won’t do however is trade promising young defenseman Erik Johnson, who’s been the subject of blogosphere-generated rumors in recent days.
SPORTNET.CA’s Mark Spector recently “tweeted” the Edmonton Oilers would place defenseman Sheldon Souray on re-entry waivers “in a heartbeat” if any of the other 29 NHL teams were to express interest in the blueliner but so far that hasn’t happened.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And I doubt very much any club will.