What should be expected of Jarome Iginla next season?


iginlascreams.jpgIt’s hard to root against Jarome Iginla.

He’s a great role model for hopeful black hockey players, a leader willing to drop the gloves with a wide array of opponents and just seems like a quality human being overall. Sure, Sean Avery might make fun of him for being bland, but what Iginla lacks in flash he makes up for it in sheer likability.

Still, there’s little doubt that Iginla’s game declined considerably as the right winger’s point total dropped from 89 in 08-09 to 69 points last season. Stats blog Behind the Net posits the question: what can the Calgary Flames expect from Iginla?

Iginla’s been an ironman for the last three seasons, but any player over age 30 has a huge injury risk. In this case, his 3-2-1 average projection is a vast overestimate of his likely performance. It’s really a tough call: the most likely outcome is that Iginla doesn’t get hurt and he puts up numbers similar to last season, but there’s a high likelihood that he falls apart.

Injuries or not, it’s going to be a challenging season for Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames. While it’s hard to imagine many Flames fans shedding a tear if the team gets rid of the Sutter brothers, Iosing Iginla would hurt quite a bit more. His salary cap hit is a substantial $7 million per year for three more seasons, so the Flames might be forced to trade their captain while he still has trade value if he doesn’t turn things around.

What kind of season should the Flames expect from their aging captain and leader? Chances are, they might expect too much.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.