Jarome Iginla

Iginla’s already being asked about his upcoming UFA status


The NHL board of governors hasn’t even voted on the new CBA yet, but the fact that there will be a season is enough to once again spark the question: What does the future hold for Jarome Iginla?

He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and he’ll turn 36 on July 1.

Anything can happen, especially in a shortened campaign, but the Calgary Flames aren’t regarded as a current or emerging Stanley Cup contender. Given that, Iginla might end up getting traded or simply chose to leave when his contract’s up.

“I didn’t expect that question so early. Yeah, it’s right back at it,” Iginla said in a Calgary Sun report.

“I’m really just excited to get playing again and have that opportunity to play in the NHL and compete here in Calgary.

“It would be my preference to stay here, for sure, and play on a good team, which I believe we will be, and to win here.”

The good news for the Flames is that if they do struggle out of the gate and decide that it’s finally time to trade Iginla, they will have a new tool at their disposal.

The CBA will give teams the ability to retain part of its player’s salary and/or cap hit when he’s traded. That would make Iginla’s prorated $7 million cap hit much easier for a contender to absorb and could allow Calgary to milk better prospects or picks out of any potential deal.

In the short-term though, Iginla has other things on his mind.

“I know it’s going to take some time to win some fans back, but for us in Calgary, the best thing we can do as a team is come out, be exciting and play hard and win,” Iginla said.

“Hopefully they come out and enjoy that, but I definitely understand how ticked off fans have been and they have that right to be. It’s totally understandable.”

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.