Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Los Angeles Kings stops the shot of Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 20, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
(February 19, 2013 - Source: Derek Leung/Getty Images North America)

Report: Kings might join Bruins, Penguins in Iginla sweepstakes


Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla isn’t going to talk about the trade speculation, but that certainly won’t stop it.

With the April 3 trade deadline creeping forward, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun believes that the Los Angeles Kings are interested in joining the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins as potential trade partners for Iginla.

The big advantage the Kings would have is 24-year-old goaltender Jonathan Bernier. The former 11th overall pick has the potential to become a starter, but it won’t happen in Los Angeles now that Jonathan Quick is signed through the 2021-22 campaign.

Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has served Calgary well for years, but he’ll turn 37 on Oct. 26, so the Flames need to make sure they’re prepared for the future.

The Kings have gone after Iginla in the past and the move would reunite the 35-year-old star forward with former Calgary Flames GM and current Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. The fact that Iginla would be able to work with someone he’s very familiar with could be vital as the potential trade would require Iginla’s approval.

All that being said, given that Iginla’s contract is set to expire this summer and Bernier’s upside, the Kings might attempt to get a draft pick out of Calgary as well.

Meanwhile, if the Flames want to kill these trade rumors, the best way to do that is to win. They beat the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, but have a long way to go in very little time if they want to get back into contention for a postseason spot.


Trade time? Iginla and Flames not talking extension

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

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Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and, subsequently, the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado