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.
With their season on the line on Friday night the Philadelphia Flyers are making a change in goal.
Michal Neuvirth, who has played just 59 minutes of NHL hockey since Feb. 18, will get the Game 5 start in goal when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Neuvirth replaced Brian Elliott in Philadelphia’s Game 4 loss on Wednesday night after Elliott gave up three goals on 17 shots, the second time he was benched in the first four games. The Flyers have already used three goalies in this series with Elliott, Neuvirth, and Petr Mrazek all getting playing time. None of them have played well.
Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers, William Karlsson of the Vegas Golden Knights, and Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres have been named as the three finalists for the 2018 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced on Friday. The award, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is given “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
The winner will be announced during the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on June 20.
The Case for Aleksander Barkov: The Panthers center certainly has the “high standard of playing ability” part down with a season that saw him lead the team with 78 points and finish tied for third in goals with 27. Barkov played the fifth-most minutes (1,743:32) among NHL forwards and only picked up seven minor penalties. This is the second time he’s been named a finalist in the last three seasons.
The Case for William Karlsson: Karlsson had a monster of a season with 43 goals and 78 points during the Golden Knights’ historic first year. In playing 1,534:47, the 25-year-old forward racked up only 12 PIMs. Should Karlsson win, he would become the first player to win an end-of-season trophy for a team in its inaugural season since Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers won the Byng and Hart Trophy and in 1979-80.
The Case for Ryan O'Reilly: O’Reilly missed one game this season and logged 1,686:10 of ice time for the Sabres. He recorded only one penalty all season, way back on Oct. 24 versus Detroit, a slashing call. His one penalty is the fewest among NHL players who suited up for at least 41 games this season. He’s a previous winner having taken home the trophy in 2014 while a member of the Colorado Avalanche.