Jarome Iginla and the Boston Bruins want to stay together. But the relationship has some issues and, as such, it appears time to start seeing other people.
That’s the gist of today’s news as Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, confirmed to Sportsnet that his client will be meeting with teams other than the Bruins in the coming days. This development comes as the Bruins try to navigate themselves out of a nightmarish salary cap situation; they’re carrying $4.75 million in overage bonuses charges from last season — most of which ($3.95M) was paid to Iginla — leaving them with roughly $7-$8 million in available cap space with just 17 players under contract, nine of which are forwards.
GM Peter Chiarelli has acknowledged the team’s cap crunch and has said he’ll do what he can to retain Iginla. The soon-to-be 37-year-old had a great year in Boston last year — his first as a Bruin — leading the team with 30 goals as the perfect replacement for Nathan Horton on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic (aka the “KIL” line).
One thing Chiarelli won’t do, however, is utilize one of the team’s two remaining compliance buyouts to clear space. He confirmed as much last week, leading to speculation a trade of a veteran player could be in the works. Chiarelli further stoked those flames by not ruling out the idea and, in a related rumor, there are rumblings that Johnny Boychuk could be traded.
As for who Iginla might be speaking to? Meehan wouldn’t confirm, but it’s safe to think he’d only be interesting in joining a team contending for the Cup, given it’s one of the few accolades missing from his decorated resume.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: