Deadline target? Iginla will ‘cross that bridge when it comes’

AP
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So, here’s where things are at for 39-year-old Avs forward Jarome Iginla:

He has just two goals in 19 games this year, playing largely in a third-line role alongside Blake Comeau and John Mitchell. He’s a pending UFA, in the last of a three-year, $16 million deal with a $5.33M average annual cap hit.

Colorado isn’t very good — 9-10-0, dead last in the Central Division — and could miss the playoffs for a third straight year.

You probably see where this is going.

“I’d still like to win. I won’t lose hope in that,” Iginla said this week, per the Edmonton Journal. “Hopefully we can be in the playoffs but I understand how it works at the deadline if we’re not (going well).

“I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”

Though he’s in the midst of a down year, Iginla would warrant interest on the trade market. He’s racked up back-to-back 20-plus goal seasons in Colorado — 29 in his first season, 22 last year — and has a ton of playoff experience, with 81 career games on his resume.

What’s more, he’s been through this before.

You’ll recall the great Iginla sweepstakes of 2013, when Boston and Pittsburgh rallied hard to land him at the deadline (Pittsburgh, quite infamously, beat out the B’s). Though history will likely remember the acquisition as a borderline flop, Iginla was actually a quality offensive producer for the Pens — 11 points in 13 regular-season games, and 12 more in 15 playoff contests.

That year, Iginla and the Pens advanced to the Eastern Conference final, one of the longest playoff runs of his career. He’s still looking for that elusive Stanley Cup win, having come achingly close with Calgary in ’04.

The Avs are rumored to be in the market for a defenseman — or defensemen, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman — so there could be an opportunity to utilize Iginla as an asset to get blueline help in return.

Assuming Colorado isn’t in a playoff spot by late February, that is.