NHL Notebook: Will Flames put Iginla on trading block?

NHL Notebook: Will Flames put Iginla on trading block?
February 24, 2013, 10:00 am
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So when does Calgary general manager Jay Feaster place Jarome Iginla for sale?
 
And if that were to happen, would Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren grab Iginla before Boston’s Peter Chiarelli?
 
Both these clubs are looking for help on the wing.
 
Truth is, however, the Bruins are in far better shape to make a deep playoff run than the Flyers, who increasingly appear to be a “bubble team” that may miss the playoffs.
 
Look at it this way. On Thursday morning, the Flyers and three other clubs had 17 points – the same as the eighth-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning.
 
Yet the biggest difference was that every one of those other teams had played at least three less games. That’s six possible points – eight in the case of Carolina – sitting there the Flyers can’t get.
 
That is what is so precarious about the Flyers' situation. They’ve played so many games where they’ve failed to snatch up easy points thrown at them, and now have to hope that teams ahead of them in the standings with games in hand stumble.
 
That’s asking a lot given all games are within the conference so every time you lose a point, someone else is gaining what you lost.
 
Which brings us back to the Flames, who might become “sellers” very shortly in the Western Conference.
 
Their coach, Bob Hartley, called them out this week after a loss to the LA Kings. Hartley was incensed none of his players came to goalie Joey MacDonald’s defense after he got run over.
 
Hartley all but said his Flames are “soft.”
 
“I remember in Colorado, coming [into Calgary] and you always had to play against Theoren Fleury,” Hartley told the Calgary Herald.
 
“Missing teeth. Snarling at you, grimacing in pain or anger. He wasn’t going to back down. He wasn’t going to give an inch.
 
“You’d come in here, see Theo sneering across the ice at you in warm-up, and think ‘Well, it’s going to be a long night ...’
 
“No, we don’t have the biggest team. And, sure, being 6-3, 6-4 helps, but at the same time your desire to compete can make up for a lot. Yes, we do want to compete and I love every single guy on this team but ...
 
“We need some guys to change a bit, to get out of their playing style, get out of their comfort zone. If they won’t, someone [else] will have to do it.”
 
Gentleman, the bidding for Iginla is about to begin.

Milbury chimes in on Crosby & Malkin
One of the great things about listening to NBC’s Mike Milbury is that you never know what pearls of wisdom, outrage or insult will emanate from his lips.
 
This much you do know: no matter what Milbury says, someone will be offended and everyone will want to listen to say they heard it themselves.
 
That’s what made him so attractive to NBC.
 
While Pierre McGuire might be the network’s staunchest defender of Sidney Crosby, Milbury is easily at the other end of the spectrum.
 
This week, Milbury caused his on-air partner, Keith Jones, to double-take a bit – it takes a lot to stun Jonesy – when he referenced Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as a pair of “crack addicts,” during the Flyers-Penguins NBC broadcast on Wednesday.
 
Milbury wasn’t saying the NHL needs to get these two superstars in a substance abuse program.
 
What he was saying was their desire to dominate play in the offensive zone and their craving for the puck once there, was like a crack addict needing a fix.
 
It’s the kind of Milbury gem that the network knows will draw attention, and ratings (see full story).

Sabres fire Lindy Ruff
For weeks, we’ve heard Sabres general manager Darcy Regier insist that head coach Lindy Ruff’s job wasn’t in jeopardy.
 
After all, no one in the NHL could touch his 16 years behind the bench as one of the best in the business, without a Stanley Cup ring to show for it.
 
Predictably, Ruff got the axe this week after a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on home ice (First Niagara Center).
 
Regier told the Buffalo News, “The last game was, quite honestly, a tipping point. It was evident to me that we were searching for answers to too many questions.”
 
Without question, the firing had club owner Terry Pegula’s hands all over it, with input from team president Ted Black and others.
 
Regier and Ruff enjoyed one of the closest coach-GM relationships in all of sports, which is why Regier was actually quivering when he met with reporters and spoke of the firing.
 
Regier himself is now on the Sabres’ hot seat (see full story).

Associated Press, Buffalo News, Calgary Herald, Pittsburgh Tribune Review contributed to this story.