As the April 3 NHL Trade Deadline approaches, one of the more interesting names to watch is Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla. Iginla is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and while he's become the face of the franchise in his 18 years with the Flames, the Calgary Sun reported Saturday that there has been no talk of a new deal between the Flames and Iginla.
Iginla's agent, Don Meehan, told the Sun that Iginla is "not currently in negotiations" with the Flames. The newspaper also reported that Iginla has not instructed Meehan on whether to resume talks on a new contract with the team or to request a trade.
The decision facing the Flames is a tough one. Entering games Tuesday, the Flames are 15th in the Western Conference, but just six points out of eighth place.
Iginla is tied for the team lead with 12 assists and 19 points, and is third with seven goals, showing his offensive skills remain strong at age 35. If the Flames have any hopes of returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008, Iginla will be a major part of getting him there.
He also is someone the Flames could use as a trade chip to reinvigorate their prospect pipeline. Any team with hopes for a Stanley Cup surely would do its best to put together a package of prospects and draft picks that intrigues the Flames.
The third option, allowing Iginla to go into the offseason without a new contract and potentially sign elsewhere with no return for the Flames, is highly undesirable.
So with three weeks until the trade deadline, eyes will continue to be focused on Iginla and how the Flames opt to handle his future.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK