Devils target Iginla, Drury…and more

According to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record Lou Lamerillo is one of the many GM’s inquiring about Flames power forward Jarome Iginla. The article states that the Flames want D Colin White who is a punishing top 4 dman F Jamie Langenbrunner who played for Button when he was director of player personale in Dallas, and highly touted Goalie Prospect Ari Ahonen. In my opinion this asking price is ridiculously high for a player who is good, but not great, if the Flames want they can have a couple defensive prospects plus NHL ready players like Berglund, Bicek, Guolla, Gionta, Rupp which I do not believe they will accept for their “franchise player”

-DevilsfanaticHere’s the link

http://www.bergen.com

Larry Brooks, NYPost:

February 16, 2003 — BUFFALO – He may not be the biggest name among those who are being shopped, but make no mistake about it, Chris Drury is the prize commodity on the market. And Slap Shots has been told that the Devils are prepared to go to the ends of the earth – meaning, of course, Calgary – in order to get him.
Overtly mismanaged, the Flames have made it clear they’re willing to deal Drury, now earning an eminently reasonable $2.5 million, because they don’t want to risk a salary arbitration hearing this summer. Oh, there’s also the little matter of the 26- year-old Trumbull native being miserable in Alberta after beginning his career in glorious Colorado with an organization that knows what it’s doing.

As well as the Devils have played, as strong as they seem, they need another scorer; need one badly. Need more size, too – if the impact of Bobby Holik’s departure hasn’t been felt during the season, it will once the tournament commences – but that’s not part of Drury’s equation. But as far as scoring, as far as scoring big goals in pressure situations, as far as scoring big goals in pressure situations while playing responsible hockey away from the puck, that defines the versatile forward whom the Devils could not contain during the 2001 Finals when they abdicated the crown.

The Flames would likely want Scott Gomez as part of the return for Drury, who will be sought by everyone whose anyone in the league, including, you should know, the Avalanche. Lou Lamoriello might even go for it. But if not, the Devils could counter with Brian Gionta and very highly regarded young goaltender Ari Ahonen – the Flames can’t go forward with Roman Turek – in lieu of surrendering Gomez.

Drury is everything and has everything the Devils covet in a player. His salary arbitration award probably won’t reach $3.5M. He’s a gamer, a winner; a character guy. The Devils want him and the Devils need him. And they’re going to do everything they can to get him.

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So let’s see. Jarome Iginla was coming off a contract under which he earned $1.7 million, and had no leverage other than staying home as a Group II free agent. The Flames could have offered him a fair-value $3.5-4M per. That’s how a well-run operation would have done it. Instead, because Craig Button feared for his job and didn’t want Iginla holding out, the Flames gave the Hart bridesmaid a two-year, $13M deal under which he’s due $7.5M next year. Now they and the small-market hawks are blaming the league’s economic conditions for their inability to afford keeping him. Oh, please.

The Rangers could get Iginla in a flash by offering Dan Blackburn and taking Turek – $4M next year – off Button’s hands, thus saving Calgary about $10M next season. But don’t hold your breath. But if Calgary wanted to include Drury in the package – let’s say, Drury, Iginla and Turek for Blackburn, Jamie Lundmark and Radek Dvorak – well, what would Glen Sather do then?

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Boy, the Islanders come off as awfully smug for a team that’s all of three games over .500 and an organization that hasn’t won a playoff round since 1993, don’t they? Where’s the bump from last year? And what’s with the constant obsession with the Rangers? Yes, they’re ahead of the Blueshirts. So are about 19 other teams. Big whoop.

And while we’re on the subject, they might not want to draw too much attention to any Ranger contract as long as they have Mr. Alexei Yashin under their employ. Which will only be for another eight years, that’s all.

And what’s with the position they’re floating through the media that they can’t deal for Zigmund Palffy unless the exchange of contracts in the deal is equalized? What are they talking about? Palffy’s $7M next season is a team option. He can be acquired as a rental. Or does Islander ownership not have league authorization to increase the previously approved budgeted payroll by even a penny? Is that it?

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The Kings have defensemen Aaron Miller and Dmitri Yushkevich (rentals) and Matt Schneider ($3.75M next season) available. The Caps might be in for Miller, the Flyers and Red Wings for Schneider . . . Adam Graves may well be on his way to Ottawa, where he would give the Senators their best chance of winning. Rangers would be interested if not for the fact sweater No. 9 is no longer available.


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