Flames try to put aside trade talk

If face-of-the-franchise Jarome Iginla is willing to accept a trade, or if he’s so frustrated that he’s actually thinking of asking for one, he wasn’t saying Wednesday.

Maybe white smoke will billow out of the Saddledome when Iginla has made up his mind whether he wants to negotiate a contract extension with the team or try for a championship ring elsewhere.

There are rumblings blueline workhorse Jay Bouwmeester, the NHL’s all-time leader in games played without a single skate in the post-season, could be asked to waive his own no-trade clause.

With his contractual right to veto a move now expired, star netminder Miikka Kiprusoff has also been mentioned in the rumour mill.

And the whispers won’t be limited to big names and big contracts.

Need a versatile winger capable of scoring in bunches? Stempniak might be an option.

Need an experienced defenceman with a mean streak? A healthy scratch once again for Wednesday’s date with the Wings, Cory Sarich obviously doesn’t factor into the long-term plans at the Saddledome.

One day after the Ottawa Senators coughed up a sixth-round selection for tough guy Matt Kassian, maybe there is a market for Tim Jackman or just-arrived enforcer Brian McGrattan.

Interested in Chris Butler? Curtis Glencross? Alex Tanguay?

Make an offer.

“You have to use (the speculation) as motivation almost,” said Flames rearguard Mark Giordano. “If nobody is going to believe in you, you have believe in yourselves.”

There are not many believers outside those walls.


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