What would Iggy fetch?

As the debate heats up over whether Jarome Iginla should be traded to accelerate a rebuild, one of the biggest questions that needs to be asked is simple: What is the captain’s worth?

The Calgary Flames owners have a pretty good idea what he means to the club financially and otherwise.

But how much is he worth on the NHL’s open market?

If Flames GM Jay Feaster were to start shopping the 34-year-old Calgary icon this summer, what could he expect in return for the most important player in club history?

A poll of more than a dozen NHL GMs and executives found there would, in fact, be plenty of interest in the 11-time 30-goal scorer and the returns would be significant.

That said, there were several complicating factors in their minds, limiting the number of suitors and how much they’d be willing to pay.

Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles could be the league’s pending labour strife stemming from the imminent expiry of the current collective bargaining agreement. With one year left on his contract at US$7 million, a team trading for Iginla would risk trading away important assets and getting nothing in return if the season is cancelled like it was in 2004-05 due to a lockout. He’d then be a 36-year-old unrestricted free agent.

“I wouldn’t take him unless I could get him to extend his contract first,” said one GM, who insisted on remaining anonymous as such talk would clearly be tampering.

“If that would be possible, then he’s worth a top-six forward and a first-round pick.”