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I’ll say it again, does anyone want Iginla or Kiprusoff?

With the Leafs on the outside looking in (though the Marlies get their playoff shot starting this week...) here are some posts that may be worth another look if you're looking to relax and do some Leaf reading...

  • Commenting on some thing I sensed Leaf management was feeling as the 2011-'12 season got underway   (It's interesting to look back and see what the mood was at the time...)
  • 10 issues now facing the Leafs going forward
  • My look (before this season even got underway) at whether Luke Schenn was worth more to the Leafs or another team
  • 12 reasons why missing the playoffs this particular season hurts so much

Not long ago I posed a question just to (as I sometimes do here) throw it out there for thoughtful discussion and a bit of old-fashioned debate:  are Leaf fans interested at all in either or both of Iginla and Kiprusoff?

I know Iginla has one more year on his current contract at 7 million.  Kiprusoff has more time on his deal, I believe (two years?). But what is clear is that Calgary is changing the face of its roster, and for the first time, it looks “real” that Iginla will be elsewhere next season.

I can’t imagine he will seek huge dollars or a silly term after the 2012-’13 season. Does anyone think the long-time Flames captain could provide a touch of veteran experience and a bit of leadership to a roster that woefully needs it? (Unlike Calgary, we have already a lot of young players…what we don’t have is leadership and a strong veteran presence…) Iginla has not been able to lead the Flames to playoff success in recent years, but perhaps the Leafs now have a better young core that he could work with (and lead?) than the Flames have had the past few seasons.

Too, we are certainly looking for a goalie, as much as I like Reimer (I realize not everyone does…).  I’m sure we’d prefer a young, cheaper option in this cap world but Kiprusoff can still flat out play.  He won’t be great every night, but we’ve seen him pull the Flames out from the dumpster many times in his fine career in Calgary.  And I sense he still has something in the tank.  At least he hasn’t had a lot of playoff wear and tear over the past few years, eh?

Anyway, it’s just a point of discussion in what is otherwise a fairly quiet time for Leaf fans.  I’m not suggesting either guy is a solution to all that ails the roster.  And yes, they are “old” by hockey standards and both have played a lot of tough hockey over the years.  But they are classy veterans, not a phrase we have been able to use in relation to the Maple Leafs and our roster in some time.

Your thoughts?


  1. Been a while, Michael... I've always coveted Iginla for the Blue & White. I know it's late in his career, and we've had other "stars" in their twilight years make brief stops (Leetch, Francis, Lindros, etc.) I still believe Iggy would bring some class and leadership, and we are certainly lacking the latter, and can never have enough of the former. Sadly, we're bottom feeders at the moment, and I don't think we are a blip on his radar, as he likely wants another shot at a cup after coming so close vs Tampa last time. And we can't offer him that. Tsk.

    Kiprussoff is an intriguing idea. With rumours of JFA's imminent departure, he could be a stabilizing factor with young, confused, Reimer. And win us some games as well. He's shown he's still got it. Let's see what the "I-Bot" Mr Burke has in store.


  2. I think you're absolutely right Caedmon...Iginla would not be interested in the Leafs for the reasons you cite. I was probably just grasping!

    That said, to me, the Iginla of two years ago (heck, even the Iginla of right now), if money wasn't an issue (of course it is) would be exactly what the Leafs could use. A guy who has been there, done that- and has been a real tough competitor, with skill...a guy who can play at this time of year.

    As for Kiprusoff, he has two years left, I think, but could provide some good goaltending most nights and help re-build this team's confidence while Reimer settlers in.

    Thanks Caedmon.

  3. Cory Schneider is the goaltender to get and Iginla doesn't fit in with the Leafs.

  4. I'd take both if the Leafs can clear cap room by jettisoning bad contracts, maybe Calgary will continue their trading ways with the Leafs and take Komi/Army/Lombardi/other off our hands?

    As long as the asking price is at the phanuef level sure, but if they're asking for actual hockey players then no.

  5. 27leafs...I just wonder now if Schneider will be available (they may choose to keep him in Vancouver) and if they did put him on the market, what the Leafs would have to give to get him?

  6. Thanks elseldo. My guess is the Flames would insist on major compensation for both.

  7. Canucks would make sure we would bleed large for Schneider but maybe they could offer Cory a two year deal at $11.5M a year or larger just to make it harder for the Canucks to match.

  8. 27leafs you want to give up 4 first round picks as compensation for Scheinder as an unproven starter and pay him $11.5M? Please put the pipe down before you hurt yourself any further.

  9. Hi Anon....27leafs was just, I believe, going along with my topic for the day and trying to help the discussion along.

  10. I'd like to see them continue toward a youth movement and either pursue or develop young scoring forwards. They do need veteran leadership, but not at a $7 million price tag. If they are to go after a high-priced player, they need to go younger, and of course, they need to spend big money on a proven goaltender. Kiprusoff fits that bill.

  11. Point well made, Anon. My only thought, and it's mere empty speculation on my part, is that maybe he would not seek ridiculous money and term once his current contract expires. Of course, he likely wants to play, as discussed above, with a contender- and wouldn't be prepared to take a pay cut anyway!

  12. Gotta agree with elseldo and say that it would really depend on what Calgary wanted back -- I can't see them rolling the dice on another one-sided trade, and given what Burke could reasonably offer for a player of Iggy's age/salary, I don't see how it could be anything but.

    That said, I'd love to see Iggy in the blue and white. A "team" guy all the way, and one that would have to perform only a DECENT season (by his standards) to be beloved in Toronto. I say, provided the Flames are willing to take 1 or 2 of our bad contracts, it should be seriously considered.

    PS: Michael, both you and Caedmon mentioned Iggy would bring some "class" to the locker room. Do we think the Leafs are in need of class? Veteran leadership definitely, but I always kind of thought we had a group of relatively mature young players that encouraged each other. Maybe a topic for a future blog?

  13. My sense is that Calgary would still (despite age, declining production and a high salary) want a big return, and I don't see the Leafs coughing that up, either.

    You make a very good observation, Steve, about the maturity level of the Leaf squad. I have no sense that these are young athletes who are doing anything but working hard and doing their best to represent the organization well. So maybe it is more a question of veteran leadership, just the presence someone such as Iginla would have.

    That said, while the young Leafs do not lack class, he would certainly bring that to the dressing room and the organization as a whole as well, and that's a quality a team always needs.

    Good stuff. Thanks Steve....

  14. I would love to see Kiprusoff in a Leaf uniform. I believe he could give us Eddie Belfour type service for four or five years.

    I would prefer Nash to Iginla. It looked to me as if Iginla is on a downward spiral and would not be worth the high price that Calgary would demand.

    It would take a great deal of cap manipulation in order to acquire either or both players. Kiprusoff has 2 years remaining on his contract with a $5,833,333 cap hit. Rick Nash is signed through 2017-18 with a $7,800,000 cap hit.

    If I had to make a choice of one player who would help the Leafs the most, Kiprusoff would be at or near the top of my list.

  15. Thanks Pete Cam. I have to believe Kiprusoff will be in play this summer...whether the Leafs make a pitch, I guess we'll see. But he is certainly a proven 'keeper, and would seemingly be a good role model and influence for/on Reimer.

  16. I stated before why getting both, or individually, would help. Why we shouldn't is really simple. The asking price for both would be too great. Iginla would have to agree to waive to come here, doubtful. Kipper would be much harder to obtain because his contract still has two years remaining at under $6M cap hit, and they (assuming) would rather keep Kipper over Iggy. Like Michael said, Kipper can still play and at a quality level.

    I'm not getting into the Nash debate some of you have started. Too costly to acquire and keep within the roster @ $7.8M!!!!
    Do you guys remember we have Phaneuf $6.5M, Grabbo $5.5M, Komi $4.5M, Lupul $4.25M, Kessel $5.4M, Connolly $4.75M.....numbers add up quickly and $7.8M isn't one I want to add on ONE WINGER.

    Back on topic, Harding is a UFA and someone that could do a fine job and only cost what we pay him, which should surely be under the $5.8M Kipper earns. Given the new system Carlyle will put forth, I suspect he would have Smith (PHX) or Lehtonen (DAL) like steady seasons as a comparable.

  17. Harding is definitely an interesting guy, Sill2Envy. He was certainly highly thought of and I'm not entirely sure why the bloom is off the rose there (if it is) but as a UFA he will draw suitors, for sure.

    Goalies tend to run go hot and cold. Not the great ones, but those with NHL talent who have good stretches and less-good stretches, good seasons and not-so-good seasons. Who would have thought Theodore would be doing what he is doing many nights for the Panthers? A year ago, who figured Elliot and Anderson would be indispensable number-one goaltenders?

    Harding comes with no compensation, no lost assets, so I'm guessing the Leafs will at least explore...

    Thanks Skill2Envy...

  18. I, personally, had no doubt Theodore was still a good goaltender. His time in Washington (2nd year) reaffirmed that belief. Minnesota is a terrible team in general but his numbers were pretty similar to his time in Washington. This year his numbers are similar again, but his GAA lowered from 2.71 to 2.46. Thats little piece on Theodore :D

    I think with Harding people kind of fell off the bandwagon. He lost a season because of a knee injury unfortunately so attention focused else here. Several goalies also got more attention like Varlamov, Bobrovsky, Schneider, Enroth, and Crawford. And the emergence of newer faces to the NHL like Lindback, Neuvirth, Holtby, and Benier. Not to mention Minnesota is pretty transparent in the NHL.

    Hardings numbers last year were 2.62 GAA (29th/45) and .917 SV% (16th/45). Faced 33rd most shots of the 45 goalies and played 34 games.

    Compare that to Gus (42GP, 2.92GAA, .902SV%) and Riemer (34GP, 3.10GAA, .900SV%).

    In summary, he couldn't be worse than Reimer or Gus and could be a reliable back-up with the capability to push out Reimer if needed. A 2 or 3 year deal wouldn't hurt the club. Harding made $750,000 on a 1 year deal so I suspect something like 2 years $1.8M as a start would be fair. Cap hit of 900K.

  19. Nice breakdown, Skill2Envy. Food for thought. Thanks.