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Trading for Jarome Iginla might cost too much for Blackhawks

Hawks winger Patrick Kane celebrates after scoring give Hawks 3-2 lead second period NHL game between Chicago Blackhawks L.A. Kings

Hawks winger Patrick Kane celebrates after scoring to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead in the second period of the NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and L.A. Kings Monday March 25, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 27, 2013 6:19AM



The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t bother waiting until the April 3 trade deadline to improve their team, acquiring veteran winger Brenden Morrow from Dallas on Sunday and big defenseman Douglas Murray from San Jose on Monday.

Now the rest of the league — particularly Stanley Cup contenders such as Anaheim, Boston, Los Angeles and, yes, the Blackhawks — has nine days to respond.

“It’s just inevitable that players are going to be moved at this time, even though it’s tough,” winger Patrick Kane said Monday. “Hopefully, we can make some additions to our team that can make us even better. Or, if not, we’ve had a pretty good season so far to date with the team we have. I think you’ve got to be happy with the group we have in here. We’ll see what happens.”

The biggest prize this spring is Calgary Flames winger Jarome Iginla, a 35-year-old unrestricted-free-agent-to-be with 525 career goals to his credit. Iginla has reportedly given the Flames the OK to trade him to either Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles or Pittsburgh.

But the Hawks likely are a long shot to land Iginla, for a variety of reasons. For one, he doesn’t fit neatly into the Hawks’ top two lines. The team is pretty well set at right wing with Marian Hossa and Kane, meaning either Iginla or someone else would have to play out of position. The Hawks, as general manager Stan Bowman said last week, are more likely in the market for depth at center, particularly a player who’s strong on faceoffs.

Secondly, Iginla reportedly does not want to be a rental player, and the Hawks don’t have the salary cap space to sign him to an extension beyond this season unless they dumped a good chunk of salary on Calgary in the deal.

Lastly, the asking price for Iginla is likely to be too high for Bowman. The Penguins had to give up a top prospect — defenseman Joe Morrow — and a fifth-round draft pick. Iginla is still a borderline elite player, having scored at least 30 goals in each of his last 11 seasons (he has nine goals and 13 assists in 30 games this year), and will command a higher price.

Bowman said last week that he was wary about breaking up his team and disrupting the chemistry the Hawks have built.

“To get a top guy, you have to wonder what the price would be,” he said. “We’re not looking to change the mix we have. We’re looking to add to it. We don’t want to change the chemistry we’ve developed.”

Added Bowman: “If we don’t end up making a trade, I would be comfortable with the group we have.”



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