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updated: 3/28/2013 4:18 PM

Iginla not the best fit for Hawks right now

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  • Calgary's Jarome Iginla, left, has reportedly been dealt to Pittsburgh for two prospects and a first-round draft pick.

      Calgary's Jarome Iginla, left, has reportedly been dealt to Pittsburgh for two prospects and a first-round draft pick.
    Associated Press

 
 

Jarome Iginla is one of the classiest people in the NHL, often thanking you for interviewing him.

But he wasn't a good fit for the Blackhawks.

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The Hawks have plenty of other needs that must be addressed for a run at a second Stanley Cup in four years, starting with a center who can consistently win faceoffs. Adding a 35-year-old Iginla, who would have had to play on the third line here because he never has played the left side, was not a good idea.

Iginla was traded to Pittsburgh on Wednesday -- a deal could be announced as soon as today. He didn't report to the Saddledome on Wednesday night for the Flames' game against Colorado.

Jonathan Toews right now is the only Hawks center who wins more than half his faceoffs. Slumping second-line center Dave Bolland is at 44.6 percent while third-line center Andrew Shaw is worse at 44.2 percent. Marcus Kruger wins faceoffs at a 45.6 percent clip.

Buffalo's Steve Ott or Phoenix's Boyd Gordon make much more sense for the Hawks to pursue than the aging Iginla.

Ott is a 57-percent faceoff guy who would also bring some ornery to the Hawks. He's got one more year left on his contract at $2.95 million, hardly a break-the-bank salary even with the cap going down next season.

Gordon, an unrestricted free agent after the season, wins 59 percent of his faceoffs and can kill penalties, which would fill a second need for the Hawks.

The Hawks already have two all-star right wingers in Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, which would have left Iginla to either learn to play left wing or skate on the third line.

According to reports, the Flames got two prospects and a first-round draft pick from Boston for their captain.

Many believe it came down to Boston and Los Angeles for the services of Iginla -- the Kings because of Iginla's father-son relationship with coach Darryl Sutter.

"Unfortunately when you're out of the playoffs at the trade deadline there's a lot of talk no matter which team it is," Iginla said after Tuesday's loss at the United Center, which will turn out to be his last game with Calgary, at least for now. "That's where we are right now. In five or six days it will all work itself out. Right now we're out of the playoffs so there's going to be a lot of talk."

The point wasn't whether Iginla has any game left in his 35-year-old legs. He scored 32 goals last year in a full season and has 9 this year in 31 games. But he wasn't worth a No. 1 draft pick and two prospects, not to the Hawks anyway, which was Flames general manager Jay Feaster's asking price.

Rest assured, Calgary was not going to take Brandon Pirri or Jeremy Morin or Dylan Olsen for those of you who have suggested players off the Rockford roster.

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tsassone@dailyherald.com

• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.

• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.

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