With all the talk today centering around the word from last night that the Anaheim Ducks were said to be shopping around Bobby Ryan, Preds fans and bloggers have been running wild trying to piece together a beautiful trade scenario to lure away the three-time 30-goal scorer from the grasp of the slumping Anaheim Ducks.
However, amidst all the speculation, there is a much bigger prize at stake with a very opportune chance to collect it. Bobby Ryan is small potatoes compared to this. With the Nashville Predators adding W. Brett Wilson to their ownership group 2 weeks ago, they not only received a living, breathing, Canadian Predators fan who bleeds blue and gold, but a longtime season ticket holder of the Calgary Flames who started his business there as well.
While only holding a 5% minority stake in the Predators organization, Wilson’s influence in both Nashville and Calgary could be enough to pry long time Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla away from the snowy north and back down south, to the Music City this time.
Iginla has always been the center of trade rumors for the past couple of years, however the trigger has always stayed clean of fingerprints on Calgary’s end. Yet, while the Dallas Stars sent Iginla to Calgary in 1995 for Joe Nieuwendyk, could Nashville package something up to bring in the 6-time NHL all-star?
It isn’t really that far-fetched, if you think about it. Wilson had discussions with the Calgary Flames ownership previously to buy in, however no one wanted to sell. From a November 16th article in the Toronto Sun: “‘I would love to have bought a piece of the Flames, but they are the best-owned team in the league,’ said Wilson, 54, who co-founded FirstEnergy Capital Corp with Flames owner Murray Edwards. ‘The current owners have deep pockets and are highly committed, and none of them wanted to sell. I know all the owners well and did have discussions with them on an ongoing basis, but there wasn’t a fit there.'”
Wilson goes on in the article talking about his connections between the two cities, but notes one very fine detail: “My heart is still with Calgary, but my wallet is with Nashville. I’ll be cheering for the Flames every game — except when they play Nashville.” So, what in reality is one man owning a piece of one NHL team, is realistically a tale of two cities: One in the north and one in the south, both with already deep connections to each other.
Nashville has been in business with Calgary 7 times since their inception in 1998:
1) Jim Dowd from Calgary for future considerations (June 26, 1998)
2) Stewart Malgunas claimed off waivers from Calgary (February 6, 2000)
3) Traded Sergei Krivokrasov to Calgary for Cale Hulse/3rd Rd. 2001 Draft Pick (March 14, 2000)
4) Traded conditional selection in 2003 NHL Entry Draft for forward Jukka Hentunen (March 17, 2002)
5) Jason Morgan claimed off waivers from Calgary (December 31, 2003)
6) Jason Morgan claimed off waivers from Calgary (February 19, 2004)
7) Traded 4th round selection in 2010 NHL Entry Draft for forward Dustin Boyd (March 3, 2010)
Although most of these were just minor deals between the two teams, there already exists a line of communication between both front offices, now more than ever with Brett Wilson joining the group.
The last truly big name to grace the Predators forward arsenal was future Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg and the mustard looked exceptional on him. Could it be time for Iginla to switch homes again after over 15 years in the Red? Maybe a shade of Gold would fit him well.