NHL Rumors: Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumors: Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Ottawa Senators

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Ilya Kovalchuk to return next year?
On Jarome Iginla

Emily Sadler of Sportsnet: Jarome Iginla is still hoping to play in the NHL after having some ‘maintenance’ surgery. The Olympics could be a fallback option but are not a priority for him at the moment.

“We all know that the NHL teams out there use the American Thanksgiving as a bit of a gauge to reassess their team,” Kypreos said. “He’s hoping at that point that there will be enough interest where at least he can find a team that perhaps he might even skate with and be in a situation, much like others have, with a PTO—player tryout—and wait for his opportunity to sign.”

On Ilya Kovalchuk

Emily Sadler of Sportsnet: Last offseason an Ilya Kovalchuk NHL return was complicated by the New Jersey Devils still retaining his rights. The Devils would have had to trade him or work out a sign-and-trade. He’ll be a free agent after this season and has indicated he wants to return to the NHL next season.

“He’s a full free agent as of July 1 this coming year and the feeling is he is open to those overtures again from NHL teams. And look, he scores a lot of goals—as I mentioned, he’s up to 52 in his last 90 games in the KHL—and there will certainly be interest.”

On the Ottawa Senators …

Emily Sadler of Sportsnet: The Ottawa Senators cut 1,500 seats this year dropping their arena capacity to 17,000. They are still not selling out and Don Cherry thinks that if they don’t build an arena downtown, “they’re gone.”

“If they’re not drawing out with that team… I say they’re gone, and I say they go to Quebec,” said Cherry.

“It’ll be perfect—you’ve got a French coach, you’ve got a French general manager, you’ve got a lot of French guys, they’d be perfect moved in there,” said Cherry, before turning his attention to the NHL commissioner. “Gary, that’s where they should go.”

Cherry adds that he doesn’t want to see them moved from Ottawa, but if they can’t draw, why should they stay there?