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Original Issue

In The Crease

The Flames' Jarome Iginla, who led the NHL in scoring with 42
goals and 77 points as of Sunday, could become the first
restricted free agent to command an offer sheet from another
team since the Rangers signed the Avalanche's Joe Sakic in 1997.
(That offer, of course, was matched by Colorado.) Calgary is
cash-poor, and one of the big-market clubs could put together a
front-loaded contract that the Flames couldn't match. The
compensation for signing Iginla would be five No. 1 draft
choices, a small price to pay for a 24-year-old power forward
with Iginla's scoring ability. If Iginla doesn't get an offer,
expect the players' association to scream collusion.... The
surprising Coyotes, who were tied for fifth in the Western
Conference, are thrilled with the package they received last
March in a trade that sent wing Keith Tkachuk to the Blues.
Along with forwards Michal Handzus (12 goals this season) and
Ladislav Nagy (15 goals) and a 2002 No. 1 draft pick, Phoenix
received University of Minnesota forward Jeff Taffe, a
first-round pick by St. Louis in 2000. The Coyotes' brass thinks
Taffe, who had 31 goals for the Golden Gophers, is a future
star.... One G.M. working the phones feverishly is the Penguins'
Craig Patrick. Despite significant injuries, Pittsburgh has
crept to within four points of the East's final playoff berth,
and Patrick is now a buyer, not a seller. He's looking for help
up front.