|After some craziness, Jarome Iginla is a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The anticipation had been building. Anyone who read between the lines knew that Jarome Iginla’s days in Calgary were numbered. The bitter end came tonight following Boston’s 6-5 roller coaster shootout defeat to Montreal.
According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins reached agreement on a deal involving Iginla.
The Flames’ all-time scoring leader was a healthy scratch for tonight’s home game in Alberta against the Avalanche. He didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to the avid fans who’ve supported him throughout an outstanding 15-year career. However, when the big announcement comes tomorrow, that’ll be an emotional conclusion for one of hockey’s true ambassadors.
It’s hard to picture Iginla in any other NHL jersey. Ironically, he was once a top prospect for the Dallas Stars, who dealt him and Corey Millen to Calgary for former Conn Smythe winner and current Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. Now, it’s Iginla going to another team chasing the Cup while rumored prospects are expected to go to the Flames.
Bob McKenzie believes the prospects are Alexander Khokhlachev and Matt Bartowski along with a conditional first round pick contingent on if Iginla re-signs with Boston this summer. He’s in the final year of a five-year deal that averages $7 million.
It seems crazy that that’s all Jay Feaster could fetch for Iginla. Even at 35 on a bad team, he has nine goals and 22 points in 31 games. A player of his stature should get a boost on a Cup contender like the Bruins. They’re not even parting with anyone on a roster that features Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dougie Hamilton and Tuukka Rask.
Khokhlachev reportedly was rumored in a potential trade for ex-Star Brenden Morrow
, who the Penguins acquired for defense prospect Joe Morrow
. They also swapped a third round pick for a fifth. Morrow is a solid player who will add veteran leadership and grit to a Pens team that’s won 13 straight. However, he pales in comparison to Iginla, who even as a rental should have required more
if the rumored Boston package is valid.
OFFICIAL: IGINLA TO PENGUINS
In a stunning turn of events that have left the Twitterverse spinning, the Penguins stole Jarome Iginla from the Bruins. How else can you explain it? For over an hour, Iginla was on his way to Boston for the rumored package above. Apparently, Iginla vetoed the trade to the Bruins. Instead, he chose the Pens.
It’s like a bad April Fool’s joke. The media and bloggers were played for suckers. :hands raised:
This doesn’t happen often. But it has before with hockey with the Trade Deadline. Does anyone even care that there’s still over a week left before the actual deadline?
Anytime an offensive dynamo like the Pens add a player of Iginla’s stature, it makes them overwhelming Cup favorites. Even without Evgeni Malkin, they’ve won 13 in a row. Sidney Crosby is the hands down MVP. He has torn it up along with Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and James Neal. Kris Letang‘s in the Norris conversation but has a broken toe. A team that already added the aforementioned Neal and also beefed up on the blueline by acquiring Doug Murray from San Jose, just got even better. A nucleus that also includes Marc-Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, Brandon Sutter, Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy looks to have clinched the East.
Even in a conference where Boston and Montreal are strong and the Devils and Rangers can’t be counted out, can anyone beat the Pens? Stranger things have happened.
For his career, Iginla has spent all 15 seasons with the Flames totaling 525 goals and 570 assists for 1,095 points over 1,219 games. As captain, he led the franchise to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. The upset minded Flames fell a little short of their dream, losing in seven games to the Lightning. In his first postseason appearance since ’96, Iginla registered 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points. That same season (’03-04), he won the Rocket Richard pacing the league with 41 goals.
Iginla is a seven-time All-Star who also captured the Art Ross and Lester Pearson in ’01-02 when he led the league with 52 goals and 96 points. Amazingly, he lost out on the Hart to Montreal goalie Jose Theodore, who swept the Vezina and league MVP. His name will be an answer to a head scratching trivia question years from now.
As a passionate hockey fan and blogger, Iginla’s one of my favorite players. Like Ray Bourque, he leaves one franchise for a chance to win Lord Stanley. I’m having trouble with this and it’s not even my team. I liken it to when the Flames dealt Theo Fleury to Colorado and he cried at the press conference. I wonder how Iginla will react. If you’re a traditionalist like me, you’re a little sad. I still believe in guys finishing their career with one team. But as we’ve seen with even Wayne Gretzky, it doesn’t always happen.