March 28 by The Hockey Daily.
It is official. The Calgary Flames have traded their franchise leading scorer and captain to the Pittsburgh Penguins for F Kenneth Agostino, F Ben Hanowski and a 1st round pick. Jarome Iginla joins a team that features this season’s leading scorer Sidney Crosby and last season’s leading scorer Evgeni Malkin.
It was initially reported that the Boston Bruins acquired Jarome for D Bartkowski, F Khokhlachev and a conditional 1st round pick. TSN and other networks were basically calling the deal done. Flames GM Jay Feaster never really said how close the Bruins were with their offer but he did imply that Iginla ultimately chose Pittsburgh over Boston. When asked about Iginla’s intentions to leave Calgary it was made clear by Feaster that Iggy wants a championship. Feaster said, “Jarome has never made any secret of the fact that he wants to win a Stanley Cup.”
The Penguins have been very busy on the trade front. Iginla becomes the second NHL captain they’ve plucked out of the Western Conference this week. Four days ago they acquired Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow. With Iginla and Morrow the Penguins have increased team toughness, experience and leadership significantly heading into the final stretch of the season.
For the Flames and their fans it is a difficult time. Iginla leaving sparks the end of an era in Calgary. He is beloved throughout the city and will be missed. Trading Iginla is just the beginning as well. Jay Feaster said of the Flames trade options over the next week, “we’re going to be busy.” As for the Flames strategy to rebuild, Feaster wouldn’t label his organization as rebuilders but he did declare, “we are not looking to move picks right now. We are not looking to move young players.”
With Jarome Iginla a member of the Pittsbrugh Penguins they clearly establish themselves as the main contenders in the Eastern Conference. This acquisition adds to an already offensively stacked Pens team. It is likely Iginla will play with former line mate from the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal winning Canadian team. Iginla assisted on Crosby’s Golden Goal to win the gold in 2010.
What does this mean for the Boston Bruins? The Bruins are coming off a loss to long time rivals the Montreal Canadiens. A wild game in Boston it was. The B’s lost a lead late in the 3rd and couldn’t score in six shots in the shootout. The Bruins are a strong team and may not need to make a deal but with all the additions to the Penguins, Bruins’ GM Chiarelli may feel the need to do something.
The next week will be active on the trade front. With only about ten games remaining after the trade deadline, it appears quite obvious that most teams want to make deals as soon as possible so they can get their new players in the lineup long enough to prepare for the playoffs.