We all thought Jarome Iginla was a member of the Boston Bruins a few days before the 2012-13 NHL Trade Deadline. Flames GM Jay Feaster had a deal in place that would have reportedly sent the Flames captain to the Bruins for prospects D Matt Bartkowski, C Alexander Khokhlachev and a 1st round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. At the last second, Iginla decided he would pull rank and chose to join the Pittsburgh Penguins instead, for what appears to be an inferior package of assets. In the end, the temptation of playing on Sidney Crosby’s team was too much for Iggy to overlook.
Iginla did well as a Penguin. He scored 11 points in 13 regular season games. The Pens clinched the Eastern Conference and entered the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the favourites. After a close call in the 1st round, the Penguins elevated their game and laid a decisive beating on the Ottawa Senators in Round 2. Their first Conference Finals appearance since 2009 was a highly anticipated showdown between Iginla’s spurned suiters, the Boston Bruins. And it wasn’t even close. The Bruins swept the Penguins four straight, allowing only two goals against in the entire series. The Iginla experiment in Pittsburgh came to an abrupt end at the hands of Iginla’s second choice.
When the off season arrived, the Bruins were still licking their wounds from a climatic Game 6 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. More bad news arrived when RW Nathan Horton decided he was going to pursue opportunity elsewhere. The loss of clutch playoff winger and mainstay on a line with playoff leading scorer David Krejci and LW Milan Lucic would be difficult to overcome.
With Horton gone and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli not being one to sit around and wait for things to happen, the forgiving Bruins decided to let bygones be bygones and sign Iginla in spite of his earlier last minute decision to join the Pens instead of the B’s. It was the right call. After all, business is business and the Bruins needed to replace Horton.
The Bruins signed Iggy to a smart one year deal with very minor salary cap implications. It is assumed JI will replace Horton on the right wing of the Bruins 1A forward line. The move provides the B’s with a short term solution to the departure of their game winning goal scorer, and the ability to enter the 2013-14 NHL season with a 500 goal scorer and big power play shooter in their catalogue of weapons.
The Business Of The Boston Bruins
Hockey franchises are a lot like businesses. Well, they are businesses, which is something we often forget as fans when we get caught up in the excitement of cheering for our favourite team or player. And just like all successful businesses, smart sports franchises have a clear identity. This identity allows them to develop a strategy and make important decisions that influence the identity of the team as it plans for success. The Bruins franchise is one of the best in hockey at knowing its identity and building teams around that philosophy. The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and more recently the Chicago Blackhawks also understand and follow this concept very well.
The Bruins identity is clear. They are the big, bold team that will bash you on the ice and play a strict defensive style. They’ve been that way for decades and it’s earned them 4 Stanley Cups since the departure of the Original 6 format, as well as, the longest playoff streak in hockey history, an impressive 29 straight post season appearances.
Iginla is a Bruin. Jarome Iginla perfectly fits the mould of everything the Boston Bruins stand for. He’s a big player with a mean streak. Iggy hits hard and likes to play the game down low using his size and strength to maintain possession for his team. Sure, he’s not the player he used to be, but Jarome is still a great shooter. He’ll likely play on a line with one of the game’s most underrated efficient passers, David Krejci. The future Hall of Famer will shoot for his 12th 30 goal season in the NHL this year, further ensuring his status as one of the best goal scorers in NHL history.
Iginla’s Final Frontier: The Stanley Cup
The newest member of the Boston Bruins has done it all in his illustrious NHL career. His 530 goals and 1,106 points place him 57th on the all-time leading scorers list. He led the NHL in scoring in 2002, earning himself an Art Ross, and he’s member to an elite group of players who have surpassed the 50 goal mark more than once. Oh yeah, and he’s made millions of dollars too.
Iginla joins the Boston Bruins for one reason and one reason only – to etch his name in the Stanley Cup. Fourteen years ago the Bruins were on the other side of a similar equation when franchise leading scorer and longest serving captain Ray Bourque left the organization after 20 years, in search of a Stanley Cup ring. Bourque won his Cup, and the image of him hoisting sports’ most notorious trophy is forever planted in the memories of hockey fans all over the world. It’s Iginla’s turn.