Iginla signs three-year deal with Avalanche

Iginla signs three-year deal with Avalanche
July 1, 2014, 2:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that 37-year-old Jarome Iginla wasn’t returning to Boston once the funny money started getting tossed around on July 1, and that was confirmed when the right wing signed a three-year, $16 million deal with the Colorado Avalanche. Iginla scored 30 goals and 61 points during the regular season skating with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, and then led the Black and Gold with five goals in a disappointing playoff run that ended in the second round vs. Montreal.

Iginla admitted to Rogers Sportsnet that the salary cap was a major consideration, and wanted some security where his family would be for the next few years. Even if Iginla and the Bruins could work out another one-year, bonus-laden deal for next season, he knew he wouldn’t be back in Boston beyond the 2014-15 season.

“My family and I are very excited to be joining the Avalanche, but it was tough to be leaving Boston. It was such a great city, organization and group of guys. They were always positive and great to me,” said Iginla to Rogers Sportsnet. “Even to work a one-year deal was very hard for them, and I don’t know if that would have fully been an option.

“Even if it was, we want to keep playing. I feel great and want to keep playing hockey beyond this year. Even if we fit [in Boston], we most likely wouldn’t fit in beyond this year. It would have been even harder with the young stars, and the guys that are up for contracts: Krejci, Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Krug. They have a great group of young guys they need to keep, so I knew it wasn’t really an option.”

One could make the argument Iginla’s quest for a Cup took a hit joining a young Avalanche team that’s further away from winning it all than the Black and Gold in the wide open east. But there really was no comparing what little the Bruins could offer compared to contracts that Colorado, Vancouver or several other teams could offer the 30-goal scorer.

The Bruins may chase after Radim Vrbata as a potential replacement on the right wing for Iginla, and another aging player like 41-year-old Daniel Alfredsson might be a fit on a similar one-year, bonus-laden deal. But the Bruins have little cap space to offer any player facing the task of signing another six players with only $5.7 million in cap space, counting Marc Savard’s LTI (long term injured reserve) money.