Iginla 'very excited' to join Bruins

Iginla 'very excited' to join Bruins
July 6, 2013, 2:15 pm
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BOSTON -- In the end, Jarome Iginla came back to the Bruins after catching the business end of the Big Bad hockey club in the playoffs.

The 36-year-old power forward was thoroughly shut down in the Eastern Conference Final as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins after spurning Boston's efforts to acquire him around the NHL trade deadline. So he remembered just how difficult the Bruins were to play against, and made certain his agent, Don Meehan, contacted Boston to let them know Iginla was interested in joining up.

Once things were exhausted in Boston's pursuit of Daniel Alfredsson, the Bruins turned to Iginla and signed him to a one-year for a base salary and cap hit of $1.8 million -- with a chance for bonus money to make the contract's worth balloon to $6 million.
Some of that bonus money might actually count against next year's salary cap, but that's a different story for a different day.

On this day, Iginla was overjoyed at joining up with Boston after hearing all about the city from former Calgary teammates Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.

"My family and I are very excited to be joining the Bruins," said Iginla. "I love the way they play. They are extremely hard to play against, and they have lots of grit and determination.

"I feel like there's a great chance for me to win here."

While Peter Chiarelli indicated that Iginla would be a good fit at right wing on either of the top two forward lines, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is a natural fit to slide into Nathan Horton's spot alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic. The Bruins were looking for a shooter for that spot, and Iginla had racked up 12 straight 20 goal seasons before last year's weird, outlier season shortened by the lockout.

Chiarelli said that his thoughts and opinions never changed on Iginla from last season's trade deadline until the present day, and that Iginla could be a long term fit in Boston if both sides enjoy this coming season.

"I think we're getting a highly motivated player that wants to win," said Chiarelli. "He's an elite offensive player that's a warrior, and his style of play fits our team."

Chiarelli also pointed to the "terrific leadership" that Iginla could provide for a Bruins team that's lost veteran voices like Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley over the last couple of days.

The leadership component will clearly be there from all of Iginla's years captaining the Calgary Flames, but it will all come down to what the power forward can provide on the ice. If Iginla is capable of providing his customary 25 goals and 70 points for the Bruins next season along with a rugged style of play, this marriage between Iggy and the Bruins might just work the second time around.