The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino and a 2013 first-round draft pick, both teams announced just after 1:00 a.m.
The long-time Calgary captain has appeared in 31 games this season, tallying nine goals, 13 assists and 22 points.
The move is a stunner as all signs pointed to Iginla heading to Boston in the past couple hours but Iginla is said to have squashed a deal to the Bruins, choosing the Penguins who emerge as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
“He brings a lot of different elements, ability to play with good players, play in tough areas, good leadership,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said via Penguins website. “He wants to win. From the people I’ve talked to that have played with him talk about what a great teammate and person he is. My expectation is that he’ll be a really good fit in terms of the team and the guys that we have.”
What the Penguins are giving up for Iginla is nothing that will kill their prospect system. Hanowski, the team’s 2009 3rd round pick is a low range prospect, while Agostino is considered by scouts to be a mid-tier prospect but at best projects as a third line NHL forward. None are premium prospects.
The low return made the Penguins comfortable enough not to have an extension in place for Iginla but that’s something the Penguins will be exploring.
Jarome Iginla was so close to being a Boston Bruin by 10 to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday night that TSN’s Bob McKenzie even sent out an apology on twitter this morning after it was announced that Iginla is a Penguin writing “To be clear – no excuses – our group at TSN, of which I’m part of, regrets making a reporting error tonight. Apologies to our audience.”
Iginla is a Pittsburgh Penguin because that’s where he wanted to go, not because the Penguins had a better offer than the Boston Bruins. As McKenzie pointed out, the Bruins had the offer that Calgary preferred. Iginla just wouldn’t sign off.
It became clear this week that if Jarome Iginla was going to become a Pittsburgh Penguin he was going to have to orchestrate his way to Pittsburgh and that’s exactly what happened here.
It’s now reach the Stanley Cup Finals or bust for the Penguins.