Cup appeal drew Iginla to Pens
Jarome Iginla is a straight shooter.
He is a Penguin because he wants a shot at the Stanley Cup.
“There's no smoke and mirrors,” left winger Brenden Morrow said of his newest teammate. “He's an honest, quality person.”
Iginla said his heart was torn between Calgary and Pittsburgh, but the Penguins had an advantage over the club he had captained since 2003.
“To play on a team with the two best players in the world — and the roll they're on — I wanted that,” Iginla said Thursday in Calgary, Alberta, where he bid adieu to the Flames after 16 seasons.
The Penguins acquired Iginla just after midnight Thursday, swapping prospects — wingers Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino — and a first-round draft pick for the Flames' franchise leader in goals, points and games.
Iginla has notched more than 500 goals and 1,000 points, and he won Olympic gold medals with Mario Lemieux (2002) and Sidney Crosby (2010). At the Vancouver Games in 2010, Iginla called Crosby, Morrow and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury teammates.
Like Morrow, Iginla has never touched the Stanley Cup.
Iginla is counting on the team owned by Lemieux and captained by Crosby to erase that from a Hall of Fame resume.
Lemieux, who rarely grants interviews or releases comments via team officials, praised Iginla.
“He has so many qualities that will benefit our team here in Pittsburgh,” Lemieux said in the statement.
Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, shared his thoughts on Twitter: “Jarome Iginla is a class act, a proud Canadian, and an all-time Flames great. Thanks for everything, Jarome.”
General manager Ray Shero's interest in Iginla was the hockey world's worst kept secret, but the deal with Calgary was not struck until after reports out of Canada called the “Iggy Watch” for the Bruins late Wednesday.
Shero informed his staff multiple times there likely would be no deal, he said.
However, the hands of Calgary general manager Jay Feaster were cuffed by Iginla, whose contract contained a clause that allowed him to pick a new club.
Feaster called Shero late Wednesday and said Iginla's pick was the Penguins.
“I called my kids and let them know we acquired Jarome Iginla, and they said, ‘No you didn't. He's going somewhere else. We saw on TV,' ” Shero said. “I'm, like, ‘Well, I think we're getting him.'
“If there's a chance to get Jarome Iginla … we're going to try and get Jarome Iginla. There's only one Jarome Iginla.”
The Penguins, winners of 13 in a row before playing at home against Winnipeg on Thursday, were preferred because they are best built to win the Cup, Iginla said.
Also, they have former MVPs Crosby and Evgeni Malkin — players who, like Iginla, have won scoring titles.
Iginla carried the offensive load with the Flames, who lost the 2003 Final after holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“I'd love to get my first crack at one Cup,” he said. “Pittsburgh has the two best players in the world. It's really hard as a player to pass up the opportunity to play on a team with Sid and Malkin.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together
- Penguins defenseman Oleksy brings nasty streak, toughness
- Penguins’ ‘new practice rink’ a multi-faceted sight to see
- Ex-Penguin Kennedy skates with former teammates, hopes to catch on with a team