Jarome Iginla has done a lot of moving around in recent years. He’s been out west, then came east and as of Tuesday, he’s headed west yet again.
The 37-year-old free agent has agreed to a three year $16m contract with the Colorado Avalanche. There is no doubt in my mind that the Boston Bruins wanted to keep this guy. But due to salary cap issues, the Bruins were forced to let him go.
I’m sure Iginla wanted to stay there as well just because the Bruins style of play works for him. Nevertheless, a deal could not be made and Iginla is headed to Colorado. I believe this is an excellent signing for the Avalanche.
I’m a little bit surprised at the length of the contract, but besides that it’s a pretty good deal. Because Iginla is the real deal. He’s got speed, size, exceptional positional play and a wicked shot. He’s not afraid to fight for his teammates or throw the big hit to try and shift the momentum of the game.
He’ll be a fantastic leader for guys like Nathan Mackinnon, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. He always plays the game with such intensity that many players are still intimidated by him. I’m sure Av’s head coach Patrick Roy plans to make good use of that.
Roy has just come out of a very successful season, tallying 52 wins and tying the franchise record. All these young players are hungry for success and quite frankly now that Iginla’s arrived there is no telling how far this team will go.
This signing came shortly after the Colorado Avalanche acquired veteran centermen Daniel Brier from the Montreal Canadians. Together, these two guys have loads of experience and skill to offer this team.
This was one of the goals for the team heading into free agency, adding experience to help settle the nerves in the dressing room when the pressure is on. With these two signings, I’d say the organization has met that goal at least 10 times over.
The challenge for Patrick Roy will be finding the right lines to put these veteran guys on. Brier and Iginla will probably both be spending time on the powerplay and penalty kill units. Brier’s faceoff skills will go a long way in helping the Avs kill penalties this year.
Plus, Jarome Iginla’s one-timer slap shot will give the Avalanche plenty of conversions on the powerplay. Where they play the rest of the time, Roy will have to figure out.
I believe both these guys will be rotating on the second and third lines throughout the season. But I have been wrong before. I can’t wait to see how big of an influence these guys will have on this young squad of players moving forward.
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