Saturday, June 08, 2013

Iggy and the Off-Season

While the Boston Bruins celebrate and prepare for their second trip to the Stanley Cup in three years, there's some murmurs about what should have Jarome Iginla done in the aftermath of this whole series. Of course, Iginla publicly was going to head to Boston at the trade deadline, only to veto that and head to Pittsburgh instead. Little did anyone know that they would meet in the Conference Finals and that the Bruins would manhandle the Penguins.

But do you really blame Iginla?? For the Penguins, they were the top dog coming out of the East and it was almost unthinkable to believe that they would get steamrolled the way they did. Hell, Iginla had 4 goals and 12 points heading into the playoffs and looked to be that secondary scoring that the Penguins need should the top line get into a funk. No one thought that the Bruins would shut the entire roster down.

Now, with the Penguins out, Iginla a free agent, and the future being unknown-- did Iginla lose his last chance at getting with a real contender?? The Penguins probably won't bring him back unless he takes a massive pay-cut and assumes the role of maybe a bottom-six guy. It's not that Iginla doesn't bring some intangibles, but he'll be 36 next year and if he doesn't find a way to find more speed in his legs; not many contenders will use him to the fullest.

That's not to say a team won't be salivating to get a leader like Iginla on their team, but they could shy away from what he could be asking for in order to be on that team. The league knows he wants to be with a contender in order to win a Stanley Cup, but will he and his agent, Don Meehan, be willing to take the pay-cut in order to get that ring??

For the most part, Iginla's ego won't be hurt to take the decreased pay, but at the same time-- will his agent be able to convince him that a possible low-ball deal be able to get him to a Cup Finals or will Meehan really go for that top dollar and try to sway Iginla for a fringe team on their way up over a sure thing?? A team like the Blues could benefit from Iginla being on the team, but would Iginla benefit from being there and maybe get to the second round rather than being on a top contender?? Maybe the Marian Hossa trick could be it, where Iginla goes to Boston in the summer-- doubtful-- but it could give him a puncher's chance.

It's a tough spot for Iginla to be in, as he is a figure who is almost universally loved by fans because of what he meant to an organization like the Flames and the country of Canada for his play. Not only that, but he was talked about as being one of the league's top players before Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin started the youth movement in the league. Whatever he chooses this summer, Iginla will make a decision after weighing all the options and will most likely go with his heart rather than go with the dollars.

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