Thoughts: Iginla Trade

1:27am: Things are happening. Screencapped 3 hours later for this post...at magical battery power.

What even? Am I writing this? This is absurd. I, along with many others, firmly believed that Shero was just trying to increase the price for Boston. Little did any of us know just how cheap Iginla would be.

Iginla Trade

Prospects Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino, and a 2013 1st round pick to Calgary for Jarome Iginla.

1. What even? No wait, I already said that. His full name is Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla. That’s where you can begin.

2. This is not like the Morrow and Murray deals. Both of those players are having bad seasons and no longer fit with their previous teams. Iginla is valuable, useful, and still playing solid hockey. He has 22 points In 31 games, is adequate at faceoffs, and can pretty much do anything you want him to do (even a little PK if necessary). He’s still a very valuable hockey player.

3. Shero was brilliant in this trade. The Pens gave up a 1st rounder (less damaging when you just had 2 in the last draft), and two prospects. Agostino is a former 5th round pick, currently unsigned and playing in college. Hanowski is a former 3rd round pick, also currently unsigned and playing in college. Both prospects are widely ranked in the 10-15 range of Pittsburgh’s top 20 prospects. You will not miss them.

4. Not only was Shero brilliant, but give Iginla credit. It appears that 3 teams remained in the mix: LA, Boston, and Pittsburgh. LA apparently fell out of the running early (they didn’t have a 1st round pick to give). Supposedly, Boston offered a conditional first upon re-signing Iginla, Matt Bartkowski, and Alexander Khokhlachev. You know what the Pens offered. Boston’s offer was better. Calgary liked Boston’s offer better. But according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Jay Feaster gave the decision to Iginla and Iginla picked Pittsburgh over Boston. Thank you Jarome.

5. Off that last point (credit to Joe Yerdon of Pro Hockey Talk for this thought), both Iginla and Morrow had trades to Boston and Pittsburgh. Both players picked Pittsburgh. Both players were at war all fall/winter with owners…and namely…with Jeremy Jacobs of Boston during the lockout. One has to wonder if the players/owners fight didn’t play out in the Penguins favor in the ultimate way in the end.

6. The Pens have gained an absurd amount of veteran leadership and grit over the past 4 days. The group already had decent team toughness, now they can cause havoc for any team they face. Everyone loves the word “sandpaper” and the Penguins have acquired a ton of it.

How beautiful does that look. (Thanks to @Allie874 for the pic).

7. Future lines…I don’t even know where to start. One player needs to come off the roster now and I honestly STILL don’t think Shero is done. Personally, I would love to acquire a 4th line center/faceoff guy/PK specialist still. Look for someone to be waived or traded soon. Waived could be Glass or Engelland. Traded could be either of those 2, along with Bortuzzo still. Bennett can be sent down to clear the roster spot too without having to go through waivers. Kennedy probably isn’t going anywhere nor do I think he should.

8. Future lines continued…initially, I would hypothesize:
14-87-9 / 10-17-18 / 24-16-12 / 15-27-48. Reasoning: send Bennett down without making a rushed roster move to trade/waive someone. Keep the first line together while Morrow and Iginla get their feet wet, get up to speed, and learn the system. Bylsma has shown a propensity for sitting Vitale, so he gets scratched.

9. Future lines, Part 3: Eventually, with everyone healthy, switch it to:
14-87-12 / 10-71-18 / 24-16-9 / 27-(15/17/46)-48. Reasoning: The first line has cooled down, they can be broken up when everyone is ready. I think Bennett comes back up, but probably taxis along with the team as a learning experience – he would do no good on the 4th line. Glass/Jeffrey/Vitale will be in a complete dogfight for the last spot on the 4th line. Do not discount TK on the 4th line. He will keep his spot due to playoff experience more than anything. His recent strong play and experience is worth keeping over the 3 I just mentioned for that last spot.

10. Many people have already started to question if Iginla is purely a rental or a possible re-sign after the season ends. Honestly – hard to say without knowing how the season ends. He could very well be a “win the cup and retire” type guy if it plays out that way. One thing to think about though: Iginla will probably want a multi-year deal if he doesn’t win it all and stays in the NHL. The Penguins will be looking to include new salaries for Malkin and Letang in what would be the 2nd year of Iginla’s new deal. That could be a big deterrent against re-signing him.

11. The Penguins are absolutely, officially, unquestionably, ALL IN. This season is now a failure if the Penguins do not make it to the Stanley Cup Final, maybe even if they don’t win the Cup. These moves were clearly made to beat Boston, and inherently everyone else in the East. This team is set up for one of the greatest springs ever, or one of the biggest disappointments ever. The amount of pressure on Bylsma now has absolutely skyrocketed. Good luck to all involved.  #CupOrDie (thanks @Evil_Shero)

Let’s end with some videos:
Iginla vs. Morrow:

and
The Golden Goal:

– @HockeyMeesh