Following a whirlwind of rapidly evolving news, Jarome Iginla is headed to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal was announced on the Calgary Flames' official Twitter feed, as the team sent its star winger to the Steel City for Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski and its 2013 first-round pick:
The #Flames have traded Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 28, 2013
The #Flames acquire Kenneth Agostino & Ben Hanowski & the Pittsburgh Penguins 2013 first round pick for Iginla.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 28, 2013
The Penguins confirmed the deal with a statement on their official website.
UPDATE: Thursday, Mar. 28, at 1:15 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
On Thursday, Iginla publicly said his goodbyes to the fans of Calgary. From TSN:
Jarome Iginla bid farewell to the city of Calgary on Thursday with same the class and dignity he displayed on and off the ice with the Flames over 16 NHL seasons.
"I want to thank the fans in Calgary," the now-former Flames captain told reporters at a crowded Ed Whalen Media Lounge at Scotiabank Saddledome.
"I never thought I'd play here so long. It's a great city, a great community and a great place to live. Leaving is tough, but it's a great opportunity to go to Pittsburgh and do some good things there."
---End of update---
UPDATE: Thursday, Mar. 28, at 7:22 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Jarome Iginla reportedly blocked the potential trade to Boston in favor of going to Pittsburgh, according to CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty.
@kylerdraper Iginla chose Pittsburgh over Boston. He squashed the deal with the Bruins.— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 28, 2013
TSN's Bob McKenzie has more on the deal to Boston falling apart.
Doesn't matter now, but CGY preferred deal was with BOS. The 2 teams agreed on components but w/o critical 3rd element - player approval.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 28, 2013
Bottom line, as was the case with Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla is a Pittsburgh Penguin today because PIT is where he wanted to go.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 28, 2013
---End of update---
TSN's Aaron Ward had reported earlier in the evening that Calgary had shipped Iginla to the Boston Bruins, with his colleague Bob McKenzie giving details that Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and a conditional first-round pick would be heading Calgary's way.
However, it seems the deal between Boston and Calgary fell apart and Pittsburgh stepped came forward with a better offer.
Iginla will head to the Penguins and don a non-Flames sweater for the first time in his 16 NHL seasons. Drafted by the Stars in 1995, Iginla never played a minute for Dallas before being shipped off to Calgary in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk.
Considered, at the time, a promising but unproven prospect, Iginla would go on to become arguably the greatest player in Flames franchise history.
A star winger with a deadly shot, Iginla became Calgary's favorite son with his ability to generate points. He's the team's all-time points, goals and games played leader and is second on the Flames' assists list to boot.
A two-time winner of the NHL's Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for most goals in a season and the Flames' long-time captain, Iginla has become the singular face of hockey in Calgary.
Who was the biggest winner of this deal?
At 35 years old, he likely won't bring the same voracity to Pittsburgh, but Iginla remains an effective player. He had 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) heading into Wednesday night and will walk into a Penguins lineup loaded with top-tier talent.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are two of the best centers in hockey and should set up Iginla nicely, depending on which line he ends up joining.
Pittsburgh will also present Iginla a chance to win a Stanley Cup. The Penguins have won 13 straight games and have built themselves quite the lead in the Eastern Conference standings. With Iginla in the mix, that lead only stands to grow for the remainder of the season.