Right winger Jarome Iginla may not be capable of winning the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal-scorer or the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading point man at this stage in his career, but that didn't stop the Boston Bruins from treating him well in free agency, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug:
Iginla has been one of the NHL's most prolific scorers over the past 20 years and is likely a future Hall of Famer. Iginla has already scored 530 career goals, but the Bruins are banking on the hope that he still has a few more left in the tank.
Although Iginla's production dropped off a bit this past season, he is still capable of bringing plenty to the table. After playing parts of 16 seasons with the Calgary Flames, Iginla was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the 2013 trade deadline. Iginla seemed rejuvenated after the deal, as he put up 11 points in 13 regular-season games and 12 points in 15 playoff contests.
Iginla's streak of 11 straight seasons with at least 30 goals came to an end this year; while that had a lot to do with the fact that the season was shortened to 48 games due to the lockout, he only had 14 goals in 44 games, so he wasn't on pace to eclipse the 30-goal mark.
With that said, it's difficult to evaluate a player's performance over half a season. Iginla has had poor halves before, but he has always bounced back. The veteran is just two years removed from a 43-goal campaign, so there is reason to believe that the 36-year-old could still put up a big number in the goal-scoring column.
Iginla has twice scored at least 50 goals in a season, and while it is unrealistic to expect that type of production during the upcoming season, there is no reason why he can't have another 30-goal campaign. Even when Iginla isn't putting the puck in the back of the net, though, he is a very valuable contributor.
At 6'1" and 210 pounds, Iginla isn't the biggest player in the game, but he plays like he is. Whether that means going to the dirty areas on the ice, throwing body checks or even dropping the gloves, Iginla isn't afraid to play with reckless abandon and do whatever it takes to win.
In addition to that, Iginla's experience is something that simply can't be measured. He has been among the league's best scorers for roughly 15 years, and he has accomplished a lot during that time frame. Although he led the Flames to the Stanley Cup final in 2003-04, the one thing that Iginla hasn't been able to do is hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.
Calgary came so close to doing so nine years ago, but the Tampa Bay Lightning ultimately prevailed in a seven-game series. While money and contract terms obviously factored into Iginla's free-agent decision to some degree, that Stanley Cup loss has to be in the back of his mind as he strives to have his name etched on the Cup before he ultimately hangs up the skates.
It will be extremely interesting to see how Iginla fits in with Boston next season. Not only should he mesh well with the veterans, but the younger players can learn a ton from Iginla, since he has pretty much seen it all. There were likely several teams vying for his services, so Iginla had a very difficult decision to make during his first foray on the open market.
Iginla has contributed to a winning cause for the better part of a decade, and there is nothing to suggest that things will be any different during the upcoming season.
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