Just one day after celebrating the Fourth of July with a blockbuster trade that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas, the Bruins made another splash, signing Jarome Iginla to fill out their new-look top six, according to Matt Brigidi of SB Nation.
With Nathan Horton signing in Columbus, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli set out to rebuild the right side of his forward group, and now he has done just that. Iginla will join Loui Eriksson, who was acquired in the Seguin trade, in Boston's new group of right wingers.
The Bruins were short on cap room with goaltender Tuukka Rask still needing an extension, but the Seguin trade, which also sent Rich Peverley packing, opened up enough space to get a deal done.
Iginla nearly joined the Bruins in April, when the Calgary Flames agreed to trade their longtime captain to Boston in exchange for Alex Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and a first-round pick, but the future Hall ofFamer nixed the deal at the last minute, opting to join Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh.
Iginla was dead wrong about Pittsburgh being the more likely team to help him win a Stanley Cup. The Bruins emphatically swept the Penguins in four games to win the Eastern Conference title.
The bad blood between Iginla and the city he snubbed made a deal seem unlikely, but cooler heads have seemingly prevailed. The 36-year-old has never won a title, and he could be just what Boston needs to get back to the Final in 2014.
The goal-scoring winger should slot in perfectly on one of Boston's top two lines alongside either David Krejci or Patrice Bergeron, and he should definitely help the Bruins' long-criticized power play.
The Bruins pursued a number of other options as free agency began on Friday, but they missed the signature of each target. Daniel Alfredsson opted to sign in Detroit, and former Bruin Michael Ryder chose to sign in New Jersey rather than return to Beantown.
When news of Ryder's deal with the Devils came out, Iginla seemed to be Boston's last hope for a top-six winger, and although they took their time, the Bruins got their man.
Mike Miccoli of The Hockey Writers put it best:
We are now at a "Jarome or bust!" stage for the Bruins.— Mike Miccoli (@MikeMiccoli) July 5, 2013
Better late than never for the Bruins, who inked their newest player to a one-year deal.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported the terms of the pact via Twitter:
@TSNRyanRishaug. Performance based for Iginla. 1 year $6 mil with Bruins.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 5, 2013
Four members of the Bruins' 2012-13 roster found new homes on Friday, with Andrew Ference, Anton Khudobin and Aaron Johnson joining Nathan Horton on his way out of town, but the new-look Bruins have reloaded on the fly. Now sporting Iginla, the Bruins look set to contend once again.