Jarome Iginla to Avalanche: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

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On the first day of NHL free agency, right winger Jarome Iginla reached an agreement with the Colorado Avalanche as his pursuit of the Stanley Cup continues.

Bob McKenzie of TSN passed along word of the deal:

Iginla, who spent a vast majority of his 17-year career with the Calgary Flames, has scored almost 600 goals and added 638 assists in nearly 1,400 games between the regular season and the playoffs.

Yet despite all of his individual success, he has never played on a team that hoisted the Cup. He came extremely close with the Flames at the end of the 2003-04 campaign, when Calgary went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

His track record is terrific both as a player and a leader, but there will always be a missing piece on his resume if he fails to win perhaps the most storied trophy in sports.

He had joined the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, a pair of top contenders, over the past two seasons in search of a Cup. Though things still haven't fallen his way quite yet, it doesn't sound like he's ready to give up the chase.

After Boston's season ended, the veteran winger had already begun looking ahead to the new campaign, per Nicholas Goss of NESN:

I feel good, I love playing the game. I'd like to keep playing for a while longer and keep being effective. Not just playing, but putting pressure on myself to be a good player and help produce. I don't want to just play for playing. I still believe I can be a very good player.

The desire to be better and ultimately win is definitely burning. I'll be working hard this summer and can't wait to be playing again next season.

He scored 61 points, including 30 goals, this past season, so there's no doubt he can still be a productive member of a contending team. Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet noted the continued strong play from the longtime star:

It's unclear how much longer Iginla will be able to perform at such a high level, but he's clearly motivated to keep playing. Combined with his wealth of experience, that makes him a very strong short-term investment, even if he doesn't net 30 goals.

He has only scored fewer than 20 goals once in his career while playing a full season. It would therefore be a surprise if he's anything less than a key offensive contributor once again. That includes strong work on the power play.

Again, his career won't be defined by whether he eventually wins the Stanley Cup. But it would definitely be a great way to cap off an otherwise outstanding career for the talented winger.

Now that he has signed with Colorado, he can focus on the Cup chase once more.