Title seem familiar? Wasn’t too long ago that Jarome Iginla signed with the Boston Bruins in free agency. This year, he’s signed with the Colorado Avalanche for three years, at $16 million over that time period. And once again I must shift my allegiance.
First of all, I really wish he stayed with Boston. Whatever concerns I had with him signing with the Bruins were put to rest as the Bruins won the President’s Trophy last year. True, they got knocked out in the second round of the playoffs, but they had an incredible season. Iginla really fit into the system; in fact, I don’t think there can be a better fit for him than the one he found in Boston. Alas, Boston had no money to keep him (and I literally mean, like next to nothing). They had only a couple million to divide between three or four key players, and I can’t fault them for prioritizing their future stars when it came down to the line. But I still really, really wish he could have stayed. C’est la vie, n’est pas? I think I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for the Bruins – yeah they’re a bunch of goons, but a skilled bunch of goons who should cruise through the eastern conference for years to come.
And now onto the Avalanche. My immediate thoughts when I found about the deal was that he shouldn’t have signed with them. Colorado is a good young up-and-coming team, but it’s no Boston right now. In terms of the money, I think it would have been better to do the deal for two years instead of three, but let’s see how that turns out. As for the team, to be fair it isn’t a bad team. Coach Patrick Roy is easily one of the most passionate hockey figures there is, so I hope that’ll work wonders. Offensively it’s probably one of the stronger teams in the league, with several young guns like Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon (who I still think the Avs tanked for, but whatever). Defensively, however, the team looks weak. They should have adressed that issue in free agency, but other than trading for an old defenseman in Brad Stuart, I don’t think they got it done. The goaltending isn’t an issue, but the defence might be, so I hope they adress it sooner rather than later. Iginla should find a fit in the offence easily, but it won’t be as good as the one he had in Boston. I don’t know if he has the speed to keep up with the younger guns, so it’ll be interesting to see where he finds a fit. I have no doubt that he will find a fit, and with a plethora of talented players around him, I think he can easily have another great year, this time with the Avalanche.
I’m a shameless bandwaggoner, I know, but the key word is shameless. It’ll be weird seeing him play the Flames more often, but I’m still rooting for him. No one deserves to win the Stanley Cup more than Jarome Iginla does, and I hope this is the year. You might recall Colorado won the Cup for another superstar chasing it who couldn’t quite get it done in Boston, Ray Bourque. With that in mind, I’m hopeful they can do it again, this time for Jarome Iginla.
On a final sidenote, I think the Flames did okay in free agency. Signing Jonas Hiller is a good move, he’s a proven goaltender. Deryk Engelland is a good sign too, but for too much money in my opinion (but it does help the Flames hit the floor for the salary cap). Mason Raymond is another good sign who can hopefully replace Mike Cammalleri, but again I think they overpaid. Oh well, this year can’t be too bad for the Flames – at any rate, the rebuild is years ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, so I’ll take comfort in that.