Jarome Iginla didn’t re-sign with the Boston Bruins, and in hindsight, it’s really not much of a surprise.
Iginla signed a reported three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, just hours after NHL free agency got underway. That deal is far more than the Bruins could have offered Iginla, as Boston still is in a difficult salary-cap position.
Iginla admitted as much shortly after reaching his deal in Colorado.
“Even to work a one-year deal this year was very hard for (the Bruins), and I don’t know if that would have fully been an option,” Iginla said Tuesday afternoon on Sportsnet. “Even if it was, we wanted to keep playing — I feel great, I love hockey — I want to play for more than this year. Even if we were able to fit in this year, it would have likely been even harder next year with the guys that are up and the young stars that they have.”
Boston has to sign restricted free agents such as Torey Krug and Reilly Smith this summer, too. And if the Bruins were able to sign Iginla to another bonus-packed contract like they did last summer, those bonuses then would count against the cap next summer. That’s when the Bruins have to sign pending free agents such as David Krejci, Carl Soderberg and Dougie Hamilton.
So even though the Bruins — the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners — still would present Iginla a chance to win his first Stanley Cup, it just wasn’t likely to come together.
“I know Boston — they have a great shot and they’re a great team and they work very hard and they’re committed — and unfortunately it didn’t end the way we wanted it to in Boston, but they’ll be right back there and have a great shot again,” Iginla said. “I realize that, but it wasn’t really a full option.”
Iginla still has a pretty decent chance to win in Colorado. The Avalanche have a core of good, young talent, and they’re coming off a season in which they totaled 112 points, good for second in the Western Conference. The Avs then were upended by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Photo via USA Today Sports Images