Boston Bruins fans went to bed believing their team had acquired power forward Jarome Iginla for defenseman prospect Matt Bartkowski, forward Alexander Kokhlachev and a conditional first-round pick.
Then they woke up to learn that Iginla went to the Pittsburgh Penguins instead, in a less-attractive deal for fringe prospects Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski, and Pittsburgh’s first-round draft pick.
So what happened? Iginla had no-trade protection and Iginla wanted to play with Sid the Kid.
“He said he was excited to come to Pittsburgh,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero told reporters in a conference call. “He said he would help anyway he could, didn’t care about role or who he was playing with. He wants to help the team win and be a part of it. It was a big change after 16 years in Calgary so I’m sure it will be quite emotional.”
Moving forward, Iginla could join Sidney Crosby on the top line with Pascal Dupuis. Coach Dan Bylsma could move Chris Kunitz back with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal and create an equally strong scoring line there. And newcomer Brenden Morrow could play with Brandon Sutter on a very good third line.
“We have a month sort through the emotions, find some roles for guys, players accepting of those and playing good hockey,” Shero said. “The team on paper doesn’t mean too much. We have to do it on the ice. Chemistry for a hockey team is very important.”