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Jarome Iginla has decided to join the Boston Bruins.
No, seriously this time. Iginla signed a 1-year, $6-million deal with the Boston Bruins on Friday, bringing his bizarre saga with the team full circle.
Back in March, Iginla was practically a Bruin. The Calgary Flames captain had requested to be moved as that team entered a rebuilding phase, and GM Jay Feaster had a deal in place with Boston for two prospects in exchange for Iginla. The trade was reported in the media; Boston GM Peter Chiarelli felt Boston had “won the sweepstakes.”
Insert scratching record noise here: Iginla refused to waive his no-movement clause for Boston, even though the Bruins were one of his preferred destinations. Instead, he forced Feaster to deal him to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"This kind of stuff happens all the time. It shouldn’t, but it does,” said Chiarelli back in March. "That was a good player; that was a real good player.”
The Bruins reacted by trading for Jaromir Jagr, who used to be a star for the team that had just stolen Iginla from Boston's clutches.
Things got surreal when the Bruins and Penguins met in the Eastern Conference Final, with Iginla having the opportunity to prove he made the right decision by picking the Pens over the B’s.
"I knew Boston was a great team," Iginla said before the series. "It was one of those situations when I (chose Pittsburgh) that I knew there was a big possibility we'd be in this situation, and here we are. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
He didn’t score a point in the 4-game Bruins sweep, going minus-4, and Milan Lucic said Iggy’s choice lit a fire under them.
Well, if you can’t beat’em, join’em, apparently.
The Bruins had a need on right wing, with the losses of Nathan Horton and Jagr (one assumes) to free agency. Daniel Alfredsson had been a possibility before he signed with the Detroit Red Wings.
Instead, it’s Iginla that finally joins the Bruins, potentially has the top line winger.
Oh, and the best part: Chiarelli somehow convinced him to make the contract performance based. According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, Iginla has a $1.8 million base salary, $3.7 million games played bonus, $500,000 goal scoring/team playoff performance for a total of $6 million.
Will those fans that booed Iginla as a Penguin cheer for him now? Was the humbling sweep the penance he had to pay? Have Bruins fans lost some respect for Iggy through that ordeal, and then when he disappeared in the conference final?
So when does Jagr become a Penguin …
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