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Jarome Iginla trade to Pittsburgh is noteworthy on many levels

March 28, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Jarome Iginla is pursued by Cam Fowler of the Ducks as goaltender Viktor Fasth defends his net in the Flames-Ducks game on March 8.
Jarome Iginla is pursued by Cam Fowler of the Ducks as goaltender Viktor… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

At one point Wednesday night, according to Canada’s TSN network and other media outlets eager to appear to be experts, Jarome Iginla had been traded from Calgary to Boston for two prospects and a first-round draft pick. A few scrupulous souls like Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe were cautious and said the trade hadn’t been confirmed, but most followed TSN’s report like lemmings to the sea.

Um, not so fast.

Iginla, the valiant right wing who will be 36 this summer, was traded to Pittsburgh, not to Boston, a true stunner. Not only because so many people were so wrong but because the Penguins had already loaded up this week for a Stanley Cup run by acquiring veteran forward Brenden Morrow from Dallas and rugged defenseman Douglas Murray from San Jose.

“Apologies, had multiple sources confirm a trade that did not happen,” TSN studio analyst Aaron Ward tweeted later.

The deal that did happen after midnight Eastern time sent Iginla—whose contract expires after the season--to Pittsburgh for college prospects Ben Hanowski of St. Cloud State and Kenny Agostino of Yale, plus a first-round pick in 2013. Iginla, like Morrow, had to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through. It couldn’t have been  a tough decision. Iginla—a healthy scratch for Calgary’s game Wednesday—was scheduled to hold a news conference Thursday morning to share his thoughts and bid farewell to the city he represented so well for 16 seasons.

Pittsburgh has become a desirable destination for elite players—never more so than now, with Sidney Crosby healthy, Evgeni Malkin due back soon from an injury, the defense blossoming into a solid group and the goaltending strong. Kudos to General Manager Ray Shero for making it a good environment and for taking a run at the Stanley Cup now, while Crosby is free of concussion problems and so many other pieces have fallen neatly into place.

Here’s a question-and-answer session with Shero, courtesy of the Penguins

And here’s video of a news conference Flames General Manager Jay Feaster held late Wednesday.

Despite rumors that the Kings were contenders for Iginla, they haven’t really focused on him. It’s General Manager Dean Lombardi’s job to listen to any offer, but acquiring an aging winger who’s a rental player wouldn’t have solved the Kings’ real problem, which is the lack of a beefy defenseman to replace the injured Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. And Lombardi was not contemplating trading goaltender Jonathan Bernier for Iginla. Bernier is worth more than a rental player, even one as respected as Iginla. With Jonathan Quick still not at last season’s level and a jampacked calendar in this post-lockout schedule, the Kings need Bernier to help keep them in a playoff spot.

All this drama has been fun, but it could take most of the intrigue out of the final days leading up to the April 3 trade deadline.

ALSO:

Penguins acquire Jarome Iginla from the Flames

Matt Barkley's arm put on display at USC pro day

Bill Ranford subs for absent Jonathan Bernier at practice

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