(1.) Jarome Iginla is set to become a free agent in the offseason. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins retain his services after acquiring him at the trade deadline?
The Pittsburgh Penguins will have a very active off-season to say the least. (i.e. rumors swirling around of Minnesota being interested in Fleury, Letang being moved, and signing of pending free agent (FA). There is one player the Penguins need to keep from their own pending FA's. No I am not talking about Pascal Dupuis (though he is an important piece of the puzzle for Pittsburgh) I'm referring to Jarome Iginla. Iginla, who will be 36 at the start of next season, still has plenty left in the tank and can still make a huge impact with the talent he possesses for the Penguins.
Despite his age, that does not indicate Iginla will be slowing down anytime soon. Case(s) in point, Ray Whitney, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, who are are in their 40's, still produce numbers well beyond one would expect for a player their age. Martin St. Louis, who is 38, is still lighting up the scoreboard and shows up on the score sheet on a consistence basis. (1.) St. Louis registered 94, 99,74,60 points respectively in the past four seasons. Iginla, who is just as offensively gifted as St. Louis, is also capable of putting up the same numbers. Especially if he is used right.(Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma moved Iginla from his natural position after Pittsburgh acquired him at the trade deadline and the ramifications of that were quite obvious that even Hellen Keller could have seen that). Despite this, Iginla made the best of the situation and had a huge role in Pittsburgh's powerplay, registering 11 points on the man advantage (2.)(3.)(4.)(5.)(6.)(7.)(8.)(9.)(10.)(11.) ( 6 in regular season, 5 in postseason) in 28 total games (both regular and postseason)
Jarome Iginla also will fill what I like to call "The Bill Guerin Role" and provide both scoring and leadership. The latter which the Penguins have lacked since Bill Guerin retired following the 2009-10 season. Not only will Iginla provide scoring and veteran leadership, but he will also provide toughness as he is not one to shy away from getting physical. Keeping Iginla would also give him the chance of reviving his career as well. Already having chemistry with Sidney Crosby, the Penguins should want to give Iginla the opportunity to play a full season in Pittsburgh on Crosby's line. I would consider this to be a "small risk, high reward" scenario, as Iginla will not be getting a $7 million dollars per year on his next contract, so the Penguins should be able to retain his services at a favorable price.
Jarome Iginla is already assured of a place in the NHL Hall of Fame with his many accolades. The only thing missing now is a Stanley Cup from Iginla's trophy case and resume. Add in his other tangibles as mentioned above with his drive and determination to reach the top, there is no reason the Penguins should not do everything they can to retain Iginla's services.
Just in case you are a Penguins fan still on the fence of retaining Iginla, maybe these two could change your mind! ;) (12.)
Sources: (1.) http://img.fannation.com/upload/truth_rumor/photo_upload/379/900/full/Jarome-Iginla.jpg
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