The Boston Bruins landed Jarome Iginla at last this offseason after difficulty doing so during the regular season. Iginla comes into Boston with lofty expectations from some fans who expect him to light up the ice every night. That may not be the case next season.
Iginla, now 36 years-old, is in the sunset of his career. Compared to Jaromir Jagr he looks like a rookie, but let’s keep it in perspective that he is seasoned veteran with almost 18 years of hockey which have taken a toll on his body. Some people believe that age is just a number, but that stops when it becomes difficult to produce. Last year Iginla, along with the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins were shut down by the Bruins. Maybe he was out of gas or just unlucky. The optimist will look to his 12 points in 15 playoffs games as evidence he still has it. He could, but only time will tell. The next season will be longer, and if the Bruins reach the same point in the playoffs again, will Iginla still have enough left in the tank for a deep season push? He was never tested with a Calgary Flames team that, at his older age, has not made the playoffs in the past four seasons.
The next question is his motivation, which is similar to that of Jagr’s. Both have come to Boston in hopes of winning the Stanley Cup one last time before retirement, like Mark Recchi did in 2011. Iginla thought he would have a chance in Pittsburgh, but that obviously did not pan out. Now he comes to Boston as a gun-for-hire; he does not have the Bruins’ passion that a Patrice Bergeron or Milan Lucic would have. This is probably why his one-year contract is so heavily incentive based. He may leave after this season for a better team hopping onto whoever has the best chance of winning. If he did not leave Pittsburgh, this may not even been worth bringing up.
I am not trying to be cynical but realistic of Jarome Iginla. He may try to finish out his career as a Bruin because he likes the organization although it is doubtful. Fans should expect him to focus more on himself than being a Bruin. The goal of lifting the Cup again will be his driving factor before he retires. Hopefully, that will work out to be mutually beneficial for both parties involved.
Tim N. is a Boston Bruins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @timnikolou