The last time the Boston Bruins had a 30-goal scorer during the regular season was the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship year when Milan Lucic had his best season in a Boston uniform. In 2013-14, the Bruins had two 30-goal scorers in Patrice Bergeron and Jarome Iginla. Bergeron signed an eight-year contract last season keeping him as a Bruin through 2022. Iginla, on the other hand, is an unrestricted free agent. Even at his age (36, turning 37 in July) Iginla is a perennial 30-goal weapon the Bruins cannot afford to let go this offseason.
Iginla is one of this generation’s best goal scorers, cracking 30 goals in 12 of his 17 NHL seasons. During his prime, where he served as captain of the Calgary Flames, he twice broke 50 goals, and proved to be a dominant power forward in helping the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. In the postseason, he has continued putting the puck in the net, tallying 37 goals in 118 playoff games. For a team like the Bruins, who scored six goals in their final four playoff games against the Montreal Canadiens, letting go of a natural scorer like Iginla would be a terrible mistake.
Especially under Claude Julien, the Bruins have relied on defense to win games, staying near the top of the league in goals against almost every season. Now, the opportunity presents itself for Peter Chiarelli to re-sign Iginla, and let the Bruins make another run at the Stanley Cup.
The line of Iginla, Lucic and David Krejci was the Bruins’ top trio all season, and showcased an ability to create offense while staying responsible in the defensive end. The passing ability of Krejci, forechecking presence of Lucic and shoot-first mentality of Iginla made them a formidable weapon every time Boston rolled that line onto the ice. The chemistry present during the end of the regular season dwindled in the playoffs, but their productivity was unquestioned through 82 games of the President’s Trophy winning Bruins.
Iginla signed a team friendly contract with the Bruins in 2013, with a base salary of $1.8 million. With player bonuses, Iginla actually brought in $6 million last season, but only had a $1.8 million cap hit. With roughly $9 million in cap space entering next season, and only Iginla and Shawn Thornton not under team control this offseason, the Bruins have the money to re-sign Iginla. By making it a priority, Iginla can re-sign another team friendly contract, and have a full training camp with the first line primed for 2014.
All salary information for this article was obtained from capgeek.com.