What? Did you think the Pens were done dealing?
Not so fast.
After the rest of the league had anticipated veteran forward Jarome Iginla being dealt to the Boston Bruins due to his healthy scratch last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins swooped in and bagged the biggest (rental) name on the market.
Announcing the trade officially at 1:25 a.m. Eastern time, Calgary received prospects Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino, along with a 2013 first-round draft choice for Iginla.
Pens general manager Ray Shero had this to say following last night’s shocker:
“We talked to (Flames general manager) Jay (Feaster) and said if you’re going to move Iginla we would be interested. Over the last day or so it became apparent they were going to move him. We started getting into more names and scenarios.”
Shero also added that the first-round draft choice was “very important to them.” So the busiest general manager in hockey (Shero) gave Calgary what they wanted, to land the man many wanted.
Iginla, 35, has played for the Calgary Flames his whole 16-year career, but with the current struggles of his now ex-team (in standings,) his chances of lifting a Stanley Cup were getting bleaker by the minute.
In 1,219 games, Iginla has posted 1,095 points (525G, 570A) and is a seven-time NHL All-Star.
Shero mentioned that he did speak with Iginla, who is “excited to come to Pittsburgh,” but also said that where he lines up is up to the Pens head coach:
“That will be up to Dan (Bylsma). They have a month to work things out as far as where things go and what the fit might be. They may play with different players here and there and find that fit with what the roles are and who’s comfortable with whom. We have some time to sort through that and find those roles.”
Assuming he’ll probably skate on the line with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby, it makes it more than likely that forward Pascal Dupuis will be on his way to Pittsburgh’s third line to skate with Brandon Sutter and Matt Cooke.
Considering the team now has veteran forward Brenden Morrow to skate on the second line, and with the career-season Kunitz is having, the likelihood of Dupuis playing on the third line now is almost inevitable.
It will be interesting to see what the team does with young forward Beau Bennett, who was skating with Evgeni Malkin’s line before he (Malkin) went down with an injury, and who has been currently skating on Sutter’s third line.
The team has already said that Bennett is designed for their future, but then again, the team has made statements like these before about a prospect (Joe Morrow).
With Malkin out, it’s just hard to judge where Bennett will skate right now.
Or for that matter, where anyone will line up.
The Pens will eventually have to make decisions on not just Bennett and Dupuis, but also with forwards Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey, Joe Vitale, and Tanner Glass.
But all these extra forwards might also lead you to believe that the Pens may not be done dealing yet.
There has been no word on if Iginla will start tonight for the Penguins, who go for 14 in-a-row against Winnipeg in the CONSOL Energy Center at 7 p.m.