Friday, March 29, 2013
Can Penguins keep Iginla?
By Doug McIntyre
With the recent acquisitions of Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, it's obvious that the Pittsburgh Penguins are doing everything possible to bring home the Stanley Cup this June.
Win our lose, though, the first priority for GM Ray Shero after the season will be to re-sign All-Stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, who are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in July 2014. With captain Sidney Crosby already under contract long-term, fitting another superstar under the salary cap would be tricky. That's why TSN analyst Darren Dreger says it's unlikely -- but not impossible -- that Iginla will remain in Pittsburgh next year.
"You're talking about a very intelligent manager in Ray Shero. He extremely astute when it comes to managing his cap, but anyone can see with the cap dropping to $64.3 million and the fact that he does have to look very hard at Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang coming up, he is going to have some some real big financially tough decisions to make.
"The only way it becomes anything but a rental is if Jarome Iginla absolutely lights it up for the rest of the year, including the playoffs, and the Penguins win the Stanley Cup."
But even a title might not be enough to keep the 35-year-old Calgary Flames legend in Pittsburgh. There's a chance a first career Cup could actually compel Iginla, who becomes a UFA this July, to finish his career back in Calgary, where he'd spent all of his 16 seasons in the NHL before Thursday's trade.