Thursday, March 28, 2013

Iginla to the Penguins

The Miami Heat's epic winning streak comes to an end? Sweet Sixteen about to begin? Time to talk about a hockey trade!

Some observations on the Pittsburgh Penguins' trade for (now-)former Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla.

First, if you ask anybody outside of the Great White North (or Yinzer Nation) what's going on in the NHL, they will ask, "aren't they locked out this year?" But this isn't just the top story -- it's the top several stories on the Calgary Sun's website. And it's a big deal in Pittsburgh (at least two of the top radio stations in town are non-stop Iginla this morning). Penguins fans are suddenly remembering the great affection they have always had for this guy who helped Sid Crosby win Olympic Gold.

Second, the Boston Bruins went to bed thinking they were getting Iginla. The Bruins apparently offered the Flames a better deal for Iginla than the Pens did, but Iginla wanted to go to Pittsburgh (and with the Miami-Heat-esque assemblage of talent that Pens' GM Ray Shero has gathered recently, it is hard to blame him) (editor's note: now I'm having images of the Miami Heat on ice skates). This deal hurts Boston twice -- by keeping Iginla out of the Bruins' hands and by helping Eastern Conference rival Pittsburgh.

Third, there's some suggestion that this deal costs Pittsburgh by trading away their first-round draft pick for 2013.  Well, look, there's very little doubt that the Pens are going to be near the top of the regular-season standings. NHL draft order is determined by regular-season standings (modulo the lottery). So their draft picks for 2013 are sure to be less-valuable late-round picks. Which means that this is the year to make that trade.

Some Pittsburgh sports talk callers are already whining about where the Penguins will find room for all the talent they have.  I'm sure that this is a problem that Flyers fans would love to have.
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