With the arms race in the Central Division heating up, the Colorado Avalanche joined in on the fun in a big way on Tuesday, signing veteran forward Jerome Iginla to a three-year deal. While the financial terms have not yet been disclosed, it is believed to be worth $16 million, and will carry a cap hit of $5.333 million.
The 37-year-old Iginla was a force for the Boston Bruins last season, scoring 30 goals and 61 points in 78 games. He added seven points in 12 playoff games. He joins a young group of forwards for the Colorado Avalanche, adding skill, size, grit and experience.
Iginla was the longtime captain of the Calgary Flames. In Colorado, he will be reunited with former Calgary teammate Alex Tanguay, who was acquired by the Avalanche from the Flames last summer. In Colorado, his new boss will be Joe Sakic, who was his linemate when Canada captured the goal medal in the 2002 Olympics. The two have remained friends. While Iginla did not name his son directly after Sakic, he has said "it didn't hurt."
A veteran of 17 NHL seasons, Iginla has 560 goals and 1,167 points in 1,310 games. Never on to shy away from truculence, he also has 887 penalty minutes. Iginla won the Maurice Richard trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in both 2002 and 2004, also capturing the Art Ross Trophy in 2002 as the league’s leading scorer. In 2002, he also won the Lester B. Pearson Award, as the league’s MVP, as voted by the players. He is a seven-time all-star, and has captured two Olympic gold Medals.
The Iginla signing is just the latest move in a busy offseason for the Colorado Avalanche, who have also added Daniel Briere and Brad Stuart via trade and reportedly signed forward Jesse Winchester and defensemen Zach Redmond and Bruno Gervais. Gervais’ deal is for one year, while Redmond and Winchester both got two.