Bruins keen on keeping Jarome Iginla after strong season

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Jarome Iginla had a strong season in Boston. (Getty Images)
Jarome Iginla had a strong season in Boston. (Getty Images)

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The deal before last season to finally bring Jarome Iginla to the Boston Bruins worked out as well or better than either side could have hoped for. They gave the veteran goal scorer a one-year deal with a low base salary but high potential incentives, most of which he met.

In the end he ended up making $5.5 million, most of that money will be deferred to next season's salary cap, their way of making sure they could fit Iginla on this last Bruins team's budget.

If the Bruins get their wish, they'll have the same kind of structure again for next season for the man who led the team in goals. From Joe Haggerty at CSN New England:

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, coach Claude Julien and president Cam Neely have all voiced an interest in bringing Iginla back for a second season in Boston.

"I thought he started out a little slow ... [but] he came on late and he came on strong," said Neely on Tuesday. "Obviously he's a leader, he [was] the captain of another team [in Calgary] for a long time, and he came in and added an element to our group, especially the forward group. He ended up scoring 30 goals, which is not easy in this league anymore. We would like to try and see if we can figure something out moving forward with him. We will see where that goes, but I thought he fit in really well with our team."

Fit in well he did. As mentioned he led the Bruins in goals, hitting the 30 mark (tied with Patrice Bergeron). He played alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci in a line that was very good all season long and though they dried up a bit in the postseason (Krejci in particular), Iginla still had five goals and many more great chances.

It's hard to see a reason why the Bruins wouldn't want Iginla back but again, it's a matter of making it work against the cap. Partly because of $4.2 million of his cap hit from this past season being delayed to next (per Cap Geek), the Bruins again won't have much money to work with and a similar deal would be necessary.

From his point of view, it seems like it would be a good fit for Iginla to return too given the success he had. Though if some team were to offer him a bigger base salary and more years if he hits free agency, we'd have to see how much Iginla values the fit in Boston.

Iginla finished his first season in Boston with 30 goals and 31 assists, average 18:13 per game. He will turn 37 on the first day of free agency, July 1.

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