NHL rumors: Jarome Iginla to explore options with Bruins in cap crunch

Jarome Iginla had 30 goals last season in Boston. (Getty Images)
Jarome Iginla had 30 goals last season for Boston. (Getty Images)

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The Boston Bruins have had one clear mission since they hit the offseason: find a way to keep Jarome Iginla. Right now they appear to be failing said mission.

To sign Iginla last summer, the Bruins offered the veteran scorer a one-year deal that was heavily laden with incentives, allowing him to fit under last season's cap. But in the next season the Bruins will have to pay for the cap overages, leaving them in a crunch just as they were last year. And they still have a few restricted free agents such as Rielly Smith and Torey Krug to re-sign.

In other words, the space just doesn't seem to be there and though both sides want to make it work, Iginla and his agent have to be prudent about the situation so he's entertaining other teams in this free-agent courtship window.

From Chris Johnston of Sportsnet:

Without getting into specifics, Meehan confirmed to Sportsnet early Thursday that Iginla’s focus is expanding now that the hockey world has gathered in Philadelphia for the entry draft -- a turn of events that says more about the current state of the Bruins' cap situation than the player himself.

This does not appear to be a case where an agent is trying to capitalize on the free agent interview period and create leverage. Meehan is simply protecting his client.

Iginla was an excellent fit in Boston last season, tying for the team lead in goals with 30 to go with 31 assists in 78 games in his first season as a Bruin. The deal worked as well for the Bruins as they could have hoped, Iginla enjoyed it too.

Being with the Bruins seems to rejuvenate Iginla a bit, either that or his teammates helped bring out the best in him. Either way, it's easy to see why everybody would want the relationship to continue, but if there's no money there's no money. If the Bruins were to re-sign Iginla, it would mean at this point somebody else has to go.

GM Peter Chiarelli is pretty good at getting creative under the cap but if he's going to make it all work this summer, he's going to have to learn a new trick or two.

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