Jarome Iginla is headed back to the Western Conference, and joining one of it’s most exciting young teams.
The veteran winger has inked a three-year, $16 million deal with the Colorado Avlanche, per various outlets. It’s a big paycheck and a fairly significant cap hit ($5.3 million) for the 37-year-old, but one Iginla more than earned after leading Boston with 30 goals last year.
The Bruins wanted Iginla back, but conceded they were out of the running in the days leading up to free agency, as their current cap situation prevented Iggy returning for a second season.
In Colorado, Iginla joins a talented, youthful squad with plenty of weapons up front — Calder winners Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan McKinnon, Canadian Olympic center Matt Duchene and excellent two-way forward Ryan O’Reilly. Iginla also becomes the oldest player on the active roster, though the Avs did pick up some additional experience yesterday in acquiring forward Daniel Briere in exchange for P.A. Parenteau.
It’s probably worth noting Iginla is only 11 years younger than his new head coach — 48-year-old Patrick Roy, who won the Jack Adams this year as the NHL’s top bench boss.
Also worth noting? This move will reunite Iginla with ex-Flames teammate Alex Tanguay, who got off to a nice start with the Avs last season before suffering a knee injury that shut him down for the year. The two played on Caglary’s top line together in 2010, centered by current UFA Olli Jokinen.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.