Tag: Jarome Iginla

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils

Cunningham could solve Bruins’ problems


We mentioned last week the salary cap crunch the Boston Bruins are currently under. Adding to general manager Peter Chiarelli’s problems is the fact both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (both restricted free agents) are unsigned.

The Boston Globe suggested moving one of the Bruins pending unrestricted free agent defensemen in order to both clear cap room and potentially add a right winger – an area the Bruins are currently lacking since the departures of veterans Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton.

However, Bruins’ prospect Craig Cunningham has another idea.

Cunningham, the Bruins fourth-round selection at the 2010 NHL Draft, has his eyes set on the Bruins roster for the upcoming season.

“Once you play and get sent back down, it makes you that hungrier,” Cunningham told Steve Ewen of  The Province. “The life is night and day, pretty much. It’s the life that I want. Everything’s different.”

The 23-year-old made his NHL debut on Dec. 17, 2013 and also suited up for the Bruins April 13 – the only two games he has on his resume.

Cunningham has been a model of consistency at the AHL level with the Providence Bruins registering three straight seasons of 20-plus goals. This past season he led Providence in goals (25) and was third in points (47).

In July, Boston rewarded him with a new, one-year, two-way contract, which pays him $85, 000 at the AHL level and $600,000 at the NHL level.

Cunningham hasn’t really had an opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level and though he’s a right-shot, right-winger – what the Bruins could use, he’s hardly a guarantee to make the team.

Boston also has Jordan Caron, Justin Florek and Matt Fraser, who are all likely ahead of Cunningham in the pecking order.

“You need to go to camp in the best shape possible and see where you fit in and what role you can play,” said Cunningham. “It’s always nice to know that there’s an opportunity. It pushes you that much more throughout your summer.”

Cunningham will need to have an excellent showing during the preseason to get any sort of consideration for time in Boston.

Related: B’s strength coach once viewed Lucic as ‘stringbean’

Tanguay helped sell Iginla on Colorado

Alex Tanguay

Jarome Iginla’s had a little bit of help in choosing to sign with the Colorado Avalanche this summer.

According to L.A. Lariviere of TVA Sports (link in French), former Calgary Flames and soon-to-be Avalanche teammate Alex Tanguay helped convince Iginla Denver was the place to be. Here’s a poorly translated quote from the story:

“A week before, Joe Sakic (vice-president of hockey operations) called me,” Tanguay said. “He asked me Jarome’s phone number. They asked me to call him to sell the merits of Colorado. It was not difficult!”

Tanguay and Iginla were teammates in Calgary for two seasons from 2006-2008 and they worked together as part of a dynamic top line with Daymond Langkow. In Colorado, they figure to be more the veteran leaders on a team that’s relatively young and talented.

Iginla’s three-year, $16 million contract after coming off a 30-goal season with the Boston Bruins puts him in a bigger position to help out right away. Tanguay, on the other hand, dealt with injury trouble last season and played just 16 games.

Getting to play alongside Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, and Gabriel Landeskog probably had a lot to do with Tanguay’s sales pitch. Having Patrick Roy as coach and Sakic running the show doesn’t hurt either.

Bruins’ Eriksson eager to prove himself on first line

Loui Eriksson

When Jarome Iginla signed a three-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche in July, it left a sizable hole on the Boston Bruins’ top line.

The guy who wants to fill that spot and make it his own is Loui Eriksson. As Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com shared, he’s eager to prove to coach Claude Julien he can provide the same kind of offensive punch playing on what’s already a talented first line.

“It’s definitely two great players to play with. I played two games with [David Krejci and Milan Lucic] last season, and it was nice,” said Eriksson. “We’ll see when the preseason starts, and if maybe we practice together a little bit. Then we’ll see how things work out. Krejci is a great player, and he can see the ice really well.”

Eriksson said he wasn’t happy with his first season with the Bruins after arriving in Boston in the deal that sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. He had 10 goals and 37 points in 65 games. He missed 17 games after two separate concussions, something that kept him from being the total two-way player he was in Texas.

If he’s healthy, putting him with Krejci and Lucic could be just the elixir to get the former 30-goal scorer back into offensive form. Krejci’s ability to distribute the puck and Lucic driving the net and wreaking havoc could free space for Eriksson to shoot.

Poll: Will the Canucks make the playoffs?

Willie Desjardins, Trevor Linden

Look up ‘fall from grace’ in the dictionary and the Vancouver Canucks logo has to be taking up some space under the definition.

It’s hard to believe just three seasons ago the Canucks were back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy winners heading into the playoffs as a favorite to get back to the big dance for a second consecutive year.

Fast-forward to the 2014-15 season and the obvious question has to be asked, will the Canucks even make the playoffs?

They’ve done an all-important clean out of the front office. Mike Gillis and John Tortorella are gone. In is arguably the most popular figure in franchise history, Trevor Linden, and his hand picked soldiers Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins.

But now comes the tall task for a trio in-experienced as the lead man in their respective roles.

Linden and Co. have to find a way to get Vancouver, which missed the postseason for the first time since 2008, from the 28th-ranked offense back to the second season.

Other teams that missed the playoffs last season –  like the Nashville Predators, who added James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy and Olli Jokinen, have certainly bolstered their chances.

The upstart Colorado Avalanche, who surprised many by qualifying for the playoffs in Year 1 under Patrick Roy, added savvy veterans Jarome Iginla and Daniel Briere to help their young stars along.

Benning’s new cast members to help jump-start the Canucks offense includes Radim Vrbata, Nick Bonino and Linden Vey, they’ll have to help the likes of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows bounce back from off years.

Vrbata and Bonino are both capable of contributing 20-plus goals at the NHL level and have done so previously. Vey meanwhile has five assists in 18 career NHL games.

Then there’s room for young kids, but who can make the leap? Is Nicklas Jensen ready, and able, to contribute regularly at the NHL level? He had three goals and six helpers in 17 games with the Canucks last season.

Can one of their prospects jump from the Canadian Hockey League right to the NHL?  Bo Horvat, 19, had  74 points in 54 games in his third OHL season with the London Knights last season.

With more questions than answers heading into the 2014-15 season, we ask you Canucks fans, will Vancouver qualify for the playoffs this season?

Related: For Desjardins, responsibilities include both winning and entertaining

Under Pressure: Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla

Look, this isn’t to say that the Colorado Avalanche’s success in 2014-15 will be dependent on Jarome Iginla. The 37-year-old winger will be a reasonably significant part of the equation, to be sure; however, the young core of Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, and Semyon Varlamov is exactly that — the core. As in, the most important part.

We picked Iginla for this post because, after leaving Calgary to chase his first Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh and Boston, he still doesn’t have a ring. Evidently, he feels has a chance to get one in Colorado.

“With this group, I think the sky is the limit,” Iginla said, per the Denver Post, after signing a three-year, $16 million deal with the Avs. “When I think of some of the teams that have had success in the NHL in the last five or six years, I think of Chicago; they were a very young, very talented team that moved up very quickly, that had a very talented young core when they won.”

How ready the Avs really are to compete for a Cup is up for debate. On paper, Colorado’s blue line doesn’t look championship caliber. Certainly, there’s no Zdeno Chara, Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith back there.

Of course, for Iginla, it’s not just about next season in Colorado. There’s a reason he pushed for a three-year deal.

“You don’t want to come and just have one shot at it, on a one-year deal,” he said.

But Iginla has played 1,310 games in his stellar NHL career. Only two active players, Jaromir Jagr (1,473) and Shane Doan (1,315) have played more than that.

So while he’s not quite down to his last shot to hoist Lord Stanley, he’s getting there.