“I’m very happy and appreciative of another opportunity to talk and see if we could find something,” Iginla said during a conference call with GM Peter Chiarelli. “I was thrilled when we did. I wasn’t sure how it would be received. Peter and the organization were great. I’m thrilled they gave me another opportunity.”
Talks began on Thursday night. Don Meehan, Iginla’s agent, called Chiarelli to relay his client’s interest. The Bruins were still chasing Daniel Alfredsson at the time.
When Alfredsson informed Chiarelli he would sign with Detroit, the Bruins turned their focus solely on Iginla. They did not kick the tires on Bobby Ryan, who was traded to Ottawa.
The sides agreed on a one-year, $6 million deal last night. Iginla’s base salary will be $1.8 million. Iginla will make $4.2 million in performance bonuses, most of which will be attainable.
Iginla projects to be the team’s No. 1 right wing next to Milan Lucic and David Krejci. Iginla played mostly on the left side in Pittsburgh. Iginla said he feels more comfortable on the right side.
Iginla will also help replace the leadership vacuum caused by the departures of Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton, and Rich Peverley.
“We acquired a terrific player, a Hall of Fame player,” Chiarelli said. “We lost some leadership when Andy Ference left, and Pev and Horts. I feel Jarome will bring us terrific leadership and terrific performance. He’s a highly motivated, elite player.”
* Chiarelli said they’re very close to extending Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins will use the long-term injury exception with Marc Savard to create space for Rask. Chiarelli does not expect to make any more major signings or trades.
* The Bruins did not pursue Anton Khudobin because they wanted a lower cap number for their backup goalie, said Chiarelli. Khudobin signed a one-year, $800,000 deal with Carolina. The Bruins signed Chad Johnson to a one-year, $600,000 contract.