When Paul Stastny left the Colorado Avalanche for the division rival St.Louis Blues, Avs fans everywhere were devastated. That happened on the first day of free agency. However, another big move for the club also occurred just hours after Stastny was officially gone. Devastation turned into jubilation upon hearing the news that future hall-of-famer Jarome Iginla, had signed with the Colorado Avalanche.
Iginla is the model power forward in the NHL. He has plenty left in his gas tank too. He can still knock you out, and he can still snipe that puck top shelf. Iggy played all 82 games for the Avalanche this year. While also coming just 1 shy of another 30 goal season, finishing with 29 goals and 30 assists for a total of 59 points. Jarome Iginla is the best free agent signing of 2014, and thankfully the Colorado Avalanche were the team that snagged this beauty.
The start of Jarome Iginla’s first season with his new club didn’t go as expected. In the beginning people were starting to doubt the move, argued that he was slowing down, that Jarome Iginla was just not a good fit with a young, fast Avalanche team, and that leaving Boston was a big mistake. How wrong they were. Jarome Iginla provides excellent experience, leadership, scoring, and toughness for the Colorado Avalanche, it was an absolute great signing by the new regime.
Yes, Iginla started off very slowly, only scoring 9 goals in his first 38 games with the Colorado Avalanche. However he quickly turned up the heat, burying 20 goals and adding 15 assists for 35 points in the final 44 games. He picked up where he left off with Alex Tanguay too, they form a very tight duo that the Avs can now turn to if need be. Iggy lit it up during the second half of the season, finishing the year as one of Colorado’s most consistent forwards.
The guy is just class all around. Similar to Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla is also one of the most respected players out there today. Iginla is 40th all-time in NHL scoring with 1,226 points. He very well could end up in the top 30 when things are all said and done. He is also 19th overall in goals scored with 589, making it almost a certainty that Iggy will reach that 600 goal plateau.
Despite not getting a crack at the playoffs, Jarome Iginla’s future with the Avalanche will only improve. His leadership and experience are invaluable to the Avs young core, without Iginla this team would lose a lot of heart and a great mentor. And as more time goes on with Iginla wearing the Burgundy and Blue, he will make you forget all about Stastny and remind you why HE was the best free agent signing of 2014.
The Avs have one of the best young cores in hockey, along with one of the best goaltenders in the world. With the right moves, Colorado can now become a strong contender and help get Iggy that Stanley Cup ring he deserves so badly. Let’s make it happen folks.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble