“To be a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins or to live in Pittsburgh, it’s a proud day to see how far the team has come” Credited the reasons for players waiving their clauses to come to Pittsburgh to “having a Sidney Crosby, a Geno Malkin, a beautiful building, and our ownership”
Timeline as to how Iginla trade happened after Morrow/Murray:
“I didn’t know where the Jarome Iginla situation would actually go. I talked to [Calgary] for a couple weeks and told them we were interested… as a group if there’s a chance to get Jarome Iginla, and this is a year as we talked about where we have room, we want to try to get Jarome Iginla. And there’s only one Jarome Iginla. This guy’s a future hall-of-famer.”
“A player with a no movement clause, the player has to sign off on where they want to go. He signed off to come to Pittsburgh and I told him how appreciative we are of that….it’s a good day for the Penguins”
Where guys are gonna fit in and in terms of the chemistry:
“The good news is there’s no issue with the salary cap this year, we still have room….where guys play is up to the coaching staff, Dan in particular. We have different players that can play different roles…It doesn’t matter who you play with, where you play…every player that’s here is here for a reason – it’s to help us win. A guy like Jarome Iginla can play different roles and can play with different players.”
“My conversation with Jarome Iginla last night was about his excitement to get here, to help the team in any way he could. None of the players we got this week have asked who they’re going to play with. They just want to come and help us win.”=
Everyone went to bed assuming Iginla is going to Boston – it seemed done. What was that timeline like for you?
“There were a couple times yesterday that we weren’t getting him. I told our group a couple times yesterday that it wasn’t getting done, but later in the night it was coming back around. I knew what you all knew, I was watching the Calgary game because I was at the office… Jay Feaster called back and the reality set in that we had a deal, but then it took time for the trade conference call and things like that, the first people I called were my kids and let them know that we acquired Jerome Iginla, and they said “No you didn’t, he’s going somewhere else - it’s on TV.” I said “Oh, I think we’re getting him.” (press laughs)
On CGY losing a player they’ve had for 16 yrs:
“[CGY’s] gotta turn the page and Jarome’s gotta turn the page and hopefully help us out here.”
Staal trade help this?
“You never know what the trade deadline is going to bring. I told my staff I was willing to trade a first-round pick this year because of the picks we got for Staal…I wish [Hanowski and Agostino] great success and I think it’s a great opportunity to play for the Calgary Flames and it’s a great story for them to get the opportunity and it’s a great opportunity for our scouting team to turn those prospects into assets.”
How would a quick exit from playoffs play into this?
“No one wants to lose in the playoffs, I mean you have a competitive team and it’s a competitive business…I believe we have a good team this year. This team on paper, that’s a good-looking team on paper, but that’s not going to mean anything… I’m pretty certain on the road we’re not going to be a well-liked hockey team. … [everyone] is going to be out to beat the Pittsburgh penguins…it’s just a process of trying to make your team better…We’re trying to win. It doesn’t guarantee anything. It just guarantees you have a good bunch of guys and hope things come together.”
Are the Penguins low on draft picks/prospects? Will you have to get some of that back in trades?
“Before today, a lot of people probably didn’t know [prospects traded for Iginla]…we have plenty of guys coming, our draft pool is I think the deepest its ever been. The players that we have I believe are A-Rated prospects. We traded Morrow to try to improve this team. It was difficult … we got lots of assets and there’s guys we still have in college – they may turn into some of the guys we’re talking to today. I credit our scouting staff. This year the challenge is we don’t have a 1st or 2nd round pick, but we do have two 3rds. We’ll see what happens. That’s not my thought right now – it’s on this hockey team right now.”
New guys coming in, nobody coming out. How to manage roster?
We’re not in jeopardy of waivers. We’ll have to make decisions on no-waiver players. We’ll see what happens by April 3rd obviously…Jerome Iginla will not be on our 23-man roster until his immigration is approved so we don’t have to worry about his roster spot until he’s cleared to come. And then we’ll manage our roster till next Wednesday at noon when you can expand beyond 23. I think we’ll be in pretty good shape.
How comfortable are you with the pressure? It’s all or nothing now.
(long pause) I think we do have a really good group of players and people…We do have a month to come together as a team on and off the ice….that’s going to be the challenge. Yes, the pressure’s on, but that’s the way it goes. If you’re in 15th place the pressure’s on. We are where we are, and I like where we are…there’s plenty of good teams out there in the East, and it’s going to be a battle. But you put yourself in the best position to be in a playoff spot….lets concentrate on the rest of the regular season and find our identity again.