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Lucic says Iginla’s decision ‘lit a bit of a fire’ for them

Jun 8, 2013, 12:48 PM EDT

Zdeno Chara, Jarome Iginla AP

One of the sidebars to the Bruins sweeping the Penguins was how Jarome Iginla‘s decision to go to Pittsburgh rather than Boston wound up backfiring on him.

The fact he had a choice in the matter wasn’t lost on Milan Lucic and he said it served to motivate his team to showing Iginla what he might’ve missed out on as Joe Haggerty of shares.

“We kind of took it [as motivation], in that sense that when a guy chooses another team over your team, it kind of does light a little bit of a fire underneath you,” said Lucic.

Lucic later said he thought if Iginla had a chance to do it over again he might pick Boston over Pittsburgh. You know what they say about hindsight.

Until facing the Bruins, Iginla was one of the Penguins’ better offensive threats in the postseason. He finished the playoffs with four goals and eight assists but none of those came against Boston. Iginla wasn’t alone in that respect as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang also did not have a point in the series.

Now Iginla’s next question is: What will he do next? Re-sign in Pittsburgh? Test free agency? Retire? He’s got a lot to ponder this summer.

  1. neelybourque778 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Maybe if Iginla showed up for the 4 games his team would still be alive. My god, what a team full of underachievers! Bwahahahahahaha!!!

    • imleftcoast - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      Lucic should get started on the lifetime of rejection that will follow leaving hockey. I look forward that fat ass’ sad tale of Percocets and alcohol to come.

      • 19to77 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        How many Cup rings do you have, lefty?

        Oh, right. Exactly as many as your team.

      • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        Somebody didn’t take their Midol today…

      • drewzducks - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        Imburnttoast would be an expert on living a lifetime of rejection, albeit in complete obscurity.

      • gallyhatch - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        Hey leftcoast, glad to know you’re still alive. Want to see the picture of me with the Stanley Cup from 2011?

    • gm4602009 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      I don’t think Iginla or anyone else in the NHL showing up in this series would have changed the outcome it was meant to be that way. Congrats to Rask, although I don’t like the guy, HE is the reason Boston is still in the cup hunt. The rest of the Bruins should be humble because if there wer anyone else in net for the Bruins they would probably be down 3-1 and facing elimination. They were outplayed 3 out of the 4 games and did not beat the Pens in regular season. Rask hats off to you.

  2. pastabelly - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    At least, he finally admitted what they were all thinking. They understand why Iginla backed out. They just don’t like it.

    • spitfisher - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      I saw the interview with looch, he was struggling with his words and trying to get out the statement, I’m not so convinced he meant it other than getting the press away from himslf in the locker room, Kinda like giving them a little tid bit if they would leave him alone for a few minutes.

      Speculation on my part, but thats how it came across when I saw it

      • nunan - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        No. He was just being careful bc any little misstep in his statement get’s blown out of proportion by the media. For instance, this article excludes the majority of his statement which praises Iginla and mentions how he “earned” the right to make that decision and how he was one of Lucic’s idols growing up, etc. Not a big deal but words are easily taken out of context. Obviously that was a hot topic this series so he was just making sure he didn’t say anything that came across as negative.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Blah! Blah! Blah! Here’s what I was thinking before this series started. The B’s would shut out Crosby and Malkin and win the series in 4. See how easy that is. Lucic should have said that back when it happened. Easy to say after they eliminate the Pens. A whole lot of BS. I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about the SCF when it’s over. I guarantee you that I’ll look like a genius.

      • lordstanley65 - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Probably not.

      • dudermcrbohan - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        easy to say after they eliminated the pens? ya no kidding, only an idiot would have said it before/during the series. how daft are you?

      • gm4602009 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        lucic and the Bs havent won the cup yet? If they don’t…Did Iginla make the wrong move? Lucic should keep his mouth shut if the shoe was on the other foot I don’t think you would see Iginla saying man Im sure glad I went with the Pens over Boston… Boston how soon you forget you were a few minutes away from a first round exit to the Leafs….Don’t claim the cup yet Milan

      • pittsburghsteelergal - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        you only said that because they bruins won…. no way would you have thought that before, pens were number one seed, crosby , by far, is the best player in hockey right now, we have the best fans, we love our sports teams…. pens are too classy to say anything negative about other teams, boston fans have a big ass crybaby for a quarterback also…. btw, all bets were on pittsburgh to win, bruins almost didn’t make against toronto, so i guess being almost beaten by toronto, you would have still thought the bruins were going to beat the pens…. what a pompous ass….

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        I was mocking Lucic for saying Iginla’s decision ‘lit a bit of a fire’. It’s easy to say after they’ve won the series.

  3. thomasvanek - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    He already said that even if he didn’t win a cup this year he wasn’t going to retire.

  4. amityvillefun - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I’m glad Iginla chose to go to Pittsburgh. It opened the door for Jagr to join the Bruins. He assisted on a few big goals this series, and will be a factor in the finals.

    Jagr clearly is enjoying his stint in Boston, and we are enjoying watching him. I’m sure having a hall of fame goal scorer on the squad has fired up his teammates as well.

    Iggy, enjoy your summer. And thank you for the tip in. Maybe he is on the Bruins payroll after all?

    • nunan - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      I like Jagr but Iginla is still a better fit for this Boston team. No doubt about it.

      • tdrusher225 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        I agree this whole idea that it’s better that the Bruins got Jagr is a little over the top. Iginla still would’ve been a tremendous fit in Boston, more than Pittsburgh, regardless of his decision. That being said it was great to see him and his heavily favored, more of a collection of talent, doesn’t know how to play in all 3 zones, team go down in flames. Iginla’s a Hall of Famer, but he got just what he deserved.

      • dudermcrbohan - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        I think Jagr is better for the bruins than Iginla simply because where Jagr is so close to the end of his career, he’s more willing to buy into the system and play with a sense of urgency. He may not be better than Iginla, but I think he’s more willing to lay it all out on the line than Iginla is, who still has several years left to play for a cup.

        Jagr knows this is probably his last run and he’s making the most of it.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    You guys haven’t even won the cup yet , if you lose , I bet Jarome would be happier in Pittsburgh with less agony to face

    • dboldave - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Right because players usually prefer to lose early in the playoffs instead of playing for the cup. Good logic!

      • scda316 - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        Hey da idiot started his career in the burgh so hey bruins suck on this.

    • lordstanley65 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      That has to be one of the dopiest comments I have ever read.

      • drewzducks - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Disclaimer…he is a self-described Jackets fan.

    • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Pittsburgh had been scoring goals at a record pace coming into this series… Only to score 2 goals over the course of a 4 game sweep. I’m pretty sure the entire Pens team is feeling about as much agony as humanly possible right now. And I’m pretty sure the agony in Pittsburgh will last a lot longer than it will in Boston, regardless of what happens in the finals.

      • scda316 - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        Hey you gotta win it first motor mouth.

      • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:41 PM

        Hey I agree. I’m not saying they are going to win it. It should be a hell of a series whoever they play against, but as long as the B’s lead the series for at least 1 second I will probably agonize less than I would as a Pens fan right now…

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 8, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      I guess that’s what you have to tell yourself in Columbus right?

  6. gallyhatch - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Penguins came to play in games 3 & 4, but in game 1 they lost their composure, and they didn’t even show up in game 2. To say they choked or underachieved takes credit away from the Bruins’ coaching and executing.

    Im happy the Bruins won first & foremost. I hate rooting for a person or team to lose. I just think its bad karma.

    With that being said, I feel like it’s almost impossible to NOT take a little joy as a Boston fan to see Iginla get bounced like this by the very team he spurned. I don’t hate him, I actually like him, but he spurned our city and the Bruins for a team that he thought gave him a better opportunity to win.

    Now he has this on his résumé & Calgary missed out on Bartkowski.


    JI will second guess this decision for the rest of his life.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      eh, Iggy will win eventually. If he does it next year he’ll forget about all this pretty quick. I don’t think Hossa comes across as agonizing over his decision to leave Pittsburgh. Maybe he thought about it for a short while, but once he won in Chicago, his decision to leave Pittsburgh was probably a distant memory of the past. I’m sure he didn’t care anymore.

      Hindsight is 20/20 and if the B’s sign Iggy then Pittsburgh doesn’t. Maybe Pittsburgh goes out and signs somebody who becomes a playoff hero ala Bickell or Brassard. I mean, nobody knows what would have happened had Iggy gone to Boston. Maybe they don’t even get out of the round? Maybe Pittsburgh doesn’t get out of the first round? We’ll never know what would have happened in a parallel universe where Iggy chooses Boston. If he lets it eat away at him then he’ll probably never win a cup. He needs to just move on and realize he and the Pens didn’t get it done. Which I’m sure he will. I think he’ll go somewhere that uses him as a RW. Pittsburgh had too many. Unless they let Dupuis walk, then maybe he stays in Pittsburgh and bumps up to Crosby’s line. But like choosing Pittsburgh in the first place, that’ll be his decision to make.

      • gallyhatch - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        All things being equal, & hindsight being 20/20 etc I’m thinking the last sentence of my post wasn’t well thought out. If he wins a cup he will move on from this, but if he doesn’t, I’m sure a little part of him will always wonder ‘what if?’ though.

        You’re also right when you say “who knows what would have happened had JI gone to Boston”. No one knows, and it’s irrelevant to even bring up what may have happened.
        Again, I don’t want I to go overboard knocking Iginla, but I would be lying if I said I don’t take some enjoyment out of this side story.

        I like your posts ChanceofFleury. It was a tough series for your boys. See you in the fall, and who knows, maybe next spring.

  7. chanceoffleury1 - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    It was a stupid comment by Lucic, but not for insinuating that Iginla would have wanted to be on the team that won the series. I’m sure Lucic is very correct in that regard. I mean it in that, Lucic obviously didn’t think past game 2 before speaking. They would have never been able to sign Jagr had Iginla went there and Jagr made the most defining play of the series in my opinion. In Game 3 it was one of those games where the next shot always felt like it was going to be THE shot. Had Jagr not been there, Malkin could have won that battle, puckhandled into the Bruins zone, and buried the winning goal. That COMPLETELY changes the momentum of the series and we could all be sitting here talking about how the series is tied 2-2. I mean, you can’t say that’s not what would have happened. Or maybe the Bruins still win the game and sweep the series. We’ll never know. It’s stupid to get caught up in what could have, would have, or should have happened. Vokoun is the only vet brought in this year that I really feel bad for. He did his job and then some. The rest of the team couldn’t do theirs. He deserved better. Without a doubt he is the Pens MVP of this years playoffs.

    • stakex - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      Good post, though I wouldn’t consider Vokoun to be the Pens MVP. Fact is, he wasn’t tested all that much against the Islanders or Ottawa, and he gave up six goals in the first two games of this series… a couple of which were pretty bad. He played really well the last couple games, but by that point it was too late.

  8. dtownbeatdown - Jun 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    It reminds me of Hossa, he was on the pens they lost against the wings in 08. Then he went to the wings and lost to the pens in 09(oh the irony.) It only took him going to a 3rd championship caliber team in 3 years to get his cup.

  9. stoopidfool - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Didn’t iginla take less money to play with the pens?

    • 19to77 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      How could he take less money in the last year of an existing contract? He had the same salary regardless of where he went. He was traded, not signed as a UFA.

  10. vipod4ever - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Julien knows his players strenghts and Iggy would have been far more effective in Boston. He blew it…you assembled a team of stars and rarely does the formula work.

  11. crusty14 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Iginla had a contract in place, no matter what team he was traded to, his contract would be the same.

  12. crusty14 - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    @chanceoffleury, thanks for being one of the few sane penguin fans on here and taking your teams loss with humility.

    • govtminion - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Man, no kidding… people like chanceoffleury make this place worthwhile. Win or lose, it’s nice to have fans on here who are able to be both hockey fans and respectful still towards each other no matter the team rivalries. Thank you!

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:38 AM

      Oh, jeeze! I’ve been getting far too many compliments these last few days. I don’t know whether to be flattered you guys think I’m okay or embarrassed that the Pens have so many terribly cocky fans representing them online that people go out of their way to single me out since I’m capable of admiring strong play of another team. I think it’s the latter, unfortunately. I guess I can thank my dad for taking me to all those games in the dark, post-Jagr/pre-Crosby years so that I gained a tolerance for the ability to watch the Pens get their brains beat in and not be totally irrational about it. Again, thanks to all who have singled me out these last few days. It’s always nice to know somebody’s appreciating my input, even if it’s just a little bit in the comments section of a hockey website.

  13. girouxed - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    The penguins are gonna comeback next year dangerous as all hell. Iginla will be part of that.

    In the meantime, Go Boston!!!

    • titansrbeast - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      What are you talking about? It’s not like they’re not dangerous every year. They of course will be good again, but it does not change the fact that they are extremely over-rated. Having big shot players on your team does not win you a cup, playing as a TEAM does. Unfortunately mostly every Pens fan had already verbally claimed the cup, which obviously gets them nothing.

      Pittsburgh is just wayyyy too strong for everyone and the only way they could lose is if they play the Hawks in the cup….

      Oh wait.

  14. lindjd - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    The real question is who has a chance at the Cup and who doesn’t. All the shoulda, woulda and couldas in the world are not going to change this season and its ultimate outcome… It is what it is and move on.

  15. lindjd - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Iginla felt the Pens are a better team then he went to the right place. Seems to me Boston was the better for it. His ability to judge situations obviously is flawed would not fit in Boston. Regardless of talent, he badly missed judged the Bruin heart and desire.

  16. blackhawks2010 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Pens were awful against Bruins, no adjustments or flow. Anyone with a defense would of best them,

  17. pittsburghsteelergal - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    yeah, pittsburgh did not bring it…. crosby is the best player in hockey right now…. boston fans second only to philly being the worst fans ever…. we have a steeler nation (six superbowls) patriots are hated by most football fans…. you people who do not give the pens credit are just haters….it was sad for us pittsburghers to watch our team disingrate, i bet bruins will not beat the blackhawks…. and don’t forget we had the all time best player ever in hockey, mario lemuix…. disagree with that haters….

    • sizzle299 - Jun 8, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      they can do a lot of autism these days……maybe ummmm… go ahead and look into that :-)

    • jackrabbit56 - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Seems to me there was a Gordie something, played for Detroit I think, and some guy with a very unhockey-like name of Wayne….

    • spitfisher - Jun 8, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      The best hockey player right now is not Crosby, its Tuuka Rask dumb A$$

    • gallyhatch - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      @pittsburghsteelergal……. What the hell does your post even mean? Congratulations, you had Mario Lemieux. How is that even relevant? (Not the best player ever either, ever hear of a guy named Bobby Orr?)

      Crosby, the ‘best player in the world’ is possibly the worst captain in the NHL. By losing his composure at the end of period 2 in game 1, two of his best guys ended up in the box when they should have had a power play. Crosby might be the most skilled player out there, but he sure does seem to wilt when things don’t go his way.

      To say we are just hate on the Penguins doesn’t do the situation justice. We hate your whiny joke of a captain always crying about officials. He should have shown up in game 2 and EARNED MORE. (2 Shots in game two from your ‘best player in the world’) We hate your sense of entitlement. Very few people gave the Bruins a chance, and they showed up and steamrolled your Penguins. Give credit where it’s due. Obviously we hate That dirtbag cheap shot artist Matt Cooke, and we also hate your hypocritical front office leader (Mr. “If that’s the way the games going to be played than I want no part of it” Lemieux)

      Oh yeah, about the Steelers….. Your quarterback’s a rapist. Have fun rooting for that dirtbag this fall.

  18. graymalkin26 - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Iggy Wiggy totally failed, he is all done. Lets see how many teams sign up for this loser next season.

  19. crusty14 - Jun 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Gm46… You really need to take off the penguin colored glasses! If you really believed Pitt outplayed Boston in 3 of the four games, you must not have watched, or know little about the game of hockey! Rask did play well, but he rarely had to make saves on rebounds, which means the team in front of him were clearing the pucks, therefore playing well. Just face it, Boston played better and scored on their opportunities and Pitt didn’t .

  20. sizzle299 - Jun 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Part of the problem is everyone drinks the kool-aid with the Pens as the perennial favorites and being awarded the paper cup at the beginning of every season. Problem is– they don’t have the game to back it up. Part coaches fault, no doubt about that, but if the reason people are against him is because he didn’t deliver the cup to the “favorites”?? that’s pretty hilarious.

  21. sandmansjourney - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Please. Regardless of who won that series, Iginla wanted to play along side a bunch of future Hall Of Famer’s…. he’d choose the Pens anytime. If he wanted to play with some knuckle draggers, who couldn’t spell their own name if you spotted them the backs of their own jerseys, then he would have picked the Bruins

    • lordstanley65 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:10 AM

      The same knuckle draggers who are going to the SCF, right?

  22. lordstanley65 - Jun 9, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Eff Jarome,anyway. It’s over and done with.

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