Despite being demoted to the third line and seldom seeing playoff time on the first power-play unit, Jarome Iginla wouldn't mind returning to the Penguins next season. Iginla, a future hall-of-famer, will become a free agent July 5 if he doesn't re-sign with the Penguins by then. “I think I'll have a better year next year,” Iginla said. “Maybe it will be here in Pittsburgh.” Iginla had five goals and 11 points in 13 regular-season games with the Penguins following a stunning March trade that saw Calgary deal its longtime captain. In the postseason, Iginla had four goals and 12 points in 15 games. Iginla has 530 career goals, but coach Dan Bylsma opted to shift him from his natural right wing spot to the left wing alongside side center Evgeni Malkin and right wing James Neal. “I was open to it,” Iginla said. “They talked about switching Nealer, but he was comfortable at right. I was open to playing on the left. At times, I wasn't as good there as I should have been,” Iginla said he doesn't believe he played his best hockey this season and intends on making improvements next season. “I know I'm 35, and I know what people will say,” he said. “But I think it will be a good challenge.” Playing in pain Defenseman Paul Martin, among the Penguins' best postseason performers, participated in the playoffs with what Bylsma called a “significant” injury. Martin did not practice with the Penguins during the Boston series and did not participate in the two morning skates before Games 3 and 4. He still managed to earn an assist on both Penguins goals during the Eastern Conference final. Martin, who rebounded from two subpar seasons, finished the postseason with two goals and 11 points. He was a plus-5 in 15 playoff games.
Iginla open to return to Penguins next season
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Jun 10