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Jarome Iginla signing a smart move for Bruins amidst turnover

07.05.13 at 9:52 pm ET

This has to feel weird for some Bruins fans, but it isn’€™t.

The Jarome Iginla-to-not-the-Bruins-to-the-Penguins-then-to-the-Bruins is like LeBron James requesting a trade to the Cavaliers. It’€™s like Macklemore deciding now to sign with a major label. It’€™s like Jason going back out with Jessica after dumping her for Alex M.

Yet at the end of the day, it shouldn’€™t be a major shock. The Bruins obviously like Iginla (duh, they traded for him) and Iginla clearly wants to win a Cup (he chose what appeared to be the best team at the trade deadline). Factor in that the Penguins had less than $700,000 in cap space late in the day Friday and the Bruins had quite a bit of it, and the two sides are actually a logical fit.

Iginla makes all the sense in the world on Boston’€™s top line to replace the departed Nathan Horton. Remember, when it seemed like the Bruins had him at the deadline, we were all assuming that he would take the right wing spot on David Krejci‘€™s line and bump Horton down to the third line. When Horton told the B’€™s he wasn’€™t coming back and the Bruins saw the right wing market vanish over the course of the day, replacing Horton with another power forward for much less money (his deal is incentive-heavy and will only count for $1.8 million against the cap) it was a no-brainer.

Now, after a crazy two days that saw the Bruins lose six players from last year’€™s roster (it will likely become seven once Jaromir Jagr finds his next destination) and add two or three, the question is whether the Bruins are in shape to be better or worse than they were last season.

The Bruins went from this offense:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Marchand – Bergeron – Jagr
Peverley – Kelly – Seguin
Paille – Campbell – Thornton

to a projected 2013-14 offense of:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand ‘€“ Bergeron ‘€“ Eriksson
[Any combination of Kelly, Soderberg, Caron, Knight, Fraser or somebody else]
Paille – Campbell ‘€“ Thornton

Two things stand out about the differences between the lineups. Most notably, they have some things to figure out as far as the third line goes, unless they add another player. Secondly, this is now a lineup that, without guys like Horton, Seguin and Peverley, demands to be the scorer-by-committee club the Bruins were two years ago.

You’€™d have to imagine Eriksson, Lucic or Marchand will lead the team in goals, but the B’€™s ‘€“ perhaps outside of Eriksson ‘€“ don’€™t have that super dangerous threat. Basically, they don’€™t have the player Tyler Seguin was supposed to be.

That’€™s OK as long as not too many guys have down years. The B’€™s didn’€™t have a 30-goal scorer two years ago, yet they still finished tied for second in the league with 3.17 goals per game. They had six 20-goal scorers that season, and all six of Boston’€™s projected top-six forwards can pop in 20 if they stay healthy. It’€™s the third line that still looks to be a work in progress.

For what the situation was ‘€“ the cap coming down and dealing with a couple of bad contracts in Seguin and Rich Peverley ‘€“ Peter Chiarelli has done well with it so far. So it’€™s a matter of what kind of deal he gets Tuukka Rask to sign and whether he’€™s able to add another guy to the bottom six.

Say this, though: the 2013-14 Bruins are going to be different than last year’€™s team. There’€™s nothing that says that better than seeing Jarome Iginla.

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