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Iginla joins Bruins, Wild signs Cooke - 07-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Jarome Iginla finally went to Boston.

The Bruins signed the former Penguins forward to a one-year deal worth $6 million. Iginla, 36, appeared in 13 games with the Penguins last season and scored 11 points (five goals, six assists). He is coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $7 million.

According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, Iginla's deal with Boston has a base salary of $1.8 million and several bonuses based on certain achievements which give it a cap hit of $6 million.

The Penguins acquired Iginla near last season's trade deadline from the Flames in exchange for forward prospects Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino and a first-round pick in this year's draft. The deal occurred early in the morning on March 28 after the Bruins were believed to have reached an agreement with the Flames to acquire Iginla. Iginla had a no-trade clause and opted to waive in order to play for the Penguins.

Additionally, the Penguins have lost forward Matt Cooke to the Wild. Cooke, 34, agreed to a three-year contract worth a total of $7.5 million with Minnesota. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.8 million, Cooke's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.5 million.

Cooke (right) appeared in 48 games last season and scored 21 points. Originally signed as free agent in 2009, Cooke spent the past five seasons with the Penguins and was a member of the franchise's Stanley Cup championship team in 2009.

EN Says: First, the Iginla signing is surprising on many levels to put it mildly.

First, after the entire circus which circulated around him and the Bruins following his decision to join the Penguins instead of the Bruins, it's surprising either party would want enter this marriage.

Second, for Iginla, it's hard to imagine he only wanted a small contract in terms of the length and one which is heavily dependent on performance bonuses.

That said, Iginla going to the Bruins makes sense on paper. Boston is short on right wingers after trading Tyler Seguin and parting ways with Nathan Horton as well as Jaromir Jagr. It made sense for him to join the Bruins back in March and it makes sense in July.

Iginla couldn't find regular work with the Penguins at his natural position. He'll presumably be entrenched on the Bruins' top right wing on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Regarding Cooke, there simply wasn't any room here for him with the Penguins' remaining cap space. He got a great deal from the Wild and is reunited with head coach Mike Yeo and general manager Chuck Flether who were parts of the 2009 Stanley Cup championship team in Pittsburgh.

After trading away antagonizing third-line forechecker Cal Clutterbuck at the draft, the Wild replaced him with a very similar player. Assuming Cooke can continue to avoid suspensions, this is a smart move for Minnesota on many levels.

For the Penguins, they still need to find a way to replace Cooke's presence on the third line as well as on the penalty kill. Even after signing a handful of "tweener" players such as Chris Conner and Bobby Farnham to two-way contracts, the Penguins still have a void to fill.

(Photos: Iginla-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Cooke-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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