As if there weren't already 14 reasons to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins' try to defend their near-historic winning streak Saturday afternoon versus the New York Islanders, you're looking at one more: Jarome Iginla will be making his debut for the club.
Courtesy the Penguins' Instagram, this is your first-look at one of the strangest sights you're going to see in this NHL season: Iginla in navy and baby blue. After 18 years of watching the man don reds, this is a little weird.
After sorting out his visa issues, Iginla arrived in Pittsburgh about 12:30 last night, but jet lag be damned, he wanted in. From NHL.com:
Iginla's excited, although he's the first to admit that this whole thing is also quite odd.
By approximately 1:08 p.m., Iginla was to be on the ice for the faceoff against the New York Islanders
with his streaking, star-studded team.
"When I called Jarome, he said, 'If you can make a spot for me, I want to get on that ice with our team,'" Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
said about two hours prior to game time. "So is it ideal that he flew yesterday and got in last night? It's not the perfect situation, but I know he's 100 percent wanting to be on the ice today, be on the ice with the team. And we're happy to put him in there."
"It felt a little bit weird the last few days, the transition and kind of being in limbo and waiting. It's great to be here and be part of the team," Iginla told the media. "They obviously are going really well. Whatever my role is, as far as ice time, I'm happy to do whatever. I'm joining them late in the year and they're such a good team. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join them."
So what is Iginla's role, exactly?
While there had been some speculation that he might line up with Sidney Crosby, it looks like he'll have to settle for the shame and misery of skating on a second line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
The second line. What a kick in the teeth that is.
Granted, Iginla will likely find Malkin and Neal a slight upgrade from Matt Stajan and Alex Tanguay.
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