Penguins acquire Jarome Iginla from Flames

Jarome Iginla spent 16 years chasing a Stanley Cup in

Calgary.

The Penguins think he’ll only need three months playing

alongside the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to grab one

in Pittsburgh.

The league’s hottest team continued its aggressive dealing late

Wednesday night, acquiring the six-time All Star forward from the

Flames in exchange for prospects and a first-round draft pick.

Pittsburgh sent the Flames the rights to college players Kenneth

Agostino and Ben Hanowski as well as the Penguins’ first pick in

the 2013 draft for the league’s fifth-leading active scorer.

The 35-year-old Iginla waived his no-trade clause for the

opportunity to join the Penguins. It wasn’t exactly a tough sell

for Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero.

”He wants to win,” Shero said. ”My expectation is that he’ll

be a really good fit in terms of the team and the guys that we

have.”

The trade marks the third big move by the Eastern

Conference-leading Penguins ahead of next week’s deadline.

Pittsburgh acquired veteran Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow on

Sunday and picked up burly San Jose defenseman Doug Murray on

Monday.

While bringing in Morrow and Murray gave the Penguins depth and

a physical presence around the net on both ends of the ice, landing

Iginla provides Pittsburgh with firepower and the potential top-six

winger the team has been looking for to pair with reigning NHL MVP

Malkin and All-Star forward James Neal.

Shero declined to speculate where Iginla would play and

indicated his team’s newest winger is hardly concerned about how he

will be used.

”He said he would help anyway he could, didn’t care about role

or who he was playing with,” Shero said. ”He’ll accept any role

that’s asked of him by coaches or teammates.”

Iginla is in the final year of his contract and will be an

unrestricted free agent July 1. He was scratched from Calgary’s

lineup against Colorado, ending his consecutive games streak at

441. He has nine goals and 13 assists this season for the Flames,

who are well out of the playoff picture. Iginla could be in

Pittsburgh as early as Thursday, but almost certainly won’t be

available until Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.

Iginla led Calgary to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals, but the

Flames haven’t been to the playoffs since 2009 and are currently in

14th in the Western Conference. Flames general manager Jay Feaster

thanked the franchise’s all-time leading scorer for agreeing to the

trade to allow the rebuilding Flames to stockpile young talent.

”We as an organization owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to

Jarome,” Feaster said, ”not only for what he did for the

franchise during his tenure as a player here and as our captain,

but also for the fact that now as we recognize that despite our

best efforts, and despite the work we’ve put in, we’ve fallen short

of the goals we set for ourselves as an organization.

”We respect very, very much the fact that Jarome worked with us

to enable this to come about.”

In 1,219 career regular-season games in 16 seasons, all with

Calgary, he has 525 goals and 570 assists. He has 28 goals and 21

assists in 54 career playoff games and has played for Canada in

three Olympics. Iginla assisted on Crosby’s gold-medal winning goal

for Team Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Games.

The Penguins have won 13 straight heading into Thursday night’s

game against Winnipeg and have done much of it without Malkin, who

remains sidelined with an upper body injury. Pittsburgh also placed

defenseman Kris Letang on injured reserve on Wednesday with a lower

body injury and No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is being

evaluated after getting run over in a 1-0 victory against Montreal

on Tuesday.

None of the injuries appears to be serious and if Pittsburgh can

stay healthy over the season’s final six weeks, they will be the

prohibitive favorite to make it out of the Eastern Conference and

vie for the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup.

The bold move to land Iginla only raises the stakes.

”The team on paper doesn’t mean too much,” Shero said. ”We

have to do it on the ice.”

There are no such hopes – this year anyway – for the Flames, who

hope forwards Agostino and Hanowski can one day be part of a new

foundation to build around.

The 20-year-old Agostino was selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth

round of the 2010 draft. The junior leads the Bulldogs in scoring

with 15 goals and 22 assists in 33 games this season. Yale will

face Minnesota on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA

tournament.

The 22-year-old Hanowski, a third-round pick in 2009, recently

finished his senior season at St. Cloud State, where he was the

team captain. He had 16 goals and 13 assists in 34 games this

season.

AP Sports Writer John Nicholson in Phoenix contributed to this

report.