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BOSTON (CBS) — It’s still summer, and Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final still feels like it happened just a few weeks ago, but it’s already next season.
Several Bruins players let that be known on Tuesday morning, when they hit the ice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilimington for the first informal practice as the team gears up for training camp, which begins in earnest on Sept. 11.
While not all members of the team were present, one notable attendee was Jarome Iginla, who sported a black and gold spoked-B for the first time.
Other players at the skate were David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg, as well as AHLers Bobby Robbins and David Warsofsky. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic were absent from the informal Bruins practice as they attended Team Canada’s Olympic camp.
Iginla’s presence as a member of the Bruins was sure to draw the most attention, not just because of the future Hall of Famer’s resume but also because of his trade saga last year. A trade sending Iginla from Calgary to Boston was reportedly agreed upon before the longtime Flames captain had a change of heart, instead requesting a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins added another future Hall of Famer in Jaromir Jagr before the deadline and ended up sweeping the Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals.
But Iginla was not caught up too much in the past when he spoke on Tuesday.
“It was pretty tough losing to the Bruins. They were really rolling and they’re a good, tough, competitive team and I saw that first hand, so it’s great to be here with them and to be a part of it,” Iginla said. “I’m just looking forward to playing and having fun out there and being part of the Bruins and playing with the guys. It’s still August, but this is also one of the best times of the year. The anticipation of a new season and getting ready, it feels good.”
Iginla admitted he didn’t grow up with great knowledge of the Original Six, but in his 16-year NHL career, he’s come to gain respect for the history and tradition of a hockey city like Boston.
“Getting a chance to be in the East and being in a great sports city like Boston with the sports history and tradition, I think it’s pretty cool and I feel fortunate to have this opportunity,” Iginla said.
While Iginla’s Cup dreams were crushed by the Bruins last year, those same Bruins fell just short of their goal as well. Collectively, Iginla said he and his new teammates are plenty motivated for hockey’s ultimate prize.
“I want to win, and I know the guys here getting that close last year, a lot of them have already won but you talk to them and talk to guys that have already won, you just want to get back there and win again,” Iginla said. “It’s addictive, and I’d love to be a part of that.”