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NHL: Canadian Olympic hero Iginla joins Penguins

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Two-time Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Jarome Iginla was obtained by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade with Calgary, the National Hockey League clubs announced on Thursday.

Iginla and Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby were linemates for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, where "Iggy" won a battle for the puck against the boards and flipped it to Crosby to set up his gold-medal winning goal.

The 35-year-old forward had spent his entire 16-year NHL career with Calgary, earning the team captain's role and sparking the Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup final, where they lost to Tampa Bay.

"He brings a lot of different elements, ability to play with good players, play in tough areas, good leadership -- he wants to win," said Penguins vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

"My expectation is that he will be a really good fit in terms of the team and the guys that we have."

The Penguins, whose current 13-game win streak is four shy of matching the all-time NHL record victory run set by the Penguins in the 1992-93 season, sent collegian prospects Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino and a first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft to the Flames in exchange for Iginla.

Iginla's 525 career goals rank him third among active NHL players behind Czech star Jaromir Jagr with 679 and Finn icon Teemu Selanne's 671. Iginla has played in 31 games this season, scoring nine goals and setting up 13 others.

Seven-time NHL All-Star Iginla led the Flames last year with 32 goals and has not had fewer than 30 goals in a season since 2001, having become Calgary's all-time leader in goals and games played.

In addition to scoring five goals in helping Canada claim Olympic gold on home ice in 2010, Iginla also helped Canada win Olympic gold in 2002 at Salt Lake City.

Iginla is in the final year of his contract, which pays him $7 million this season, and will become a free agent on July 1.

He was benched for Calgary's 4-3 home victory over Colorado on Wednesday, snapping a streak of 441 consecutive games played.

While the Flames have not been to the playoffs since 2009, the Penguins could bring Iginla a long-sought championship. His first game is expected to be on Saturday against the New York Islanders.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130328/nhl-canadian-olympic-hero-iginla-joins-penguins