Warren Peters has found himself in a enviable position. He’s the only player in the Pittsburgh organization who has played with both Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla — the two major players that the Penguins acquired in trades this week.
Peters played with Iginla when he was called up to the Calgary Flames for 16 games in the 2008-09 season. He had nothing but good things to say about the former Flames captain after he learned of the trade Thursday.
“Having grown up in Saskatchewan and having been a part of the Calgary organization, Jarome was the face of that organization for a long time for a lot of reasons,” Peters said. “Obviously his play on the ice, the way he conducted himself as a leader and he was a face in the community. He epitomized what it meant to be a Calgary Flame.”
Now the 35-year-old Iginla will wear the Penguins crest as he makes a push for the first Stanley Cup of his career. Peters recalls Iginla as the player who always set the benchmark in fitness tests, practice habits and the way he played the game.
“He was the consummate professional,” Peters said.
Both Iginla and Morrow join Pittsburgh after long tenures with their previous teams, where they both served as captains. They also leave teams that have been struggling for one considered a favorite to win the Cup.
Peters thinks that fact alone will give Iginla and Morrow a spring to their step as members of Pittsburgh.
“Knowing the type of guy Jarome is, you could see the hardships they’ve gone through in Calgary and he’s always taken it personally. I think now he’ll be rejuvenated. The same goes for Brenden Morrow,” Peters said. “They have a shot at the Cup this late in their careers, and that’s exciting for them.”
So what do the high impact trades in Pittsburgh mean to the Penguins here?
For one, that commitment to winning in Pittsburgh is contagious all down the organization.
“It shows the players here the commitment level of the organization they’re in,” head coach John Hynes said. “Whether it’s here in Wilkes-Barre or in Pittsburgh, it’s about creating a winning environment.”
Peters agreed, and said one could sense the excitement in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton locker room on Thursday.
“It’s exciting to be part of an organization that makes it that clear and that evident they’re in it for one reason — to win it all,” Peters said.
It’s also exciting for Peters to see two veteran leaders who were influential early in his career join him in the Pittsburgh organization.
“Hockey’s a small world. You don’t ever want to burn a bridge because you never know when you’ll play with somebody again,” Peters said. “Those are two pretty impressive guys that Pittsburgh went out and got, guys who were the heart and soul of their hockey clubs who will do whatever it takes to win the Cup.”