How East responds to Pittsburgh's moves

Updated: March 29, 2013, 11:19 AM ET
By Craig Custance

Like most of the hockey world, Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton watched the late games Wednesday night focused partly on the games and partly on the Jarome Iginla trade news.

"You sort of feel something is going on," he said.

But even as every indication pointed to a trade, the finality of it still took a moment to sink in. A Calgary icon was now coming East.

"You're always surprised when a player like that gets moved," he said. "To see a player like that get moved who is with an organization so long -- it reminded me a little bit of when Ray Bourque was traded."

A little over a year after Bourque was traded to the Avalanche, he famously raised a Stanley Cup with Colorado.

Already, the quips are coming from rival teams in the East that we should just hand the Stanley Cup to the Penguins and skip the formalities. But sarcasm aside, the moves GM Ray Shero made in the past week make the Pens the best team in the league.

Especially the Iginla addition.

"And he's a second-half player," pointed out one longtime scout. "A very competitive guy. Tough. Tough. Tough. At his age, he can still get the mitts off and teach you a lesson. To me, he's the best short-term add of any player up front."

It's a tough act to follow, but that's where the attention turns now. What do the other Eastern Conference contenders do next to keep up?