Chiarelli: 'We had a deal for Iginla'

Chiarelli: 'We had a deal for Iginla'
March 28, 2013, 4:45 pm
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A little more light is being revealed about the Jarome Iginla situation and what transpired over the last 24 hours between the Calgary Flames, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The chain of events ended with a future Hall of Fame player in Iginla moving to Pittsburgh for a pair of prospects and a first round pick. It also left Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and Boston’s front office wondering exactly what happened after they received a call from Calgary GM Jay Feaster at noontime on Wednesday telling them that they had a deal in place.

“A few days before [Wednesday] we had submitted a firm offer with those two players – Alexander Khokhlachev and Matt Bartkowski – and we were informed around noon yesterday that we had the player,” said Chiarelli, who added that it was Feaster calling him at noontime to tell the Flames were going to take Boston’s package for Iginla. "We won the [Jarome Iginla] sweepstakes, so to speak. We relied on the fact that we had a deal.

"We were on the list. You assume that once you come up with a deal you’re going to get the player. That’s what I was operating under. From that point on, there had been some discussions regarding Jarome [Iginla] taking some time, not to decide, but to kind of let things soak in. I assume because of the magnitude of a player like Jarome within that organization that they gave him some space [to make a decision on his no trade].”

That’s where things went south for the Black and Gold.

Apparently Iginla hadn’t signed off on going to Boston, and nixed Boston’s offer of Alex Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and a “firm” first round pick in favor of going to play with his buddy Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chiarelli called Feaster repeatedly throughout the day for updates and asked permission to speak with Iginla himself (perhaps with a mind toward talking about a contract extension), but was stonewalled on all fronts.

Around 5 p.m. Chiarelli assumed something might be amiss and he received a call shortly before midnight letting him know that Calgary was taking Pittsburgh’s inferior package of prospects and draft picks for the 500-goal scorer. At that point it was back to the drawing board for the Bruins and their trade plans prior to the April 3 deadline.

“It’s tough. We’re talking about a really good player. It’s like on July 1 when you’re trying to sign a player and you’re in the last one, two or three [teams],” said Chiarelli. “Then you don’t get him, there’s a high then a real low. You know what? You get used to it.

“This kind of stuff happens. It shouldn’t, but it does. The reality of no-movement and no-trade clause…it’s going to happen more. But it’s a disappointment. You get back on your horse and you go out there and find some more players.”

The Bruins will now pick up and pursue Marty St. Louis, Jaromir Jagr, Ryan Clowe, Dan Boyle and Jay Bouwmeester among others available prior to the trade deadline. But there’s no question that the frenzied build up and epic collapse of the Iginla situation is going to leave a mark with Boston for some time to come.