Ference: Iginla trade like 'fantasy hockey'

Ference: Iginla trade like 'fantasy hockey'
March 29, 2013, 2:45 pm
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WILMINGTON, Mass. – Andrew Ference was Jarome Iginla’s neighbor when they both lived in Calgary. It was Ference, Iginla and former Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew all living side-by-side in Cowtown in their playing days in Calgary, so the Bruins defenseman knows just how much of an impact the 35-year-old Iginla might have had on the Black and Gold’s chances to win this season.

But Iginla used no-trade/no-movement clause to maneuver his way to Pittsburgh to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the Penguins, and the Bruins were left with nothing after they’d been told they had a done deal. Iginla certain deserves the lion’s share of the blame for whatever miscommunication went down between the Flames and Bruins over the 12-hour period where the power forward went from “done deal: Boston” to “done deal: Pittsburgh.”

“You can do fantasy hockey all you want, but you could do that with any guy around the league,” said Ference. “We’d love to have [Steve] Stamkos. He’d probably help our power play. You could just keep doing that, but until something happens and somebody puts on your sweater … I don’t think there are too many guys that get wrapped up in it.

“It makes for good TV, I guess, and it’s fun to speculate about. But within the locker room we have what we have. If it something gets added then it gets added, but I don’t think we get too wrapped up in it.”

It remains unclear how much influence Calgary GM Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod had over what happened: but there is some level of gentleman’s agreement impropriety when the Bruins sign a player and then make him a healthy scratch believing that a trade is about to be executed, only to have that all fall apart because a player changed his mind.

Even so Ference harbors no ill will toward his buddy Iginla, and says there is no motivation to be derived from a Hall of Fame player choosing Pittsburgh over Boston as a desired destination.

“Until it actually happens it’s all just rumors and noise. Our team is no different than it was a couple of days ago and the expectations haven’t changed,” said Ference. “What we expect out of ourselves hasn’t changed. As far as I’m concerned it’s a non-story.

“It’s [Iginla’s] one chance to really make a decision on what’s best for him, in his eyes. How can you fault somebody for doing what they want to do when they have that kind of control? It’s part of his contract and his deal that he gets that option.”

Bruins’ fans might have a few good, old-fashioned boos for “Iggy” when he arrives with the rest of the Penguins April 19 for their clash at TD Garden. But it appears the players don’t hold any kind of grudge toward Iginla, and rightfully so since most of them understand it was all business for the Calgary legend in choosing to make his Cup run with the Penguins this spring.