For a brief period of time in March, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli thought Jarome Iginla was coming to Boston.
The former Calgary Flame was the main piece of a trade between the Flames and Bruins that would send the power forward to Boston for prospects. Instead, Iginla spurned the Bruins at the trading deadline, choosing to waive his no-trade clause for the Pittsburgh Penguins. When the Eastern Conference Finals gets under way, the Bruins will have a chance to get back at Iginla and the Penguins, but when team president Cam Neely joined The Felger and Mazz Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, he insisted that the team is not focused on one player.
"I think most importantly you want to beat Pittsburgh," Neely said.
While Neely said that players don't get too involved in what goes on at the trading deadline, he thinks some of the Bruins took Iginla's decision at the deadline personally. The hard feelings towards the Penguins extend to the team's president. Twice in the early 1990's, Neely and the Bruins were eliminated in the conference finals by the Penguins. Neely never won a Stanley Cup as a player, and those hard fought series are still fresh in his mind.
"Pittsburgh's not one of my favorite teams," Neely said.
Despite the perceived tension between the two teams, Neely said the Bruins did not consider filing tampering charges against the Penguins for what happened with Iginla at the deadline. In fact, Neely isn't sure what benefit the Bruins could have gotten from doing so. What he does know is that the result of Iginla's decision was the Bruins landing Jaromir Jagr. While the veteran has been quiet during postseason play, Neely expects him to be fired up for a series against a team he played 11 seasons for to start his career.
"I'm sure he's excited about playing," Neely said. "He's got a lot of pride."