When is a winning lottery ticket not really a winner?
When you’re the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins felt they had a deal in place for Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla by Wednesday afternoon but then saw the Pittsburgh Penguins snatch the prize away later in the day. Iginla went to the Pens for a pair of prospects and Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2013 draft.
“We were told at noon yesterday that we’d won the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday. “We believed that we’d had a deal. These things happen more than you know. We believed we had a deal. We operated on a premise of a deal.”
Chiarelli said Flames GM Jay Feaster called late Wednesday night to tell him Iginla killed the deal, which would have seen prospect Alexander Khokhlachev and young defenceman Matt Bartkowski plus a first-round pick sent to Calgary. The 35-year-old Iginla, who had a no-trade clause, told the Flames he’d prefer to go to Pittsburgh.
With the April 3 trade deadline approaching fast and the Pens the favourite to win the Eastern Conference after trading for Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, the Bruins want to make a deal to strengthen the roster.
It might be easier said than done.
“We have an ability to add players, but it’s been the hardest I’ve ever seen in my years just because of the short supply,” Chiarelli said.