NBC’s Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about what went wrong with the Jarome Iginla trade and what the Bruins can do now that Iginla is off the market.
McGuire said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli did nothing wrong to jeopardize the Iginla deal. Rather, Flames GM Jay Feaster mishandled the trade — not the first time Calgary’s management has made a visible mistake this year.
“I don’t think Calgary paid attention to doing their due diligence. I really don’t,” McGuire said. “Jay Feaster, I’m sure, told Peter Chiarelli, ‘You guys have won the sweepstakes. You have Jarome Iginla. I’m sure he told them that, because I was in Boston to do that game, and there’s no way there was that much information that was so fluid around the Bruins dressing room when I got to the rink at 4:30, that you didn’t know that this deal was going down. So ‘¦ then Jay Feaster didn’t prioritize. He should have called [Iginla’s agent] Donny Meehan before he called Peter Chiarelli.
“Instead, he told Boston they had the player, and Donny Meehan gets the call from Feaster saying he’s been traded, and Donny Meehan says, ‘No, no, that’s not how this works.’ ‘¦ I think the biggest reason there was no trade call made was when Jay Feaster called Donny Meehan and said, ‘By the way, we’ve moved Jarome to Boston,’ Donny Meehan said, ‘No you haven’t, because Jarome wants to go to Pittsburgh.’ ”
Iginla’s press conference after the trade made clear that he was headed to Pittsburgh no matter what Chiarelli did, McGuire said.
“When you heard him talk, he said, ‘How can you blow away now playing with the two best players in the world?’ ” McGuire said. “With all due respect, he wasn’t talking about [David] Krejci and he wasn’t talking about [Patrice] Bergeron. Both guys are great players. He was talking about Crosby and Malkin.”
With Iginla off the table, McGuire said he thinks the Bruins should focus on acquiring a defenseman, and mentioned 35-year-old Islanders blueliner Mark Streit as a possibility.
“I can tell you right now, that guy can still play,” McGuire said of Streit. “I watched him last night against Philadelphia. He’s an engineer on the power play. I don’t want to say it, because I know Bruins fans know it, but that power play needs to be better there, and Mark Streit would help that power play a ton.”
On how often verbal agreements on trades fall apart: “Until there’s a trade call that’s confirmed everything, there’s no deal. Everybody knows that. But this was not a hard deal to get a trade call on. This was a relatively easy deal to get a trade call on. You know what the player’s contract is going forward, you know you’re going to be an unrestricted free agent, potentially at the end of the year. It’s not a convoluted trade call because there’s no years on the contract, and you’re dealing with players coming out of college that have no contract at all. So it might take 40 seconds, 50 seconds. The problem was that there never was a trade call made.”
On whether Chiarelli could have done more to land Iginla: “No. I’ve got to tell you guys this, you’re fortunate to have a GM like Peter Chiarelli who’s been as transparent as he has through this whole thing. He acted like a true gentleman. If you’re a free agent and you’re thinking of signing in a different city and you see a general manager that’s calm, cool and collected like that under fire, it’s an awesome thing to see. I am really impressed by the way Peter handled himself through this whole situation. The Bruins did nothing wrong. The Penguins  did nothing wrong. Who did something wrong was the management group of the Calgary Flames .”
On whether Iginla’s initial list of teams he’d play for was misleading: “The agent is an unbelievably professional man who’s done huge deals around the league for many many years. He’s represented some of the biggest superstars in the history of this league. I’ve done contracts with Donny Meehan, when I worked in Hartford and Pittsburgh and Ottawa. I know his firm very well, Newport Sports Management. They are unbelievably honorable. They’re hard to deal with, because they want the best for their clients, but they don’t mess around.”
On whether acquiring a defenseman should be the priority: “There’s still the development of Dougie Hamilton. Let’s remember they did this without Adam McQuaid right now. I think by the end of this weekend we’re really going to find out who the buyers and sellers are. I’ve done a ton of [Bruins] games and I really like their team. ‘¦ They have great chemistry. There’s better chemistry on this team this year than there was last year and this team reminds me a lot chemistry-wise of the team that won the Cup in ’11.
“They could use a little bit more depth in terms of stopping ability in the back end. I think the biggest problem is because [Zdeno Chara’s] playing so many minutes right now — and Zdeno played a tremendous game the other day, I really admire the way he played, but they need a little bit more depth on defense.”
On Martin St. Louis and cap concerns deterring teams from pursuing him: “Everybody’s paying attention to the cap. It’s easy to get out of cap issues. You can do a lot in terms of amnesty buyouts — you can do what Chicago did with Marian Hossa, what they did with Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. You can get out of those cap situations. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. St. Louis is 37 years of age, he’s an undersized player, he’s had a fractured leg before. He’s still a useful player. He’s not a go-to guy, but in the Boston scheme of things he’d fit very well. It depends on what you’d have to pay for him, it really does.”
On how active the deadline will be: “It’s hard to say because we don’t have that many sellers. One GM told me, ‘I’m not giving up a lot to get very little,’ because the parity is there. It depends on what happens here over the course of the next two or three days. With the Islanders winning in Philadelphia last night in a shootout, I think Philadelphia’s basically done, so I’ve got to believe they’re going to become a seller here pretty quick. You have to think with Columbus losing last night, and Edmonton, they’ve maybe become a seller pretty quick. They have three first-round picks, and they don’t need entry-draft picks. They need real NHL  players going forward. I think a lot’s still to be decided before we get to the end of the weekend.”