|Jarome Iginla coming to Boston after spurning Bruins||04.18.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
It isn’t the way that people may have expected at around 10:30 p.m. on March 27, but Jarome Iginla is coming to Boston.
Just over three weeks after squashing a trade to the Bruins, Iginla will take the Garden ice Friday with the Penguins, the team he told Flames general manager Jay Feaster to deal him to after Feaster had told the Bruins they had the player.
The story is ancient history by now: Iginla, in the final year of his deal, told the Flames he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks. The Bruins submitted an offer of Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and their first-round pick this year, and Feaster told Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli around noon of the 27th that the deal was done. Both sides scratched their players that night, but Iginla told Feaster he’d only go to the Penguins. Feaster avoided Chiarelli’s calls throughout the day, finally calling him back to say that Iginla wanted to be a Penguin and that the Flames were forced to make a deal with them.
So how do you think he’ll be accepted Friday?
“I’m sure the fans are going to be all over him,” Milan Lucic said Thursday. “I think it will just increase this rivalry that is kind of increasing as this season’s gone on.”
Yet as fired up as the fans may be to give Iginla a hard time, the Bruins say there are no hard feelings. There should be obvious motivation to prove Iginla’s decision wrong, but the B’s insist they weren’t offended by the veteran power forward’s refusal to play in Boston.
“We’ve put that behind us,” Brad Marchand said. “We can’t let that affect us. We can’t let that determine how we’re going to play tomorrow. He felt that they have a good team, and they do. They’ve got some great players over there. That’s fine. That’s his decision. We can’t hold that against him. He’s got a certain level of respect that he’s owed. He’s played a long time in this league, and for him to make that decision, that’s fine. We’re not going to judge him for that. It’s not going to alter or determine how we play tomorrow.”
Marchand said the whole ordeal was made easier by the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr, a former Penguin himself who adds his own twist to the rivalry. Jagr has seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven games for the Bruins, while Iginla has two goals and four assists for six points through eight games for Pittsburgh.
“The team did a great job at bouncing back and getting another great player. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” Marchand said. “‘¦ We’re lucky to have Jags here.”
Not only did Jagr not think the Stars would trade him, but he too thought that Iginla was a Bruin when reports of the deal began surfacing. He played 11 seasons as a Penguin and ruffled feathers when he opted to sign with the rival Flyers rather than going to where he began his career when he returned to the NHL prior to last season. Between being the consolation prize in the Iginla derby and his history with Pittsburgh, there should be plenty of reasons for him get up for Friday’s game. He has another in mind.
“They’re first in our conference,” Jagr said. “Maybe we’re going to meet them in the playoffs, so we have to do our best to show them that we can play against them.”
|Claude Julien: Jaromir Jagr is ‘coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us’||04.02.13 at 11:15 pm ET|
Clearly, the Bruins felt a positive buzz from the acquisition earlier in the day of Czech superstar and future hockey hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. The Bruins went out, fired 50 shots on net and beat the Senators, 3-2, at TD Garden.
But Bruins coach Claude Julien made it very clear that he’s not expecting the 41-year-old player to save the Bruins, just help them, much in the same way Mark Recchi helped Boston to a Stanley Cup in 2011.
“Well, there’s no doubt he’s going to help us,” Julien said. “And I think that’s the key word, he’s coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us. That’s what people have to understand. He’s a great player, and he still is a great player, but at the same time, if we expect to watch him do the work we’re not going to be going anywhere.
“We need our team to play better and he’s certainly going to help our team be better. I like the acquisition ‘ a big strong guy, he’s hard to knock off the puck around the net area, in the corner; he does a great job. To me, he seems to suit our needs and what we’re all about. Again, I know he’s happy to come here and we’ll certainly be happy to have him in our lineup because he’s going to help in a lot of areas.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Matt Bartkowski happy Jarome Iginla trade fell through||03.29.13 at 2:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — He was signed to a contract extension so he could be traded, then he was scratched because he was traded, then he wasn’t traded and now he’s practicing and going to work every day with the Bruins, even though he still might be traded. He’s Matt Bartkowski, ladies and gentlemen.
Bartkowski, who was signed to a one-year, one-way extension Wednesday worth $650,000, was one third of the package that the Bruins agreed to ship to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, with Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick also included in the deal. When Flames general manager Jay Feaster told B’s GM Peter Chiarelli that the deal was done, both sides agreed to scratch all players involved in the deal for that night’s games.
Bartkowski, who had played the previous two games in place of the injured Johnny Boychuk, saw the B’s recall another defenseman (Torey Krug) to play in his place Wednesday against the Canadiens, and was left to wonder what was happening. During the game, reports of the package headed to Calgary surfaced.
“Throughout the game, I started hearing rumors and stuff like that,” Bartkowski said. “It was a little unsettling.”
The trade obviously didn’t go down, so Bartkowski found himself in the odd position of being on a team that he knows tried to trade him. The trade deadline has still yet to pass and the Bruins obviously have moves to make, so there’s still a good chance that Bartkowski could be moved. The time between now and Wednesday’s deadline (or a trade; whichever comes first) might be awkward or nerve-wracking, but the 24-year-old defenseman is trying to keep it out of his mind.
“It’s not something that I can control, so I try not to worry about it or pay attention to it,” he said.
In fact, as strange as all of this has been, Bartkowski says he’s glad with the end (so far) result. While Bruins players should feel slighted that Iginla chose the Penguins over them, at least one Bruin was relieved when it all fell apart.
“I’m happy that it didn’t go through,” Bartkowski said. “I like it here, I like being here and I’m excited about being here.”
WILMINGTON — Jarome Iginla slighted the Bruins when, after the Flames and B’s agreed to a trade Wednesday, he told the Flames that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to go to Boston and would rather play for the Penguins. That’s it, plain and simple, but the Bruins on Friday showed no effects of having been spurned.
David Krejci likely would have been Iginla’s center, and the addition of the rugged right wing would have given Krejci a more consistent scorer in a season in which linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have seen their offense go missing for long stretches.
“I’ve got nothing [to say] about it,” Krejci said. “I’m just playing a game. I heard rumors he might be coming here and I guess he picked Pittsburgh, and that’s his decision. We’re still the same team as we were a couple days ago.”
The message Bruins players could have gotten from the fiasco is that Iginla thought he had a better chance of winning with the Penguins than he would have with the Bruins. That should add extra motivation for the Bruins to prove him wrong, but the B’s don’t want to make it about Iginla.
“They’re a great team, so it’s always been a motivation to play Pittsburgh,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I don’t think this should change anything. We’re confident in our team. It’s always been that way, so to me it doesn’t matter.”
The Penguins have won 14 games in a row, while the Bruins have gone 7-5-2. The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, two of the best three or four players in the league. The Bruins don’t blame him for picking Pittsburgh, but they feel they’re still capable enough to make him regret not picking the B’s.
“That was his entitlement. He’s got a no-trade clause, and when you look at what Pittsburgh’s done, you’ve got to respect the guy’s decision. It was his decision to make, and he made that,” Claude Julien said. “It will be at the end of the the year that he’ll see whether he made the right decision or not.
“Certainly there’s no animosity here. We’re a good team, and if he would have come here it would have made us better. He’s not here because he went somewhere else and we’ve turned the page. It’s about us right now, not about him.”
|Steve Yzerman says Lightning will not trade Martin St. Louis||at 12:30 pm ET|
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun Friday that the team will not trade right wing Martin St. Louis. Following the trade of Jarome Iginla to the Penguins, it had been speculated that the Bruins could target St. Louis in a trade, but that should be put to rest now.
“Marty St. Louis is not going to be traded,” Yzerman told LeBrun. “He remains one of the best players in the league and an extremely important player to our team, both on and off the ice. We are a team in transition, we just made a coaching change, Marty is one of the leaders of the team, he is not going anywhere.”
St. Louis, 37, is signed through 2014-15 with an annual $5.625 million cap hit and has a no-trade clause. In 33 games this season, he has eight goals and 34 assists for 42 points and a minus-3 rating.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I don’t think Calgary paid attention to doing their due diligence’||at 12:10 pm ET|
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.
|Peter Chiarelli: Flames told Bruins they had a deal for Jarome Iginla||03.28.13 at 4:03 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli held a press conference Thursday at TD Garden to inform the media of what took place Wednesday as the B’s thought they had acquired Flames captain Jarome Iginla, only to see him get dealt to the Penguins.
The Bruins and Flames agreed to a deal that would sent Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and a non-conditional first-round pick to the Flames for Iginla. The 35-year-old had put the Bruins on a list of four teams for which he’d move his no-trade clause, but after the Flames told the Bruins that they had “won the sweepstakes” and scratched their captain Wednesday for the sake of the trade, Iginla informed Flames general manager Jay Feaster that he wanted to play for the Penguins. The Flames then completed a deal with Pittsburgh to accommodate the player.
Chiarelli said that he was “assured that the list was teams the he would go to and waive his no-trade” and that he never had an indication throughout the process that it was an ordered list of any kind.
“I guess you initially feel [hoodwinked], but I’ve been around for a while and i’ve seen things happen similar to this, and it happens,” he said. “We were on the list, and you assume that once you come to a deal, that you’re going to get the player. That’s what I was operating under.”
Chiarelli described the events of Wednesday as such:
“We were informed around noon yesterday that we had the player, we’d won the sweepstakes, so to speak. [Feaster] just had to talk to Jarome and his agent regarding logistics of everything. From that point on, there had been some discussions regarding Jarome taking some time, not to decide, but to let things soak in.
“Then we had our game and prior to that, we’d made moves, as did they. They scratched Jarome. We’d made moves, scratching Bart and Koko, who was playing in Providence. We brought up Torey [Krug], and we relied on the fact that we had a deal.
“Now, these things happen all the time — more than you know — about deals going south for whatever reason. We believed we had a deal and we operated on the premise of the deal. When things were silent — obviously, in my experience, when things go silent, usually something is going screwy from your end. It was.
“Later that night, around 12, I got a call from Jay saying that it was the player’s choice and he opted to go to Pittsburgh, so we were out. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Chiarelli said that he asked for the opportunity to speak to Iginla, but “didn’t get it.” Asked if he was surprised to see this happen to a team that’s been a destination of sorts for players in recent years, he guessed that the Penguins’ 13-game win streak may have made up Iginla’s mind.
“Here’s what I think: I think that Pitt, and God bless them because I like Ray Shero and the whole group there, Pitt has been on this amazing run, and we’ve been in and out a little bit lately,” Chiarelli said. “We’re a very good team, and I think as the wind blows in the last couple of days, I think that’s how it goes.”
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