The Boston Bruins thought they had landed Calgary Flames star winger Jarome Iginla on Wednesday, but ended up losing out to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters Thursday.
Boston had agreed to deal defenseman Matt Bartkowski, prospect Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round draft pick to the Flames for Iginla, but ended up disappointed.
"We were told around noon yesterday that we had the player, we won the sweepstakes so to speak," Chiarelli said. "[Flames GM Jay Feaster] just had to talk to Jarome and his agent regarding the logistics of everything. So from that point on there had been some discussions regarding Jarome taking some time, not to decide, just to let things soak in. And then we had our game. Prior to that we made moves, as did they. They scratched Jarome, we made moves, scratching [Bartkowski] and [Khokhlachev]. ...
"We relied on the fact 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. We operated on the premise of the deal. ...
Iginla was shipped to the Penguins for the rights to college players Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski, as well as Pittsburgh's first pick in the 2013 draft.
"Later that night, around a quarter to 12, I got a call from Jay saying it was the player's choice and he opted to go to Pittsburgh. So we were out."
Iginla had two good reasons to select the Penguins.
"I had some choice in Pittsburgh and I think that you know, getting the opportunity as a player to go play on a team with the two best players in the world [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin], and a team on a roll like they're on and the success they've had, as a player, I wanted that opportunity and I'm thrilled and I'm thankful that they've given me that opportunity," Iginla told the Flames' official website.
Feaster added that Iginla's preference for the Penguins was the deciding factor.
"We all understand in this business, a player who has a no-trade/no-move has an opportunity to decide when and whether to waive that, so we dealt with the teams that were given to us by the player and we had a deal with Boston that we liked," Feaster said. "We certainly felt that would have been an acceptable way to go as an organization. The player indicated that he wanted to be with Pittsburgh, and so we got a deal done with Pittsburgh."