Boston Bruins fans went to sleep on Wednesday night feeling the sting of a 6-5 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. It doesn’t get much worse than blowing a 5-3, third-period lead against your most bitter rival, but there was a tremendous silver lining even after the most painful loss of the season. It appeared certain the Bruins had landed Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla.
When Boston fans wake up, they’ll be in an even worse mood than they were when they hit the sheets. Despite various reports that Iginla to Boston was a done deal, the 15-year veteran has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. How could this have happened? Iginla picked it himself.
“He agreed to waive and come to Pittsburgh,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the team’s official website. “The trade conference call was done with the league. Everything was final. That was it. I talked to him a while ago after it. He said he was excited to come to Pittsburgh. He said he would help anyway he could, didn’t care about role or who he was playing with. He wants to help the team win and be a part of it.”
In fact, TSN’s Bob McKenzie has reported that the Flames preferred Boston’s offer of a first-round pick and two prospects, but Iginla would not waive his no-trade clause to be sent to the Bruins. Considering he had been a healthy scratch for the first time in his career and two of the Bruins’ top prospects were scratched from their AHL affiliate’s game, it seemed certain Iginla was Boston-bound.
Perhaps he watched the Bruins’ meltdown and changed his mind at the last second. Boston was unable to score on six attempts in the shootout, and goalie Tuukka Rask threw a classic spaz and broke his stick after letting in the deciding goal. Pittsburgh is already one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and recently got even better by trading for former Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow. Iginla makes them the clear-cut favorite in the East.