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Peter Chiarelli: ‘We Believed We Had A Deal’ For Jarome Iginla

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Jarome Iginla  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jarome Iginla (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — Bruins fans all believed Jarome Iginla would be the team’s most recent acquisition on Wednesday night due to reports in the media. As it turns out, the Bruins felt the same way.

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli addressed the media at the TD Garden on Thursday afternoon to explain what took place with the Iginla trade talks, and he said that he and the Bruins were told on Wednesday that their trade offer had been accepted.

“A few days before [Wednesday] we had submitted a firm offer with those two players – Alexander Kokhlachev and Matt Bartkowski – and we were informed around noon yesterday that we had the player. We won the sweepstakes, so to speak,” Chiarelli said.

Chiarelli said he was told by Flames general manger Jay Feaster that the only thing holding up finalization of the deal was a conversation with Iginla, who had a no-trade and no-movement clause in his contract and would have to approve any trade. Chiarelli said he had been told weeks ago that Boston was on a very short list of teams to which Iginla would approve a trade. So, Chiarelli made the necessary moves, scratching Khoklachev from his AHL game and scratching Bartkowski from the Bruins’ game, while Iginla was scratched in Calgary.

“We relied on the fact that we had a deal,” Chiarelli said.

Then, somewhere in the course of the day, Chiarelli said things went silent between him and the Flames.

“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 that we had a deal,” Chiarelli said. “In my experience, when things go silent, things are going screwy from your end, and it was. So later that night, around quarter to 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.

“So, that’s it in a nutshell.”

The Bruins appeared to be closing in on finalizing a trade for Iginla late Wednesday night, following the team’s 6-5 shootout loss at home to Montreal. Aaron Ward of TSN reported the trade had indeed been completed, and news outlets from coast-to-coast ran with the story. However, around 1:30 a.m. on the East Coast, the Penguins announced that they had acquired Iginla, shocking the entire hockey world.

Feaster said in his press conference that he fielded offers from several teams but ultimately made a trade with the team which Iginla most wanted to join.

“At the end of the day, it’s a process of working with the player as well,” Feaster said of the trade talks. “Certainly, the player has a role to play when the player has a no-trade, no-move [clause]. In this instance, the deal that we consummated, this is where the player was prepared to wait for.”

Chiarelli said he requested to speak with Iginla on Wednesday, but the Flames turned down that request.

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