Apr 4, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins player Jaromir Jagr (68) skates against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Jarome Iginla's Snub Of The Boston Bruins Could Be A Blessing In Disguise

April 2, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) skates up ice with the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Buffalo Sabres won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

About a week and a half ago, the Boston Bruins had traded for Calgary Flames captain and future hall of famer, Jarome Iginla. It was a done deal according to Twitter and Aaron Ward of TSN.

Iginla would be bringing his talents to Boston in exchange for two Bruins prospects, forward Alexander Kohklachev and defenseman Matt Bartkowski, as well as a 2013 1st round pick. It was a bit of a heavy price to pay for a 35-year old rental player as Kohklachev could be one of the Bruins better offensive prospects and Bartkowski has gotten better every year in Providence, but the Bruins were getting a perennial 30-goal scorer in Iginla so it was going to be worth it.

According to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, even he had been informed (by Calgary) that the deal was done and Iginla would be his. Then possibly fate stepped in and with the deal all but officially done, Iginla reportedly decided to exercise his rights as a player with a “no-trade clause” in his contract and informed Calgary that if the Pittsburgh Penguins had any interest in him, then that is where he really wanted to go.

So Calgary’s GM Jay Feaster, got on the phone and eventually got a deal done that would send Iginla to Pittsburgh for a package pretty similar to what the Bruins had offered, two prospects and a 1st round pick.

Iginla would no longer be becoming a Bruin and Chiarelli was left empty handed, almost out of time and running out of options as the NHL trade deadline fast approached.

Around the same time of the failed Iginla deal, the Bruins had claimed 24-year old forward Kaspars Daugavins off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. It was a minor move and Daugavins has only played one game in a Bruins jersey, but I like what I saw. He is a bulldog of a player that can play wing or center, he can also kill penalties and appears to have some offensive upside (as shown in his failed shootout attempt versus the Bruins when he was still a member of the Senators).

While the addition of Daugavins is a good one, no one is fooled and we all know he isn’t Jarome Iginla, Chiarelli needed to do more and a day before the NHL trade deadline he did just that.

With Iginla traded and a good amount of offensive firepower already having been moved around the NHL, Chiarelli’s back was getting pretty close to being up against the wall. Then as quickly as the Iginla deal had fallen through, Chiarelli was handed what could be considered the greatest gift of the deadline. The Dallas Stars announced they were unable to come to terms on a contract agreement with Jaromir Jagr and that they would be willing to deal the 41-year old superstar forward.

Chiarelli leapt at the news and was determined to not let a future hall of famer slip through his hand. Within hours of the Stars’ announcement of their willingness to deal Jagr, they were announcing that they had traded him to the Boston Bruins for two forward prospects, Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne, as well as a conditional 2nd round pick.

The general consensus around the NHL and amongst hockey writers was that the Bruins had gotten a better offensive weapon than Iginla (albeit an older one) for less than what it would’ve cost them for Iginla. Sounds like a win to me.

MacDermid is a banger, who can fight but his offensive upside is limited. Yes, I know he scored in his Star debut but come on, he’s a career 3rd/4th liner at best. As for Payne, he’s nothing more than a prospect right now who projects as a bottom-six NHL forward.

Speaking of that cost for Iginla, defenseman Matt Bartkowski who was supposed to be dealt to Calgary, has played in a handful of games for the Bruins since the failed trade and I got to say he’s really starting to grow on me. I like his game a lot, both offensively and defensively. He’s a solid two-way defenseman who is playing some pretty good hockey at the NHL level and should continue to improve as his confidence grows. I’d also rather see him on the ice than Aaron Johnson. Do I dare say I’m happy the deal was nixed and the Bruins didn’t lose Bartkowski? Well, maybe I won’t go just that far yet but I’m leaning that way.

As for Kohklachev (ya know, the other kid in the failed trade?), well the jury is still out on him, but he impressed me with his play in the juniors and at the World Junior Championships when he played for Russia. He’s a two-way center than can play on the power play and the penalty kill. He’s currently in Providence now to continue his development and maybe someday soon will make his Boston Bruins debut.

So in a nutshell, the Bruins lost out on Iginla but got to keep two of their better prospects and then ended up adding Jagr for “lesser prospects”. Does that mean its safe to say the Bruins may have won even after it appeared as though they lost? Time will tell on that one, but so far I’m not complaining and Iginla’s so-called snub of Boston, might just end up being a blessing in disguise for the Bruins.

 

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