Bruins Lose Out on Jarome Iginla, Now Look to Other Potential Trade Targets
By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
Wednesday was a whirlwind night in Boston.
Just when the Bruins thought they had acquired Flames legend Jarome Iginla in a trade, Calgary called them back and broke the news; Iginla was a Penguin, not a Bruin.
It’s one of the strangest situations NHL fans have seen in a very long time. Multiple reports throughout the night indicated that the Bruins were on the verge of acquiring Iginla, and those reports were only reinforced by the fact that the Bruins scratched defenseman Matt Bartkowski from their lineup, young Russian forward Alexander Khokhlachev was a very late scratch from the Providence Bruins’ lineup, and Iginla himself was scratched from the Flames’ lineup.
Throughout the course of the game, reporters in the TD Garden press box noted on twitter that Bruins’ front office and PR personnel were rushing around the ninth floor. And, as most reporters and fans know, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There was clearly a fire in Boston; a massive bonfire if you will, and many Bruins fans went to bed believing that Jarome Iginla was a Boston Bruin. That was not the case, however.
Around 1:30 a.m., the Flames announced that they had traded their franchise winger to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a package that included forwards Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski, and a 2013 first round draft pick.
“A few days before (Wednesday), we submitted a firm offer with those two players – Alexander Khokhlachev and Matt Bartkowski – and we were informed around noon yesterday that we had the player”, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said in a press conference Thursday afternoon. “We won the sweepstakes, so to speak.
“Around five eastern, it’s kind of radio silence. So that’s when I started to think ‘Obviously something’s going on here’. And, obviously, you make efforts to call, but when nothing gets returned, that’s when you know something is going on. Then I got a call from Jay (Feaster) saying that it was the player’s choice, and he opted to go to Pittsburgh, so we were out.”
While Chiarelli doesn’t believe that Feaster did anything “nefarious”, one can’t help but feel as if there is something extremely fishy about this whole catastrophe.
What’s done is done, however, and now the Bruins must move on. Peter Chiarelli has to move past all of this, and move on to the next player on his list of targets.
“I’ve got a lot of marks up on my board right now”, Chiarelli said. “It’s like a yard sale up there.”
“There are players out there, and we’re in on players”, he said. “There are always other players. (Iginla) was a good player, that was a real good player. There are always other players. The circumstances change from the cap perspective for next year. (The salary cap) is going down, so you have to look it makes rentals a little bit more valuable this year to a group of teams, including us. You have to be a little more creative, then you have to open up your decision process to more things and take it from there.”
One thing is for certain now. The Bruins must act quickly, otherwise they will find themselves overpaying for players.
Additionally, it’s become clear that Peter Chiarelli does not believe his team can compete for the Stanley Cup as is. Chiarelli’s MO has never been to swing for the fences at the trade deadline (see: Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk), but this year he changed all of that. His targeting of Iginla says that he believes his team needs an all star player added to the roster if they are going to make another run at the Cup. The problem with that now is that there are no big name players available anymore. Perhaps Phoenix would be willing to part with defenseman Keith Yandle, but GM Don Maloney would likely start talks for the Boston native by asking for a bona fide 30 goal scorer, something the Bruins currently lack on their active roster.
Instead of going for a home run, Chiarelli can target players whose names may not be well known, but could play important roles in the Bruins’ playoff run.
But what is Chiarelli in the market for now? Well, he is still seeking to acquire a defenseman and at least one forward by the time the trade deadline passes. Whether he will or not remains to be seen, but one can assume Chiarelli has some sort of trick up his sleeve.
But who can he trade for now? Well, I’ve compiled a short list of four players Chiarelli could target. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion. None of the following is information I have acquired from any kind of source.
- Ladislav Smid – Smid is a highly underrated defender; part of that may have to do with the fact that he plays in Edmonton. At 6’3, 207 lbs, he’s a big, strong shutdown defender who plays with an edge (he leads the Oilers in hits with 99). He could be the perfect candidate to shore up a struggling defense, as he can block a lot of shots (90 thus far) and help out the penalty kill as well.
- Robyn Regehr – While Regehr has struggled mightily in the offense department, the Bruins would not be asking him to put up offensive numbers. The big physical defenseman could be a great addition to Boston’s injury riddled defenseive corps. Previous to this lockout shortened season, Regehr had 352 hits and 254 blocked shots over his past two seasons in Buffalo. His shot blocking ability and physicality could play a crucial role for the Bruins down the home stretch, and likely wouldn’t cost a whole lot, considering he is a UFA at the end of the season.
- Martin St. Louis – While St. Louis is getting up there in age at 37 years old, his performance certainly doesn’t show it. St. Louis is fourth in the NHL in points with 42, and has already been linked to the Bruins in previous reports. The one catch with him, however, is that he has a No Movement Clause, and will only be traded if he agrees to waive it, and there is no guarantee he would do so. UPDATE: Pierre LeBrun has learned St. Louis will not be moved.
- Clarke MacArthur – Although he only has 17 points for the Leafs this season, the 27 year old winger still could be a solid addition as scoring depth for the Bruins. While Toronto is in the midst of a playoff run, MacArthur will be a UFA at season’s end, and GM Dave Nonis could look to move him before he loses him for nothing to free agency. He had a career high 62 points in 2010-2011, and could return to form if he isn’t relied on to provide the majority of scoring.
While the Bruins continue to reel from the failed acquisition of Jarome Iginla, one thing is certain: The Bruins will most likely make a move before 3 p.m. Wednesday. It’s uncertain who they will acquire, as they will likely keep their cards close to their vest. But, with it being evident that Peter Chiarelli believes a trade is needed for his team, it is a near certainty that he has a few other cards to play before Wednesday afternoon.