March 28, 2013

Post-Trade Breakdown: Iginla picks Pens, bums out B's fans

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Pittsburgh - Jarome Iginla, Boston - Nothing

Recap: After Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and every other highly-respected hockey journalist throughout Canada reported that the Bruins were closing in on acquiring Flames captain Jarome Iginla, the Hub of Hockey was aflutter. 

After a hockey game that at this point is hard to remember, the buzz continued throughout the Twitterverse and reached a crescendo when former B's blueliner Aaron Ward tweeted it was a done deal.

Much like they've done too many times this season, the Bruins saw their opponent mount a late comeback. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero came in and submitted an offer that the Flames and Iginla himself liked better, leading the Pens to victory over the Black and Gold.

Trade Records (2013): Pittsburgh 3-0-0; Boston 0-0-1

Key Play of the Trade: When the Bruins blew 4-2 and 5-3 leads in a 6-5 loss to the Canadiens and Iginla said, "Jesus Christ, I'd never win a Stanley Cup with these guys!"

Connolly's Commendations: Shero deserves all the credit in the world. He knew years back that signing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to lengthy deals would make coming to Pittsburgh more attractive to potential rentals than an abandoned Poland Spring truck would be to someone lost in the Sahara Desert.

Connolly's Critiques: Shame on the McKenzies, Dregers and Wards of the world who ripped out the hearts of fans throughout the Hub of Hockey. Their apologies are appreciated, but anyone who went to bed with visions of Iginla donning the Spoked-B dancing in their head is going to feel like they got punched in the crotch by Mike Tyson in his prime when they wake up. 

Great job by the Bruins in reacting to the Iginla rumors that were on the verge of being carved in stone. Boston took a 4-2 lead then suffered yet another third-period implosion. Sure, there were unlucky penalties and fluky goals that bounced off -- among other things -- players' faces and into the net, but Rask and Co. are proving themselves as woefully un-clutch in crunch time. Iginla may very well have been turned off by that.

Jay Feaster traded a future Hall of Famer for two meh college prospects and a late first-rounder. Why even bother dealing the guy?

Notes: Bruins fans now hate Pittsburgh more than they ever imagined possible. Tuukka Rask turned in the best performance of his NHL career... when it comes to spazzing out after a loss, as No. 40 tried slamming his stick off the boards near the bench and ended up just falling over and looking like a fool. The Penguins became the first team in the league to decide the salary cap is just silly and that they'll continue to not give a crap about it as they pile up superstars. Alex Trebek was the only Canadian television personality to not hint at Iginla to Boston being a done deal. 

Final Thoughts: Don't worry, guys, the sky isn't falling. The B's claimed Kaspars Daugavins off waivers earlier in the day.

Next: Crying. Complaining. More crying. Oh, oh, for the Bruins.

The B's will now try to find a serviceable forward and/or defenseman for what will surely be an equal or greater package than the unspectacular one featuring Matt Bartkowski, Alex Khokhlachev and a conditional pick that almost landed them the crown jewel of trade targets in 2013. 

Photo credit: Getty Images

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ