However, there’s none bigger than the Jarome Iginla saga.
The tale has been retold more than a few times since the 2013 trade deadline came and went, but the issue has never become as big as it will be now.
On Wednesday, March 27, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was told by the Calgary Flames that the trade was official; Iginla was heading to Boston for prospects, most notably defenseman Matt Bartkowski, and draft picks.
The Bruins lost to the rival Montreal Canadiens that night, but fans went to bed at peace knowing they had acquired the best available player at the deadline. Surely this should reignite a team who had been playing some lackadaisical hockey of late.
When everyone woke up the next day the news hit them like a sack of bricks; Iginla used his no-movement clause and decided he wanted to go to Pittsburgh instead. The deal was completed late that night, and an entire fan base felt duped.
Chiarelli held a press conference to try and put out some fires, especially since he felt just as suckered as everyone else after he was told he’d landed his man. The damage, though, had already been done.
As biased as you could be, you really couldn’t blame Iginla for making the decision he went with. At the time, the Penguins were rolling, on their way to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. And who exactly turns down a chance to play with Sidney Crosby?
On the other hand, the Bruins were stuck in the midst of a two month slump, where mediocre was the best they could do. It was hardly a team that screamed “come with us if you want a Cup.”
No, for a player like Iginla, well-respected and missing only a Stanley Cup from his Hall of Fame caliber resume, Pittsburgh made more sense.
Well, now we’ll find out if it was indeed the right call.
The Penguins and Bruins both made quick work of their conference semifinal opponents and now meet for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. It’s the team Iginla picked playing the one he spurned.
You couldn’t write a plot any better.
If the Bruins are searching for bulletin board material, something to motivate them beyond the concept of taking down the Vegas favorite, look no further than number 12 on the opponent’s bench.
Iginla made it as apparent as you can; Boston, in his opinion, was not going to get him the championship he’s been fighting so hard for. No, for him the Bruins were the same story in another jersey.
If you play for Boston, that’s a shot to the mouth. It’s a top-quality player saying publicly “you’re not good enough.”
The Bruins won’t get a better chance to show Iginla he latched his cart to the wrong horse.
Now, let’s be honest; the amount of people jumping out to say Iginla picked incorrectly could probably be counted on one hand. But this is more about the Bruins than it is about national perspective.
It won’t be easy and it certainly isn’t expected, but if the Bruins were to come out on top of this series, however many games it takes, they’d be sending a clear message right back to Iginla.
“You chose poorly. Better luck next time.”