“Well, they’re a lock, right?” he said with a laugh. “They’re a good team.”
But so are the Bruins.
Chiarelli called them “a serious contender” but said they must improve to become more competitive for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals two years after they won the NHL championship.
“You still have to be patient because, you know, you trust in your players,” he said. “They’re a good team. We have to be better in a number of areas, but we’re getting points, and we also know that the prize is after the regular season. We’re committed to fixing these things.
“I’m committed to trying to improve the team also.”
He’d like to add a forward and a defenseman.
But the big catch got away when Iginla chose the Penguins. Chiarelli said he talked with the Flames a couple of weeks ago about Iginla and there were further conversations between the teams. Feaster told him that the Bruins were on a list that Iginla, in the final year of his five-year contract, would agree to be traded to, he said.
A few days ago, the Bruins offered defenseman Matt Bartkowski and minor-league forward Alexander Khokhlachev for Iginla. The final offer also included a first-round draft choice.
“We were informed around noon (Wednesday) that we had the player,” Chiarelli said. Feaster “just had to talk to Jarome and his agent regarding the logistics of everything. From that point on, there had been some discussions regarding Jarome taking some time, not to decide, but to kind of let things soak in.”
Chiarelli had “no doubt” that the deal was done, “but as time went on, the doubt started to grow.”
Starting at around 5 p.m. there was “radio silence” between the teams and the Flames didn’t return his calls, he said.