The Penguins have a lot going for them.
They are riding a 14-game winning streak and lead the league in points. They have Crosby and Malkin. Coach Dan Bylsma is well-regarded by players around the NHL.
They play in Consol Energy Center, which opened in 2010. Earlier in the week, Shero acquired Brenden Morrow from Dallas and Douglas Murray from San Jose. The Pittsburgh infrastructure might be second to none.
Chiarelli asked the Flames for permission to speak with Iginla and make his pitch, but Calgary denied the request.
“Let’s be honest,” Shero said during a Thursday press conference. “A lot of this has to do with having a Sidney Crosby. Having an Evgeni Malkin. Having this beautiful building. Having ownership that we have.
“I’m just the guy, as the manager, who tries to consummate the deal.”
In comparison, the Bruins are like the tight end compared with the quarterback — an important player, but not the star. They are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. During their 1-3-0 road trip last week, they scored just six goals.
Currently, Pittsburgh projects to have the better shot at winning the Stanley Cup, a trophy that has eluded the 35-year-old Iginla.
Now the Bruins regroup. Chiarelli planned to speak with Bartkowski and Khokhlachev, the two would-be ex-Bruins, to repair those bridges. Chiarelli and his group will pursue secondary trade targets — ideally, one forward and one defenseman. Prices remain high, especially for rentals.
“We have an ability to add players,” Chiarelli said. “But it’s been the hardest that I’ve ever seen it in my years because of the short supply.”