“A general manager’s nightmare,’’ said the high-ranking boss, “is to have to make that call and say, ‘Uh, sorry, I know I said we had a deal, but . . .’
“You never, ever want to make that call.’’
Feaster had to make it, now he will have to live with it. Meanwhile, Chiarelli will have to look elsewhere to improve a team that is now three trades behind the Penguins, who in recent days also acquired ex-Stars forward Brenden Morrow and ex-Sharks blue liner Doug Murray. The Bruins also tried to land Morrow, which leaves Chiarelli 0 for 2 in the mano-a-mano matchup with Trader Ray.
The best player out there possibly to be had is Tampa’s Martin St. Louis, his name floated like Iginla’s the last 2-3 weeks. But a well-connected player agent I talked to in the wake of Iginla’s hairpin turn to Pittsburgh said Lightning GM Steve Yzerman isn’t moving the dynamic winger.
“No way,’’ said the agent. “Yzerman’s got kids there who he wants to be around St. Louis. He’s not going anywhere.’’
Yzerman probably would prefer to get Vincent Lecavalier off his books, but no one is touching the big center’s mega-contract, especially with the salary cap declining some 8 percent next season.
If Chiarelli decides to make the back end his top priority, veteran puck mover Dan Boyle might be acquired from San Jose. The Sharks are remodeling, though still refusing, thus far, to move their biggest legacy pieces up front, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
Boyle, 36, has a reputation for being a bit prickly in the dressing room, and he has another year on his deal at $6.67 million, but he remains one of the game’s elite puck-moving defensemen. The Bruins haven’t had a puck mover like him back there since Bourque’s departure.
“Players are out there,’’ noted Chiarelli, a touch of lament in his voice and body language. “There’s always other players, but that [Iginla] was a good player.’’
Good, but gone, in one of the most bizarre chapters in NHL trade history. The next time the Bruins see Iginla — April 19 — he’ll be on Causeway Street with the Penguins, some 16 days beyond the trade deadline, a little more than three weeks after what might have been in Boston.
For the record, it will not be Jarome Iginla bobblehead night at the Garden.