WILMINGTON — All the talk in the Bruins clubhouse this afternoon was about the trade-that-wasn’t, Jarome Iginla’s non-deal to Boston. The overriding reaction was that it was Iginla’s choice and, well, he made it. Shrug.
“It’s his one chance to really make a decision for what’s best for him in his eyes,” Andrew Ference said. “How can you fault somebody for doing what they want to do, in a situation where they have that kind of control? That’s part of his contract, part of his deal that he gets that option. Of course he’s going to make that decision for himself.”
And the decision wasn’t to come to Boston.
Still, the Bruins are saying all the right things. That they don’t have a problem with the choice. That there won’t be extra motivation when the Bruins play Pittsburgh on April 19. That there is “no deflation,” as coach Claude Julien put it.
“We have what we have,” Ference said. “If something gets added, then it gets added.
“It’s not sore feelings or insulting or anything like that. It’s our sport. We have a great team. Like I said, it’s fully in his right to make that choice of where he wants to go. That’s what he’s earned through his career with the type of contract he had. So be it. It’s no more motivating to go win a Stanley Cup. I don’t think anybody’s feelings in this room have changed about that.”
And there was an understanding that even if the Bruins had emerged victorious in the race for Iginla, that wouldn’t have solved all of the team’s problems. As Julien said, “Would he have made our team better? Sure. We know what he brings. But we’re still a good team. … One guy is not going to be a savior. No matter who we get, we’re not going to sit back and watch this guy go. We’ve still got to do the job.”
In other news, Johnny Boychuk practiced with the Bruins this morning. He’ll travel to Philadelphia and be a game-time decision.