Chiarelli called a press conference to clarify the situation with media members and fans. By most accounts on Wednesday night, the Bruins were expected to acquire Iginla. By Thursday morning, he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to Chiarelli, Flames general manager Jay Feaster called him on Wednesday and told him at noon that they had a done deal. Due to the magnitude of the trade and the importance of Iginla to the Flames organization, Feaster explained that they were going to give Iginla some space to deal with the situation.
Chiarelli stated that the trade would involve Iginla coming to Boston in exchange for forward Alex Khokhlachev, defenseman Matt Bartkowski and Boston's first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The offer had been submitted by Boston earlier in the week.
After a few hours without contact, Chiarelli called Feaster at 5 p.m. ET and was unable to get into contact with the manager. Despite the lack of contact, both teams continued with making changes to their roster; the Flames scratched Iginla and the Bruins scratched Khokhlachev and Bartkowski.
Later in the night, Feaster contacted Chiarelli and informed him that Iginla had chosen to go to Pittsburgh instead of Boston.
Despite the change in plans, Chiarelli stated that he had nothing but respect for Feaster and didn't believe anything nefarious occurred. The Bruins manager was obviously disappointed and stated the team is still looking at other players. He hopes to add a defenseman and a forward. He plans to speak with Khokhlachev and Bartkowski to explain the situation to them.
In terms of Calgary's side of things, this marks the second time this season that Feaster has been involved with a fumbled player transaction. Beginning with the Ryan O'Reilly offer sheet and now this situation, things have not gone smoothly for Feaster.
Was this an instance of Feaster jumping the gun and confirming the trade without Iginla's final say? Or did Iginla agree to the deal before backing out? As of Thursday afternoon, we don't know for sure.
What is clear, though, is Iginla wanted to play in Pittsburgh and definitively chose to play for the Penguins instead of the Bruins.