After the news of the Boston “trade” broke over twitter, I made the joke that it would have been far more appropriate for Calgary to play Iginla and trade him in the middle of the game, given how absurd the management is, but they did me one better. Hell, they did me several better.
First, we’re going to make two (very likely and logical) assumptions (which have recently been confirmed by Chiarelli):
1. The rumored Boston trade was an actual offer.
2. Jarome Iginla was involved in the trade beyond stating which teams he’d waive his NTC for. Well, this isn’t so much an assumption – Elliotte Friedman said so outright. “Feaster said Iginla made the call on PIT. Added the draft choice is not conditional.”
So what we saw was the Flames making a not great, but probably the best available, trade for a conditional first (condition unknown), Alexander Khokhlachev (a guy with 1st line potential and a very good puck possession game), and some other guy I don’t even remember at this point. The Flames twitter feed stayed quiet on the issue, though major media members were mostly confirming it. Then Calgary told all the media to remain after the game, and SURPRISE IGINLA’S GOING ELSEWHERE FOR OTHER THINGS.
There was almost a sense that Feaster, for a moment, fancied himself a magician with a big reveal. “It’s not a cake…it’s a lady!” as he whips the fancy cloth away*.
What makes this fascinating (in the same way the Cloverfield was fascinating) was the process of letting a player get involved and make the call on the team. Jarome Iginla was a hell of a player, seemingly a nice dude, and an icon in Calgary, but he’s hardly a qualified scout or hockey analyst. So if he had already agreed that Boston, LA, PIT and whatever the other place was were all fine, why did he make the final call?
The fact is, Calgary is run by children thinking themselves far cleverer than they really are. Pittsburgh has several high quality prospects (Maatta, Pouliot, Depres) that are almost assuredly worth more than the likely 28th-30th first round pick, and yet Feaster seemed entirely thrilled that he’d gotten an unconditional first round pick.
For all the serious analytic work that the writers here at FN will do on this trade in the coming days and weeks, there’s one very important thing to remember: this may have beaten the Jokinen and Prust trade to the New York Rangers in terms of sheer absurdity in the process.
*I have no idea what cool magic tricks are going on these days, but I assume only the ones in Calgary involve making good hockey players disappear for cheap bits of flim flam