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Conference Call Transcript with GM Peter Chiarelli and FW Jarome Iginla

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
CONFERNECE CALL QUOTES

GM PETER CHIARELLI AND FORWARD JAROME IGINLA
Saturday, July 6, 2013

CONFERENCE CALL WITH BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND FORWARD JAROME IGINLA AT 12:00 NOON.
Peter Chiarelli’s opening statement…
On behalf of the Bruins organization, we’d like to officially announce the signing of Jarome Iginla. We signed him to a one year deal. Jarome [Iginla] is a Hall of Fame forward. He’s a player that we’ve coveted from before and now we’re very fortunate to have join our mix. Jarome [Iginla], based on talking to him, is highly motivated and wants to win. That’s kind of our M.O., also. Let me run you through the sequence of events here. Jarome’s representative actually contacted us Thursday evening and said that he’d be interested in talking to us about joining our team. At that time I was in the midst of discussions with Daniel Alfredsson, but it certainly peaked my interest as Jarome [Iginla] was a player we tried to get at the trade deadline as you are all aware. My opinion of him hasn’t changed as a person or as a player. I know he’s a terrific player. He plays the type of game we’re looking for. He plays a heavy game, heavy shot, heavy forecheck. A power forward type of game and we needed a right wing with Nathan Horton leaving and Tyler Seguin being traded. So Friday morning, we had another discussion. I had a discussion with Donny Meehan and, throughout the course of the day, we had some discussions and I think Jarome [Iginla] was going through some things. Towards the end of the day, maybe around dinnertime, Donny Meehan contacted me and said that Jarome [Iginla] would like to join your team. So we worked out terms of a contract and here we are today. Let me give you a little bit of background on the contract because I know a lot of you have been asking questions. It’s a performance based deal based on Jarome’s age. He’s over thirty five. It’s actually a very good gesture by Jarome [Iginla] similar to the one Mark Recchi made two years in a row that is a cap friendly deal. He will get the bulk of his compensation in performance bonuses, attainable performance bonuses. Only if you exceed the cap cushion does an overage apply to next year. It was a 1.8 base as the release stated with 4.2 in performance bonuses. We’ve got a 4.8 allowance. We got a couple of smaller bonuses on other players. Jarome [Iginla] worked hard to get us into a deal that was friendly for us and would get him properly paid too. I give Jarome [Iginla] credit for that. We’ve acquired a player here who’s a terrific player. He’s a Hall of Fame player. We’ve lost some leadership when Andy Ference left and Pevs [Rich Peverley] and Horts [Nathan Horton]. We feel that Jarome [Iginla] is going to bring us some terrific leadership, terrific performance. He’s motivated. I don’t want to go through the events from the trade deadline, but I can tell you this. My opinion on him as a person and a player has not changed since then. We tried to get him then and we’re very happy to have him now. He’s a highly motivated, elite player and we look forward to him helping us win the Cup again.

Jarome Iginla’s opening statement…
Thanks Peter [Chiarelli] for the kind words. My family and I are very excited to be joining the Bruins organization. I’ve only heard great things from friends and stuff who’ve played there. Andy Ference, Kobasew [Chuck Kobasew], Recchi amongst many others about the city, the team and the group of players there. I love the way they play. I know there’s going to be questions and stuff as far as choices and things like that, but they were always a team—not being in Calgary—that if I were to move I would want to play for. I know that sounds maybe a little bit different when at the deadline not going to Boston, but it was a tough decision and it wasn’t one I took lightly or easily. Boston and Pitt were the two out of thirty teams that I was actually down to. I definitely have respect for both of them and thrilled to be a part of the Boston organization.

On what made the Bruins this time around a team he wanted to play for…
Jarome Iginla: Well, I think it is still a lot of the similarities of why I wanted to go—when I was debating leaving Calgary to possibly go to them then. At the time, Pittsburgh was really—they were rolling. They are two great organizations and they were just on a real roll. At the time, leaving at the deadline, I believed it was a great chance to win. We did make the final four. It was a great experience, a great organization. We would have liked to gone further, ran into the Bruins. But this time around it was looking at it and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be an opportunity. I wasn’t sure how Peter [Chiarelli] felt or the Bruins felt about possibly having me. I did ask my agent to explore it. I’m thrilled that it was a chance. The city is an amazing sports city. Like I said, I have friends who played there. They’re a team that year in year out is extremely competitive. They are very hard to play against. They play a physical, aggressive style. I like that, and I also know from the guys on the team that they have a lot of respect for them. I’m thrilled to get the chance to join them and another opportunity to be a part of it. I’m happy it was able to work out and I know they’re in a tough cap situation and they have a great core that is signed up for a long time and a fun team to watch.

On playing every day with Patrice Bergeron…
Jarome Iginla: Yeah, at the time with players you are always looking. You are looking at what the personnel of the team is. The Bruins have a great team, great individuals. You see the—Patrice [Bergeron] his character and his motivation and playing through with his injuries and Campbell. They have a lot of grit and determination and that’s—and so does Pitt. Playing with Sid [Sidney Crosby] was a huge thrill. I played with him at the Olympics, played on a line with him at the Olympics. There was some familiarity there, for sure. It was a great experience. I never played outside Calgary. I haven’t been in the playoffs for quite a while. Even though it didn’t end the way I had hoped, it was still an amazing experience and getting a chance to play with some great guys. I’m looking forward to this chance to—I’ve been very fortunate in my NHL career to play with some great players and people and get to know different people and I’m looking forward to this opportunity to go and Looch [Milan Lucic] plays—there’s so many guys, Chara I’ve gotten a chance to get to meet him at different All-Star games and he’s good friends with Andy Ference. I’m good friends with Andy [Ference]. I’ve heard a lot of great things. I’m looking forward to that opportunity. [David] Krejci, what a playoffs he had. Young guy, he’s just getting better and better. I’m really looking forward to it.

On the cap implications of the deal…
Peter Chiarelli: 1.8 this year. If we are over the bonus so seven and a half percent of 64.3 million, which is 4.8225 million. Any overage on that will go off of next year’s cap. Jarome’s performance bonuses are at 4.2. So we’ve got some room to play with.

On if he was thinking about landing Daniel Alfredsson and Jarome Iginla and if he was in on Bobby Ryan…
Peter Chiarelli: Well, during the day on that first day of free agency you are usually not thinking both. I wasn’t. I was thinking one. We had discussions in that two day window with Daniel Alfredsson and his agent. It was only towards the end of it when Jarome’s agent called us. So at that point, I got two really good players here. There’s a lot of teams vying for those players. To answer your question, no. I wasn’t expecting or trying to get both. There was one other guy I was looking at and talking to. On the [Bobby] Ryan stuff, we weren’t in on it.

On bringing in guys with leadership experience and Jarome’s leadership experience…
Peter Chiarelli: Yeah, it’s very important and leadership and experience are very important. They can help settle things down. They help run the pulse of the team with the coach. Very important when you are building a [Stanley] Cup contender. As you said, and as I said earlier, we lost a few guys who’ve been part of Cup teams and that have experience so just looking at Jarome’s career he’s got obviously tremendous experience of success and he’s, in my mind, an elite, offensive player who’s a warrior. Anytime you can get someone like that, you go after it. His style of play fits in with our team. He’s a very motivated individual player. You look at all those things when you’re building a team and one of the things that we discussed with Jarome’s group is the future beyond this year and we would hope there is one, but this gives Jarome [Iginla] a chance to look at our organization and play with us and see how successful we’ll be. To your original question on the experience and leadership, that’s a very big component when we’re building a contender.

Jarome Iginla: Yeah it was. It was a very good experience. You’re trying to come in as a new player and fit into a team that’s been very successful and Pittsburgh has been and Boston has been obviously. You’re not trying to come in and create anything new. You’re just trying to come in and play hard with the guys. When you get into the playoffs and stuff, you’re trying to be under control and control the emotions and all that and as far as playing. Boston has a core. They’ve been together a long time. They’ve been through so much already to—over the last five years and have had so much success. I look forward to coming in and learning. Just playing with them and playing hard and learning from them and having fun with them. The chance to come to Boston is partly about an opportunity to win, but also to enjoy it and for my family to enjoy it. Enjoy playing NHL and being on a contending team. During the season, you’re battling. You have that confidence. So it’s not just about winning. It’s about learning and enjoying it. All that goes together and I think it’s a great opportunity for my family and I.

On where Iginla can fit into the lineup…
Peter Chiarelli: Yeah, absolutely we’re looking for a specific—well documented about us reconstructing our right side on our top two lines especially. That’s what I’ve looked at specifically. Again, we’re fortunate that a player of this caliber is available and comes to us on a cap friendly basis. His style of play is so conducive to the way we play. Again, we’re very fortunate.

On where Iginla can fit into the lineup on the top two lines…
Peter Chiarelli: Well, we’re not sure yet. It’s going to be one of those two. I mean Jarome [Iginla] can play either. He’s a very good, two-way player. He can play kind of a shutdown, high end minutes on Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron’s] line or he can shoot. He’s got a terrific wrist shot, slap shot, one-timer. He can fill into the shooting role too so we’ve got that flexibility with him.

On what it was like to change positions in Pittsburgh and if he is looking forward to moving back to the right side…
Jarome Iginla: Well, when I went to Pitt [Pittsburgh], they had an opening on the left side. I played some left earlier in my career. I was open to trying it and trying to be effective and help out on the left side. I probably do feel more comfortable on the right side. As far as going through that, left or right, I would think it’s interchangeable, but I guess after a lot of years I probably do feel more comfortable. That’s hard to say, but I do feel more comfortable on the right side. I don’t think it’s that much of a difference but I think there is a little bit of difference as far as just seeing the ice and how you’re receiving the puck and stuff. It’s something that I’ve played for a number of years and I never thought there would be differences I guess. I kind of felt a little bit different, but I was happy to try and would be happy again if that’s what was asked.

On if he preparing for next season with the same players…
Jarome Iginla: Yeah, absolutely we’re all here right now. I think Andy’s [Andrew Ference] still actually in Boston. I texted him and talked to him and stuff. I think he’s coming home in a bit, but yep with Chuckie [Chuck Kobasew] and training with those guys. Like I said, I’ve only heard great things about Boston. The way it’s run to the city to friends they’ve made and stuff and I’m really looking forward to it. It also helps the transition as far as my wife and friends with their wives and stuff and trying to feel comfortable and learn about the city.

On what other teams he was considering…
Jarome Iginla: Well at the end of the season, I could see Pittsburgh was pretty tied up against the cap and stuff. I didn't ask my agent to - over the last few days - call and see if we can do an incentive based deal or anything like that. I have a lot of respect for the organization. Like I said, it was an amazing experience. Got to be in the conference finals, a lot of great people there. But I didn't think I was going back or plan on it, as far as we were into this and see their signings and what they’re doing. As far as other teams, yeah. We talked to other teams. We talked to a number of other teams over the few days. But the best opportunity we thought - and it was important for my family and I - we want to be on a contender. And we’re also very intrigued by Boston and, like I said, I’ve only heard wonderful things. I didn't know if the opportunity would still be there, but when I saw the moves and stuff, I thought why not try and just see if it's a possibility. And I was very happy and appreciative of another opportunity to first of all talk and see if we can find something. And I’m thrilled that we did, so I wasn't sure how that would be received and Peter and the organization were great. And I’m thrilled that they gave me another opportunity.

On how different his role is now versus joining before at the trade deadline…
Jarome Iginla: I guess I haven’t really considered how it’s so much different. I know Andy [Andrew Ference] is a great competitor and a really good leader, a very good player. But they have a very strong core. They have a lot of guys that have been there and played together and won together. I remember seeing something a little bit back on how they hadn’t had a lot of changes since they won the cup. So compared to what turnover most teams have, they still have a lot of guys who have played together for a long time, and the dynamic of the team, I imagine, would still be very similar with that many guys in the core and a part of it and experiencing what they've experienced over the last five years. So I know that they lost some important guys, but they still have a very strong core and a bigger core than most teams have going year to year.

On the different role peter envisions for Iginla…
Peter Chiarelli: Not really. Again, as I said earlier, my opinion of him, my assessment of him as a player hasn't changed. It’s always been very high. The one thing though, as I mentioned, when you talk about leadership and losing people like Andy or Pevs [Rich Peverley] or guys like that means the group also expands and the leadership expands to the younger guys. We’ve got some younger guys like Krej [Daivd Krecji] and Looch [Milan Lucic] and these guys that are starting to really grow into that. So Jarome has played in this league and had success in this league for a long time, and he’s been a leader in this league for a long time so nothing really different. He knows what’s expected of him. He knows the group of guys based on his discussions with other guys and guys like Andy [Andrew Ference] and Chuck [Kobasew]. So I think he’s going in with eyes wide open. But he knows what to expect and my expectations of him haven’t really changed that much either. It's a strong group, and it’ll be a seamless transition into the uniform based on what I know of him and how he plays and will continue to contend for a cup.

On any previous potential of going back to flames…
Jarome Iginla: With talking to the flames over the past few days, no I don't believe so. I don't believe that they contacted us or vice versa. I don't think so.

On the floods in Calgary…
Jarome Iginla: We were there for a little bit. Obviously very, very sad, and it was near the area where we were. We did have friends that were affected and stuff. We were out of town for the week, and we came back. During the time, was our moving and stuff. But no I didn't go and lend a hand. I know the Saddledome had a lot of people go there, and it’s terrible what happened there and in the homes and stuff. But no I wasn't actively a part of that and wasn't there for a lot of the days. We were only there for a few days while we were moving.

On the earlier transition to Boston versus the transition to Pittsburgh…
Jarome Iginla: Yeah. Not to make any excuses, I think that things were going well until the last series. But I do think it will be a little easier of a transition, and it kind of feels like I’ve been through leaving before. Spending that many years in Calgary and stuff and never leaving, it was different. My family was at home. They came to visit a few times, but it was something that until you go through it, people can tell you, but until you actually experience it and feel it - you got to go through it. This time around I think we’re going to try to get into Boston early and get settled and get the kids in school. It’ll be nice to have them there and my wife and stuff. But it also will be nice to skate with the guys before training camp and have a training camp and just settle in. A deadline and stuff when you’re moving during the season for everyone to go through, is probably a little bit different than starting. So I’m hoping and believing it will be easier to deal with going to training camp and having to leave before.

On his expectations for himself at this stage in his career…
Jarome Iginla: As far as certain goals and stuff, yeah. I think I can still be – I still feel very good. I think last year was an average year and I know, as you get older, once you have one people start thinking how much is left in the tank. I still feel great. If you look over my career, I’ve had some average years and I think I’m going to bounce back. I don't think it was a bad year. I think I got better. And it was also half of a season, as far as the regular season. It’s fun to get back into the playoffs and stuff. But I expect to play well. I expect to produce and be good for the Bruins and help contribute to a great regular season and be a contending team. The goal is to win and all that, but it’s the whole process too and you cant obviously tell who’s going to win at the start. But I think the Bruins year in, year out are a very, very competitive, hard team to play against. And I think I can be a part of that and be very effective still. And I don't expect a lot less, if that answers your question. I expect to be very good this year.

On his energy from making a move to a team that is a contender…
Jarome Iginla: Oh absolutely, I love playing. I like training. I read comments from older guys and they say as the training gets harder and harder that's kind of part of it in preparation for the season and stuff. I still love training, and I’m going to be in really good shape. I love playing the game. I think everyone does, that goes without saying for the players. But I’m having as much fun as ever. It was tough in Calgary near the end knowing the possibility that I could be leaving and the unknown. And also that we weren’t reaching the goals that we had set as far as being a playoff team and getting in there and having a chance to win. So it was hardest probably in the last couple years, especially this last year where we know we’re not reaching and they’re going to start a rebuild. And being an older player you feel some responsibility for sure. Also it’s home, so I experienced a lot last year. I wish Calgary the absolute best, and I know they made some good moves, some big moves and I wish them the best. And its nice to be in the other conference too so we don't play and other and have to totally dislike each other, right?

On what he thinks Daniel Alfredsson had to go through when he made his decision to leave…
Jarome Iginla: I think it would be a very, very tough decision and I don't think he took it lightly at all. By going through it, I know it’s not an easy thing as far as leaving a team you've been with for a long time and made a lot of lifelong friends. And I know he knew there would be a lot of people that would be upset about that. But I read that he said he made the decisions for a big part for him and his family. And he wants to win. We want to win. As players you want to win, and I don't know which team he thinks is better or anything like that. That's not for me to say. But obviously he still loves playing and has that fire and I guess he probably feels that's his best shot. But I do feel for him, it would be a tough decision. I guess that's all I can really say.

On it being tough to leave your comfort zone…
Jarome Iginla: Yeah. It wasn't easy. You get so used to they way. You know where everything is from the small things, like around the dressing room, to the playing style and all that and just your friends and your teammates. It’s not easy leaving, and I don't think he would have had an easy time making that decision for sure.

On being surprised that Alfredsson left:
Peter Chiarelli: I don't know. After my discussions with him I wasn't surprised. There’s a lot of similarities here too with Jarome. These guys are lead players in the league for a long time, and they want to win. And they have a thirst and a hunger, both, to win. So again I don't know what his assessment is of who is the better team, as to why he thought that was the benefit. But I respect it they same way I respect Jarome coming back to us and wanting an opportunity.

On anything else he is pursuing…
Peter Chiarelli: No, I’m good for a while.

On any apprehensive feelings after receiving the call from don Meehan…
Peter Chiarelli: No, not at all. As I said back in April, those things happen. They just don't become as public as they did. You don't harbor any ill feelings, and I told Jarome that last night when I talked to him. I said its just part of the business. So when Don Meehan called and it raised my eyebrows, I said really. And I was excited. So no not all.

On Tuukka [Rask] and looking back at Anton Khudobin before he signed elsewhere…
Peter Chiarelli: Well the first part, we’re very close on both Tuukka [Rask] and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. The second part is part of this process was to free up some space. It wasn't the primary part, but a part was to free up some space so that we could have a look at some of these guys. And part of that is, unfortunately, to get your back up goalie at a lower number. Now Chad Johnson was on our radar anyways, a player of interest over a period of time. But I had to do it quickly. So it wasn't about Anton not wanting to come back. It was about me getting a goalie, whoever it is at the end of the day, at a good number. So it was a timing thing.

#07/06/13#
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