Jeremy Jacobs' (right) role in the lockout has not been forgotten by NHL players.
It was a tough night for the Boston Bruins.
On the ice, the team may have played its best game of the year, but the Bruins dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout.
The Bruins held 4-2 and 5-3 leads in the third period, but couldn't hold on. However, they played with the energy and explosiveness that marked their 2011 Stanley Cup run—in the second period—and were done in by a series of bad breaks.
But after the game, the Bruins were hit with a devastating body blow.
The rumblings were clear. They were adding Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames. The long-rumored deal was supposedly happening, as former NHLer Aaron Ward tweeted the deal had been completed and that Iginla would be moving to Boston.
Apologies, had multiple sources confirm a trade that did not happen.
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) March 28, 2013
But this is not about criticizing a former player-turned-journalist.
It's about the Boston Bruins and why they came up empty twice this week.
Calgary general manager Jay Feaster told CBSSports.com he had offers from three teams and that the deal was done with Pittsburgh after Iginla's input was considered.
The Penguins also picked up Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Star earlier in the week. While Morrow is not a superstar like Iginla, he is a hard-working role player who can play all three zones and make a key contribution.
The Bruins had been in the running for Morrow, but he chose to take his talents to Pittsburgh and not Boston.
The two biggest deals prior to the trade deadline have seen two players choose Pittsburgh over Boston.
Why is that? Is the chance to play on the same team as Sidney Crosby just so overwhelming? The Bruins won the Stanley Cup just two years ago and have a fairly talented roster themselves, not to mention one of the most deepest organizations in the NHL, as well as a passionate fanbase.
The Bruins also have Jeremy Jacobs.
The Bruins owner is one of the most intimidating men in the league and he played a key role in the lockout. Jacobs was a hawk who advocated taking draconian measures with the players, so the NHL could get a knockout win over the NHLPA.
Jacobs may not have been a puppeteer pulling the strings and making commissioner Gary Bettman dance to his tune, but he certainly had the commissioner's ear.
Jacobs was all business during the lockout, and he made no attempt to hide his contempt for NHLPA leader Donald Fehr.
Perhaps the chickens are coming home to roost.
If you were an NHL player and you had a chance to play for Penguins owner Ron Burkle, who attempted to unlock the negotiations early on in the process, or Jacobs, who would you choose?
This is a theory and is not being put forth as fact.
But all players who are traded go through a mental checklist, especially when they have a voice in where they will be playing next.
Playing for an owner who was most instrumental in them not receiving a paycheck for the first three-plus months of the season might not be their top choice.
Don't expect Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli or head coach Claude Julien to acknowledge this. It's not in their best interests.
But it's obvious that the players have not forgotten the stance that Jacobs took during the lockout and it may cost the Bruins dearly.