Before Flames GM Jay Feaster could sign off on the deal, he needed ownership's approval and also needed to complete a pile of paperwork necessary to place players on Long-Term Injury to create cap space for Cammalleri.
And once approval had been granted and the LTI work had been done, it was too late for the Canadiens to scratch Cammalleri from the lineup. And since the NHL Central Registry won't allow a trade call involving a player playing in a game, the process had to be delayed.
The trade call began as the Habs and Bruins started the third period with Cammalleri pulled from the lineup, waiting in the dressing room and aware he had been traded (but not sure where).
Further complicating matters was the fact that Bourque is serving a five-game suspension, so the two teams and Central Registry agreed to recess the call until the Flames' game against Anaheim had started.
By doing this, Bourque was able to burn off the fourth game of his suspension, allowing for an earlier debut in Montreal.
Neither Feaster nor Gauthier was able to inform Cammalleri nor Bourque of the details of the deal until the trade call resumed at aproximately 9:45pm et, finalizing what was a very exhaustive and bizarre process.