Dreger: Backlund and Bouwmeester on the Block

Kent Wilson
June 18 2012 05:24PM

 

 

File this under "disconcerting" -TSN's Darren Dreger reported today the Flames may be shopping Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester. Here's the pertinent passage:

The Calgary Flames have a new coaching staff and a willingness to consider all trade scenarios not including Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff.

Like most teams, the Flames are looking for a Top 6 forward - ideally, a centre. Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester are among those the Flames would trade. But with two years remaining at a whopping $6.7 million per season, Bouwmeester is going to be a tough sell.

From where I stand, a willingness to trade anyone but Iginla and Kipper is eactly the opposite stance the club should be taking heading into this off-season, particularly bodies like Jay Bouwmeester and Mikael Backlund. While both guys had rather disappointing seasons last year, there are number of reasons moving them doesn't make a lot of sense for the club.

In JayBo's case, he almost singlehandedly handles the hard minutes for the Flames on the back-end. So unless Calgary is planning on landing Suter as a free agent this summer, deleting Bouwmeester from the blueline would create a huge hole that could not be filled internally. On top of all that, he's not even 30 years old yet so likely has a number of effective years left in him.

It's common to assert that a Kipper or Iginla trade would signal the begin of a true rebuild,however, I contend moving Bouwmeester for a forward or futures would be a pretty sure step in that direction. He's overpaid and underwhelming offensively to be sure, but is a few miles ahead of other Flames defensive options. 

As for Backlund, trading him would delete the lone NHL-ready skater Calgary has in the important 23-28 age range up front (who isn't merely a capable AHLer or bottom-six forward for life). In addition, given his poor shooting luck and rotten counting numbers from last season, dealing Backs now would be a classic case of selling low on an asset that is bound to improve in value. Whats more, Backlund should be pretty cheap to re-sign this summer, so he doesn't have the added baggage of a bad contract like JayBo.

Of course, I don't really consider anyone on the Flames roster to be sacrosanct, so if Feaster manages to turn a Backlund or Bouwmeester into a real improvement, more poweer to him. That said, the fact that the team has potentially under valued 20-somethings on the block instead of their doddering (but marketable) core players (assuming Darren Dreger is right) is not terribly encouraging.

 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 loudogYYC
June 19 2012, 12:42AM
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To whoever said minutes played by Bouwmeester can be replaced by someone that hits, here's a note from Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts:

"Garry Galley once told a story about Ray Bourque's injury during the 1990 Hartford/Boston series. Bourque went down in Game 2, not returning until Game 7. Galley said Bruins coach Mike Milbury called him in and said he would be getting all of Bourque's minutes, because he thought it was better to affect a guy he knew could handle it, as opposed to the entire blue-line. Years later, Galley said it was one of the smarter coaching moves he experienced, even though he needed a defibrillator after the series."

There's a reason it's the best defenders in the league who always play 20+ minutes and not the plumbers.

That said, I'm ok with them trading Bouwmeester now and hopefully Iginla at the deadline. By the time the Flames are a good team again, Jbo will be well into his 30's and Iggy will be closer to 40.

Trading Backlund now would be stupid for that same reason. By the time this is a good team again, he'll be in his prime and he'll be worth a ton more than he is now.

I take what Dreger says seriously, but I really hope he's wrong with the Backlund part of the rumor.

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#52 gussey
June 19 2012, 01:59AM
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My guess is feaster is dregers source, and feaster told him whose available to get some gms thinking. Maybe someone is looking for a good top 2 dman and is willing to make a good offer. If none come through, oh well, we keep jbo. The fans want to move iggy and kipper and keep jbo and backlund for the same reasons other teams wouldn't want iggy and kipper and will maybe take jbo and backlund. Like conroy said, iggy holds all the cards. He's in his last year of his contract, he's aging, he has nmc.. I wouldn't give much up for him. If I needed a good dman to eat minutes and had cap space, I might make a play for jbo. Just saying, iggy and kipper are not as tradeable as flames fans want to think. And either way, flames are not going to get as much back as we would want.

My guess is not much will happen at the draft for the flames. They will make there picks and essentially have the same team as last year, plus or minus some spare parts. The only way something does happen is if they take on someone elses horrible salary (eg vinny l - tampa).

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#53 Stockley
June 19 2012, 07:10AM
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@gussey

You raise a valid point. Right now how much can we honestly get for Iggy or Kipper? No one is going to sell the farm for aging veterans they might lose to free agency in a year or two. At the trade deadline their value might be a little inflated because teams go insane when they think a veteran or two might be all that's needed to push them over the hump and into the finals.

I'd much rather see a few established players come into Calgary than draft picks and prospects. Calgary needs to get younger, but they also need to ice a team next season while some of their underrated young talent like Reinhart, Ferland, Horak and Howse continue to learn the pro game and hopefully get prepared to inherit the team in a couple seasons. I watched the Flames rush and ruin prospects (what precious few prospects they drafted who weren't disasters like Fata and Tkachuk) instead of giving them time to develop. So much has to change in how the Flames do business I don't even know where to start. We don't need change for the sake of change. We need the right changes being made at the right times.

I like some of what Feaster has done so far but the Sutter experiment makes it really difficult for me to use the "In Feaster we trust" mantra. I played that game before; and pardon the pun, I got burned like the rest of you.

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#54 xis10ce
June 19 2012, 07:40AM
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OH NO! WORST CASE SCENARIO... I just lost all faith in Feaster... This better be BS.

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#55 Chris
June 19 2012, 09:09AM
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This line of thinking makes sense if you want to try to win with this group, and win now. To win now, you need to trade assets that have value for real players. Lateral trades, salary dumps etc.

Trading Kipper/Iggy at the deadline will certainly only get you prospects or picks. Fans keep hoping that someone like Iggy will get traded next deadline for some help up front, or this or that. The logic is that at deadline a team hoping to go on a run or get over the hump will overpay. But this means they are absolutely not giving up any of their real NHL assets. Its all draft picks and prospects coming back in any deadline deal for an aging, rental UFA.

If the Flames want to reshape the team quick and with substantial pieces it has to happen now and like it or not, its going to hurt and be painful trading or acquiring help.

Thats why I'm completely confident this team is going straight down the toilet following the current plan. We don't have enough assets to trade for help now. The frustrating thing is that we've already wasted another year.. Next spring we will do the only sane thing, and trade Kipper/Iggy for draft picks and prospects. Then start the painful process of building internally, and grooming our kids. Feaster was too stubborn to do it last year, and it just means we are going to have to suffer through another year of frustration, mediocrity and blame.

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#56 Rain Dogs
June 19 2012, 09:13AM
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@gussey

+1

At least someone here is thinking straight.

On Jbo, I could see Detroit being an organization that is knowledgeable enough to know what JBo offers. With Lidstom retiring, he could plug that hole about as well as anyone in the league.

Would I prefer to see Jbo stay, yeah probably, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if the return was good.

Same with Kipper and Iggy. Hell if we got amazing return for Kipper, I'd have no problems seeing him leave, but that's likely not reality.

TB and Pittsburgh have already moved on goalies... and it's the way I said it. Vokoun gone for cheap. Young goalie with potential gone to TB. TOR seems the only team dumb enough to go after Luongo... I doubt people are offering big, or anything good, in return for Kipper in this reality.

Thomas is unsure of even playing, so he's a great no-pay, no-risk option for a CLB, NYI, COL etc.

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#57 Domebeers.com
June 19 2012, 10:06AM
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Uhh, the leagues best third line of Glencross/Backlund/SVEN only works if Backlund is here...

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#58 Kevin R
June 19 2012, 10:52AM
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Also cant argue Gussey's prognosis. I think there are buyers for Iggy & Kipper, returns are probably disappointing, so much so that Feaster will have no choice but to roll the dice they stay healthy & the trade deadline creates opportunity to max out returns as rentals. Also easier to justify the return for Iggy at that point as well. We'll have some new faces, the blueline will be even weaker when we get a cap saving disappointing return for JBO & the return for Backlund will just give most of us heartburn & acid reflux. We'll be 13th spot by next December(providing there is a season). I always get excited this time of year & hope for exciting big trades, but last year the Regehr trade really deflated me(it did turn OK, just greater expectations at the time) & now I'm getting sick to my stomach trying to imagine how bad this one could be.

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#59 Stockley
June 19 2012, 12:49PM
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@Kevin R

Worst case scenario might have a silver-lining. If they crash had this year they might have a shot at drafting one of Nathan Mackinnon or Seth Jones. Both players are talked up and could have the sort of potential that can turn a franchise around. That would more or less force a rebuild.

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#60 negrilcowboy
June 19 2012, 02:33PM
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lets ask mike peca what he thinks jbust is worth. sure he eats tons of minutes and has an iron man streak however, where is the will to win. nik lidstrom may not have thrown many a body check in his famed career but jbust aint no lidstrom. as for mikael backwards, the kid hasnt shown me anything in regards to being a top six forward. its beginning to look like backwards has roberto durans hands of stone around the net. i say sell em all. kippa,igglatowsk,jbust and backwards.

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#61 PrairieStew
June 19 2012, 10:54PM
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Potlicker wrote:

@ Prairie Stew: God love you man. Weber. Do you realize it would probably take, JBO, Backlund, Baerschte, & our 1st rounder to even get into that discussion. There are teams that would give huge packages for him. Oilers would give Hall, Gagner & the 1st overall for him. He's that good. But its the thought that counts.

T&A: I saw that goofy Eklund reporting Flames are trying to wiggle in for Staal. I would have no problem with that in fact, I would give them JBO, Backlund & our 1st to get Staal & that salary dump of one of those 2 dmen. Deal makes sense, problem is, I think other teams can put out a better offer than that for Staal. This team has to get back to basics, we need the young talent that teams covet to score the Webers & Staals of the world. That means we need to turn these mothball smelling veterans of ours into picks & prospects before they get recycled.

I did imply it was a long shot by saying the only trade I would take for Jay was for Weber. Don't be suprised if Poile doesn't do something creative though, faced with losing Suter this year and Weber next

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