Dreger: Backlund and Bouwmeester on the Block



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:

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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.

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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.


  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Jagr??? What the hell is the point of that? Because of Cervenka, so what happens if Cervenka is useless, are we gonna have Jagr leave us to?? Thats just asking for disaster. Thats not smart management, that is gambling, straight gamble and it’s not going to work, betting on a 41 year old Jagr, an aging Iggy and Kipper is NOT going to work. Especially if the other half holds true that they are trading Bouwmeester and Backlund, they are both on the right side of 30. Backlund has shown an ability to not only play well in the NHL but to dominate possesion, isn’t that the kind of style of play they are always preaching, puck possession???

    And trading Bouwmeester makes me want to punch Feaster in his smug face. I don’t give a crap if he is over paid, he is over paid by 1M, maybe 1.5 TOPS. He is a #1 defender, #2 at worst, eats minutes and for the most part does a damn good job at it, sure the offense hasn’t been there. However this year he was actually on pace early in the year to have his best offensive year in Calgary till his numbers began to fall off.

    Feaster sure as hell better be getting some seriously good picks for 2013 back, because if these rumors all hold true we should easily be drafting #1 overall.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Enough of the Boumeester bashing. If we were a contender, he would be an irreplaceable piece. Let’s see what happens. If we decide to ride the same old horse again, I am ok watching WHL hockey next year. But maybe, just maybe Jay is going to turn Kipper and/or Iggy into some great assets for the future and we are going to try to look at competing rather than this Groundhog day bs we have been exposed to for far too long.