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:

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.

 

  • File it under “bad management” if the Dreger rumour comes to fruition. But as Kent says, let’s see what the returns are before we can truely judge. However, safe to say that both assets will be undervalue due to bad counting stats (Backs) and a high salary in Jbo’s case.

  • They’re really going after Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon next year, aren’t they?

    Seriously, though, it ENTIRELY depends on the return. But the team needs to ADD a top-four defender, not throw away their top minutes-eating guy.

    • To some degree it does. But why is the team not looking to leverage assets whose past far outweighs their future? Whose reputation probably outstrips their utility?

      On that note, Dreger also says the Flames might make a pitch to Jaromir Jagr in July. 41 year old Jaromir Jagr because he played with Cervenka in the past or something.

      I really hope Dreger is blowing smoke.

      • everton fc

        Just this morning I posted I was beginning to get a positive vibe from Feaster.

        To me, dealing JBo is not as huge a risk, if the goal is Suter, or some other d-man. Or, if they want to move both for someone like Statsny. I’ve never been overly impressed with Backlund. Perhaps he only has an upside. Perhaps he’s the next Dustin Boyd? Who knows…

        What does concern me is going after an aging Jagr. Rumours still float about picking up Lecavlier, as well. Feaster appears to be a guy who goes back to the past to build. Nothing new. Original.

        Just a perception….???