Hot on the heels of the Iginla trade is news that Jay Bouwmeester has also been approached by Flames management about a potential deal. As reported by Roger Millions:
#Flames Jay Bouwmeester admits he and team have talked about possibility of a trade. Hearing as many as 6 teams interested in him.
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) March 28, 2013
Defenders are always hot commodities around deadline time, especially guys who can face tough competition and eat up a lot of minutes. Those kinds of players are useful and rare, so it’s no suprise a number of teams are interested in Bouwmeester. Particularly since he’s having his best run of offense in Flames colors since he came to Calgary.
That said, making a quality deal for him will be difficult for the Flames. He’s signed for one more season, so there’s absolutely no reason to rush to move him this year. In addition, his sizable cap hit ($6.68 million) could prove to be a significant impediment given the cap ceiling is set to drop to about $64 million next season. It’s possible the Flames would need to eat a portion of deal or take a chunk of money back to make a swap work. That’s not ideal, unless the org really likes the player/contract coming back.
Shopping Bouwmeester to get a feel for his market value is sensible. It’s doubtful he’ll stick around once his contract expires since the Flames are unlikely to be contenders at that point (and the big guy has never seen the post-season, let alone had a real chance to compete for the grail). That said, unless someone comes along with a really top-notch package, Calgary could stand to wait and shop JayBo again at the deadline in 2014.