Jay Bouwmeester traded to St. Louis

Photo: Resolute Wikimedia

According to multiple media reports, the Calgary Flames have sent veteran defenceman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues. Coming back is a conditional first round draft pick, as well as prospects Mark Cundari and Reto Berra.

The Return

The conditional first round draft choice. As per James Mirtle, the first round pick will be a 2013 selection if St. Louis makes the playoffs this season, and a 2014 pick if the Blues fail to make the playoffs. Should the first round pick be deferred to 2014, Calgary will also receive the Blues’ fourth-round selection in 2013.

Mark Cundari. The soon to be 23-year old Cundari was never drafted, but plays a well-rounded game – he has ability with the puck, doesn’t back down physically, and is strong positionally. The problem is that he’s undersized for the position, listed at 5’10", 210 pounds. He’s a decent prospect, but hardly a blue-chipper. The good news is that he’s good enough to play regularly in the AHL right now.

Reto Berra. A fourth-round draft pick in 2006. Berra is likely best-known in North America for his work representing Switzerland at the World Juniors (he also played at the 2012 World Championships). He’s spent the last few seasons in the top Swiss league, posting mediocre numbers (he has a 0.906 save percentage this season). The good news is that he’s interested in coming to North America; the bad news is that based on his work overseas he may not have much of an impact.  

It’s a very similar package to what the Flames received for Jarome Iginla: a first round draft pick and a pair of middling prospects that will fill depth roles but cannot be regarded as high-end acquisitions.

The Context

Bouwmeester led the Flames in ice-time this season, averaging 25:09 per game; he also led the Flames’ blue line in quality of competition and the percentage of shifts started in the defensive zone. Elliotte Friedman tweets that the Blues will assume responsibility for the entirety of Bouwmeester’s contract, saving the Flames $6.6 million dollars next season and slightly more ($6.68 million) in cap hit. 

However, on the same day that Buffalo dealt Robyn Regehr – older, not signed for next season, and averaging almost 7:00 less per game – for a pair of second round draft picks, the return for a legitimate top-pairing NHL defenceman like Bouwmeester seems underwhelming. With the additional context of the Douglas Murray trade (again, for two second round picks) days earlier, that feeling is reinforced. 

In the defence of Flames management, Bouwmeester’s no-trade clause doubtless limited the number of teams they could negotiate with. Even so, this is clearly a trade that favours St. Louis – in a fight for their playoff lives, they managed to add a top-pairing defenceman for what is likely to be a middling first round pick and two guys they likely won’t ever miss. 

  • Scary Gary

    While granting that nothing that the Flames do deserves the benefit of the doubt, given how badly the organization has been run, I genuinely don’t understand why people think this return is unreasonable. Bouwmeester is a good but not elite defenseman with the cap hit of an elite player. That’s just not a hugely valuable player, especially with the cap about to be reduced by $10M. Indeed, before the season it would have been enormously difficult to just agree to get someone to take Bouwmeester’s contract, period. His improved play this year did increase his value — but the fact that he was pretty ordinary last year still matters to the team acquiring him. Getting a first rounder for that contract seems pretty fair to me.

    There’s no way to no for certain if more was available, and if someone trades a premium prospect for a player of comparable value, I’ll change my mind. But I think this is enormously unlikely. Too many Flames fans have whipsawed from not even being willing to give Bouwmeester credit for being a good player to assuming that he’s an elite player who should command a top return.

  • Scary Gary

    @BurningSensation

    The Feast had an interview where he admitted that he was the world’s biggest idiot (paraphrased – think that he said that he failed to use intellectual honesty when evaluating the team and actually thought that they would be good enough) and that until that LA road trip thought the team was good enough when hockey experts have been saying the opposite for the last three years. This bumbling moron that has zero ability to properly evaluate his own team is now providing justification for deals that are incredibly one sided. If he was not smart enough to know his own team, how can he possibly be smart enough to make any sort of reasonable trade?

    As for your idiotic comments and apologetic rambling you have about as much credibility as the Feast. You have been touting the team and its ability right behind that moron GM we have all the way. Now you are supporting these moves as if they were the Canadians deal that brought back Lafleur. You have zero hockey knowledge, a complete lack of common sense, and the online personality of a fire alarm.

    As for that BURNINGSENSATION

  • Scary Gary

    Sharks are seeking 1st + prospect for Clowe who is a 30y LW about to become UFA this summer and has a cap hit of 3.6m, and there are reports of tradetalks with Philly, even Couturiers name has been tossed around as a possible return for sharks. If these reports are true, Flames should really explore the possibility of trading Glencross, who compared to Clowe, has the same age, more term, better production this season and a lower cap hit, to philly. Couturier straight up or Phillys first + a possible prospect would be great return.

  • Scary Gary

    Dear Mr Edwards,

    While I appreciate having an owner that loves his team and has the financial where withal to be able to meet its monetary needs, I have to say that your ability to run this franchise as its owner has been less than satisfactory.

    As such, I can no longer find it in good conscience to support this team going forward while you employ the incompetent abilities of Mr King and Mr Feaster. Please do yourself a favour this summer and fire your entire hockey operations department. Find yourself a proper hockey person to become the new President of the franchise and hire a General Manager that knows what he is talking about when it comes to the game of hockey.

    Sincerely,

    Mr Shutout

  • Scary Gary

    Well I needed to take some time to sort out what is going down. Fact #1- it really does seem GM’s are hanging tight to their 1st’s this year. This must tell us what 29 other teams are thinking, this is a very strong draft. Fact#2- the cap going down is cramping teams style & it is very hard to trade high priced players. Fact#3- with the change to the lottery rule, teams on the bubble are very reluctant to give up that 1st & may not be the buyers in past trade deadlines, especially this year. One little 4 game losing streak at this stage of the season is fatal.

    This all adds up to pretty underwhelming returns. Now for us to debate Feaster trade skills, maybe he just took the best offer that was on the table. We dont know. Feaster does. The one thing I do find quite upsetting is Feaster said in his statement, they had lots of offers but the teams on JBO’s list just couldnt fit the 6.68mill salry cap hit next year. So OK, I buy that we got the best offer for JBO if you treat him as a salary dump. Similar to the garbage we got for RR, it was about dumping 7.0 mill in salary. I smelt a bit of Edwards on that one but King & Feaster were able to spin the cap hell angle to pacify us analysts. This time, I call BS!!! I saw no reason in not carrying 2.6 mill that we couldnt of gotten Rattie(or some reasonable decent prospect & a confirmed 2013 1st). I am very upset about this. Is this Feaster or do I smell Edwards. If this was Feasters choice, the man needs to be removed from this equation immediately.

    Ok. Now that I got that off my chest. I am trying to read what is next. I guess we all complained about the country club mentality & yes these guys became used to losing. So yes, I guess the whole system needs to be power flushed & then flushed again. I would say Kipper & Cammi are going to be the next to go in this massive salary dump. Makes sense, 2 players with 1 year left each, jettisoning 12,8 mill more. Totally expecting the same underwhelming returns, unless by some miracle Feaster does eat some salary to improve the return. Not holding my breath. Then any other player should be for sale, but “NOT” for the same underwhelming returns the top 4 will have gotten. If we can get a 1st for GlenX, do it. If Columbus wants to give us a late 1st for Tamguay or Stempniak, do it. Otherwise, just get the mid late round picks for the likes of Sarich, Jackman, Begin, Babchuk, Macdonald, whatever.

    What does this mean? Well the UFA list is pretty slim pickings. It will be an overpay fest for marginal/depth/role players. We dont need that next year. So how do we get to the Cap floor & whats the point of having all this friggin cap space? Well besides padding Edwards with an extra $15-20 mill operating at Cap floor while increasing my Season tickets, that is the most likely scenario. There is another angle. When the dust clears at the end of this season, many teams are going to be damage control & I’m hoping Flames maanagement see a few teams that are going to be in dire straits trying to get rid of some of the salary they have added for a playoff push. I hope we stick it to the teams that have stuck it to us these last few weeks & we become an option for expensive cap dumping ground. I have no faith in Feaster do this right, I think a guy like Burke would be like a kid in a candy shop.

    So what does this mean

  • Scary Gary

    I cannot understand how people can be so stupid and blind as to try and justify this deal as anything more than Feaster getting his ass handed to him. Burning sensation is an idiot has absolutely zero hockey sense and has nothing but heaps of praise for anything and everything Feaster. There is no rational thought when it comes to some of those idiots.

    How in the hell is this the best possible deal for Bouwmeester?
    He is a top 25 defenseman in the league and all you get back is a first round pick?
    The goaltender is going to come in and compete with Ramo and MacDonald in the fall, but only somebody coming out of Oz would believe that we have the top 2 goaltenders in the world not playing in the NHL.
    I like the defenseman prospect and think based on what I read that he has a lot of Giordano potential to him. Giordano was not an NHL regular after his first three seasons and had to go to the KHL in order to get the experience to make the Flames. That said, he is a prospect you could have gotten for a 4th or 5th round pick at the draft.
    I understand that at this time with the contract and the cap situation that there might not have been more than a few high end teams that would have done a deal for him, but then why be forced into something now?
    This deal reminds me of the Kotalik deal. Send a 2nd round draft choice to Buffalo so that Edwards does not have to pay out $4M. In this case it was don’t worry about bringing back a high end prospect like Rattie if it means that Edwards is going to have to pay out $3M of Bouwmeester’s salary when he is in St Louis.
    The press conference where Feaster says that he must not have been using any intellectual honesty when evaluating the team, when almost every hockey person around was saying that they needed to rebuild three years ago. His intelligence is what we are supposed to trust when making trades for assets.

    Until they fire King and Feaster I just cannot be a fan of this hockey team. I would rather have Milbury, Risebrough, Button, or Ferguson Jr as our general manager than have Feaster doing the job. This is an ugly long term never ending death spiral this franchise is in. The “young gun” era will seem like a walk through the Wonka chocolate factory compared to what the organization is about to embark on if they decide to keep King and Feaster in charge.

  • While the returns seem underwhelming, I think some of the people complaining on here have unrealistic perceptions of our players.

    We got a first!

    We got some prospects (albeit wildcards)

    Teams aren’t going to trade away top prospects for guys that aren’t All Stars.

    Bouwmeester is a solid player – nothing special though. His cap hit is high & he is a perennial loser. It’s unrealistic to expect a 1st & a blue chip prospect for him.

    Time to prepare for Young Guns 2.0.

  • While I support the re-tool/re-build unfortunately I share with many the concern that Feaster and company are the group capable of carrying it out.

    The love affair with middling college players has reached alarming levels. The signings of 23-24 year old college free agents such as David Eddy and Lamb which are hearalded as if they have found an undiscovered gold field known only to them. Eddy did not make the AHL and is playing in the ECHL.

    Regehr was traded to LA for 2 2nd round picks. Buffalo has reaped the benefit of 3-2nd rounders (2 from LA, 1 from Calgary)for Regehr in exchange for a 6 dman-Butler and a player who will liklely be a replacement level NHL or AHL player.Buffalo drafted Jake McCabe who as a freshman dman scored 3-9-12 for Wusconsin.

    For Cammeleri who at 6 million is one of the most overpaid at that level in the league we gave another 2nd rounder to Montreal who drafted Dalton Thrower of Saskatoon Blades and gave up Patrick Holland who at 21 is tied for 2nd in scoring for their AHL affiliate Hamilton and was was invited to Montreal’s reduced roster main camp and is highly valued for his defensive play and considered a prospect.

    I could go on but I think I add my voice to the growing number who are concerned with management at such a critical time.