Blog Entry

Calgary plays its card right

Posted on: June 30, 2009 9:33 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2009 9:37 pm

As they say in Hollywood, get me re-write.

My column yesterday talked about the Anaheim Ducks being the big winners at the draft for the windfall of talent they took away, with the Philadelphia Flyers getting an honorable mention for picking up Chris Pronger in a trade between the teams. But now that the Calgary Flames have actually signed Jay Bouwmeester, they look like they did as well or better than anyone.

Bouwmeester was going to be one of the top prizes of the upcoming free agent market, certainly the best defenseman available, a 25-year-old with wheels, offense and six years NHL experience already to boot. He was fed up from spending his entire career with the sad sack Florida Panthers, and made it clear he wanted to play closer to his home town of Edmonton.

But apparently Calgary was on his list of favored destinations, so the Flames would have had a pretty good chance to big alongside Edmonton had Bouwmeester gotten to the open market Wednesday. Instead, Calgary worked a deal that cost it very little -- a third-round draft pick and the rights to pending free agent Jordan Leopold -- to get a shot at signing Bouwmeester ahead of anyone. And the Flames made it pay off with a five-year deal worth around $33 million.

There are some serious cap issues for the Flames to sort through because of this deal, but they have some time. More important, they are adding an All-Star caliber defenseman to a blue line that has a couple of those types already in Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr, all in front of Miikka Kiprusoff in goal. With the way new coach Brent Sutter's teams play defensively, you have to think that puts Calgary seriously into the Western Conference mix next season.

Philadelphia wanted Bouwmeester badly as well, but the Flyers weren't willing to pony up Joffrey Lupul and more. That was Florida's asking price at the trade deadline and for his negotiating rights now. So the Flyers turned to Anaheim and instead got a Norris Trophy-winning future Hall of Famer in Pronger, who still has it and will make Philadelphia an extremely viable contender in the East next season.

Thing is Pronger is only signed for one more year and he cost Philadelphia Lupul and Luca Sbisa, two young players both drafted in first rounds, and two more first round picks. And Pronger will be 35 when the season starts, while Bouwmeester is maturing into a franchise type defenseman and will just be entering his prime.

Those kind of players don't come around too often.

Category: NHL

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2009 9:46 am

Calgary plays its card right

Deal. Budai would make a great backup. I'd also like to see Irving Leland get some time.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 4:24 am

Calgary plays its card right

ill give u peter budaj in exhange for a handful of change and a cold beverage.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2009 11:33 pm

Calgary plays its card right

Nice post. I agree, we need to get some of the kids in goal who are in the system involved in the pro game, and use Kipper less. The Flames signed McEllhenny to a raise and extension, with the promise that he will play more. Kipper has to sit about 15-20 games a season, and I think McEllhenny(SP) can do it. 

 But the difference to me is Cammellari. The Flames need to sign him too. They have some room to make an offer at least. I guess it's all up to Mike now.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: June 30, 2009 10:30 pm

Calgary plays its card right

None of this matters for the Flames unless Sutter can get them a backup goalie and Kipper gets some time off throughout the year. Kipper has been burnt out every year come playoff time and lets in too many soft goals thanks to it. That's why this extremely talented team is always out in the first round. It's good to see them going back to what works, though. Defense is what got them to the Cup and then they abandoned it.

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