Now that Jarome Iginla has departed Calgary, teams have stepped up their bidding for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
Since he has a year remaining on his contract – at $6.6 million – contenders might be willing to spend more for him that they would on a rental player like Iginla.
The St. Louis Blues are shopping for a defenseman to pair with Alex Pietrangelo. That team could offer winger Ty Rattie, who excelled playing with Flames prospect Sven Baertschi in the Western Hockey League. The Blues could easily part with young defenseman Ian Cole and draft picks to make a deal.
The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins are just some of the other potential destinations.
Bouwmeester, 29, isn’t a physical player. But he can rush the puck and he his famously durable, with 620 consecutive games played and counting.
He has no-trade protection in his contract, so the Flames are already discussing trade possibilities with him. The Flames need to rebuild and Bouwmeester has an opportunity to orchestrate his trade to a contender.
“I understand it. It’s the situation we’re in,” Bouwmeester told the Calgary Herald. “It’s been the same the last two or three weeks, people have mentioned stuff.
“But again, until it’s brought to you and you have to make some decisions — or they make some decisions — you can’t worry about it. I’ve been, really, in that situation before where there was stuff flying around and something potentially could have happened, but you really just have to separate yourself from it and go about your day-to-day business.”
Playing for a winner appears to be his top priority.
“It doesn’t matter who you are — that’s why you play,” Bouwmeester said. “I want to be able to play in the playoffs. I’d really like to do it. That’s No. 1 for me right now.
“You think about things, but again (a trade) is not something that’s been really brought forward, so you’re not going to preoccupy yourself.”