Report: Detroit Red Wings Have Interest in Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester

Brett KaplanCorrespondent IIIMarch 28, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  Jay Bouwmeester #4 of the Calgary Flames plays defense against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

TSN's Darren Dreger mentioned on March 28 that the Red Wings have interest in Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester (via kuklaskorner.com).

If Dreger is correct, this is the second time the Red Wings have expressed interest in Bouwmeester. According to MLive.com's Brendan Savage, the Red Wings were in discussions with the Flames over Bouwmeester in August 2012 as well:

A team source confirmed the Red Wings are talking with the Calgary Flames about making a deal for veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who has been the subject of trade rumors for more than a month.

While the Red Wings didn't complete the trade for Bouwmeester in August, it wouldn't be surprising if they still had interest in him.

Bouwmeester's biggest drawback is his large salary cap hit of $6.68 million a year for this season and next season, but the Red Wings have the cap room to satisfy his salary.

The 29-year-old Bouwmeester has a no-trade clause, but might be willing to waive it to go to Detroit due to the success the team has had over the years.

Bouwmeester would immediately become a top-two defenseman for the Red Wings. He is very durable and has not missed a game since the start of the 2005-06 season. For his career, he has averaged 25:18 minutes of ice time and can play in any situation.

Fans might look at his terrible minus-21 rating last season and minus-seven rating this season and question how reliable he is on defense. It is more a product of the Flames' play and less an indicator of his play.

Bouwmeester would probably benefit from a change of scenery and would be re-energized by the Red Wings' playoff push. Bouwmeester, who has never played in the playoffs in his career, would be an asset during the tightly contested playoffs.

His size (6'4", 212 lbs.) and solid all-around play would give the Red Wings an edge they've missed since Brad Stuart left.

Bouwmeester's point production has decreased since he joined the Flames in the 2009-10 season, but his numbers are up this year. He is currently averaging 0.47 points per game, which is above his career average of 0.40.

For a player of Bouwmeester's size, he is exceptional at his positioning and less adept at playing the body, which is unique. He's also learned to play a very clean game and manages to stay out of the penalty box.

Bouwmeester only had 26 penalty minutes in 82 games last season, and this season he only has 16 PIMs.

The bottom line is that, while the Red Wings need to see what the price to acquire Bouwmeester is, they may have a sense from talking with the Flames about him last summer.

Bouwmeester is definitely a player to keep an eye on while the April 3 trade deadline approaches.

 

All statistics are taken from hockey-reference.com and accurate as of March 25.