Well, it's official, the Calgary Flames are sellers for the next few days.
After dealing future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins just under a week ago, the Flames have now dealt their next most expensive player and top blueliner Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues for a first-round pick (2013 first rounder if the Blues make the playoffs, 2014 first rounder otherwise) and prospects Mark Cundari and Reto Berra (via CBC Sports).
The question for Flames fans is: Why wasn't GM Jay Feaster able to get more out of St. Louis for Jay Bouwmeester?
After all, Bouwmeester is just 29 years old (probably the peak of his career), can play in all three zones, eats up a lot of tough minutes and is an undisputed first-pairing-caliber defenseman.
You would think that would warrant more than a mid-first-round draft choice, a 26-year-old Swiss goalie (who doesn't appear on either team's hockeysfuture.com prospect page) and a defenseman who hockeysfuture.com lists as Calgary's ninth-best defensive prospect after the trade.
The catch? Calgary only has nine defensive prospects.
Or is there a reason that the Flames weren't able to extract more from the Blues for their top defender?
I tend to lean towards the latter of the two suggestions.
Sure, he most likely could've drummed up a bidding war for Bouwmeester, but how much would teams be willing to pay, even if the price was inflated.
Remember, while Bouwmeester may be a great defenseman, he does come with a price tag of $6.6 million, and even if teams are willing to eat that salary, he's only signed for one more season, meaning teams still run the risk of losing him to free agency in 2014.
Now, Calgary could have eaten some of his salary in order to increase his value, but if you're going to be sellers, you have to do it in the right way. In the last week, the Flames have now acquired a handful of prospects, along with two first-round draft picks and cleared $13.3 million in cap space.
The final reason that the Flames may not have been able to bring in a bigger haul for Bouwmeester this week is the simple fact that Bouwmeester has never played playoff hockey.
While that doesn't necessarily mean he will struggle come playoff time should the Blues earn a playoff berth, it could have an effect on what GMs would be willing to part with in order to acquire the Edmonton native.
Playoff experience is a valuable commodity in its own right.
The fact that Bouwmeester has none to offer probably played a role in how much Calgary was able to demand on the open market.