Jay Bouwmeester, possibly the most sought-after defenseman in free agency, has been signed by the Calgary Flames.
Before the trade, many teams were expected to compete, or pay, for the 25-year-old's services. The Flames, by acquiring Bouwmeester, were allowed to try to sign a deal before free agency started on Wednesday at noon.
The deal is reportedly worth an average annual salary of $6.6 million dollars over five years. Official terms have not yet been disclosed.
Bouwmeester will also stay closer to home, as he is an Edmonton native. Many believed Bouwmeester was going to test the free-agent market and not sign with the team who held his rights.
Many were proved wrong.
"I was encouraged by the commitment Calgary showed by acquiring me prior to Jul. 1," Bouwmeester admitted. "I'm familiar with some of the players and believe we have a strong club that is poised to make the next step in becoming a championship club."
He has played his entire career in Florida, notching 15 goals and 42 points in all of last season's games.