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Flames General Manager Jay Feaster has been a busy man after officially having the "interim" tag removed from his title. He successfully re-signed Curtis Glencross to a 4-year, $10.2-million deal, but traded away first-round draft pick Tim Erixon to the New York Rangers after inexplicably failing to sign him to a contract.
Feaster definitely has his hands full, as he’s still trying to re-sign Tanguay and must improve the Flames' offense and depth. The Flames have just $500,000 in cap space and several holes to fill on their roster, and trading away Jarome Iginla isn’t likely to go over well with fans.
Bouwmeester is a physical specimen and an excellent skater, and he can play a very efficient defensive game in his own right. But he is coming off a poor year statistically, with just four goals, 20 assists and a minus-2 rating. His Corsi Rel QoC rating of 1.307 is a huge improvement over anything the Sharks have, although his ratio of shots-against : goals-against when on the ice isn’t stellar.
Realistically, Bouwmeester could become Boyle’s successor, but he would fetch a hefty price for a player of his caliber. Joe Pavelski and a draft pick would be where the negotiations start to even begin making sense for either side. The Flames need a center, and the Sharks need a top-2 defender and an up-and-coming Logan Couture lessens the blow of losing Pavelski.
Bouwmeester also has three years remaining on his contract, which includes a no-movement clause, and at $6.68 million annually, he’s not cheap.
Why the Sharks want him:
He’s capable of becoming one of the best defenseman in the league and at just 27 years old, he's entering his prime. Boyle is nearing the end of his career, and Bouwmeester could be a cornerstone player the Sharks build around.
He can eat 30 minutes a night against top-notch opposition, as his QoC rating shows, and he has all the skills needed.
The Sharks were defeated the last two years in the conference finals by teams who were aggressive at improving their team to win now. Pavelski’s trade value has arguably never been higher, he has a good contract and he has plenty of future ahead of him. If you believe the Sharks need to replace Boyle soon, and need a top-2 type of defender, this is a golden opportunity.
Why it might not work :
Do the Sharks really need another large contract with yet another no-movement clause on their roster? Lacking true cap flexibility as it is, Doug Wilson would have to trim the fat from yet another area on the team to make this work. Even with the increased salary cap, Bouwmeester’s cap hit could limit what the Sharks are able to do in free agency to improve depth.
Bouwmeester hasn’t quite enjoyed the same success in Calgary since Darryl Sutter traded for his rights, and isn’t exactly a leader type.
Trading the clutch Joe Pavelski to the Calgary Flames would be a painful move, but you don’t acquire a top 2 defender by giving up nothing.