After the Minnesota Wild swooped up Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the free agent market now appears to be pretty thin.
In Calgary, it could mean opportunity for Flames GM Jay Feaster to play the trade game. Not that he has to, but perhaps he wants to upgrade his roster.
After locking up Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler, the Flames are now hovering close to the salary cap. It also leaves them with nine defencemen on one-way contracts and T.J. Brodie, who is said to be NHL ready.
While you can never have enough blueliners, you have to think someone will be on the move.
Wideman and Jay Bouwmeester play a similar style, with Wideman more gifted offensively. Does Calgary need both? One can argue no but it is clear with the exception of Mark Giordano and 33-year-old Cory Sarich, the Flames’ defensive corps needs some nastiness and grit.
The future remains unclear in Calgary for Bouwmeester, who has a no-trade clause in his deal.
The Flames say they have not shopped the defenceman but it’s evident they have taken some inquiries.
Depending on his perceived value around the league, it could be time to make the move.
Can it be done?
Regardless of what the team says, I believe it should be.
Bouwmeester’s $6.68 million salary cap hit is the key. He has two years left on his contract so it isn’t overwhelming.
The question remains if there’s a team out there that can make the Flames believe it’s time to pull the trigger?