The Detroit Red Wings are looking at Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester as a potential solution to their own defensive problems, but there's a bit of a catch: Ken Holland and Co. are worried the Philadelphia Flyers may just swoop in and grab him before they have a chance. Via MLive.com on Thursday:
Detroit has six defenseman under contract - Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith - and need to add one more.
One road block to a potential deal with Calgary could be the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Red Wings are concerned Philadelphia will make a big pitch for Bouwmeester after Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn Achilles tendon that will sideline for the season.
This isn't somebody in Philly saying the Flyers have interest in Bouwmeester. It's somebody in Detroit who thinks the Flyers have interest. But then again, we know the Flyers have had interest in Bouwmeester in the past.
Paul Holmgren was definitely interested in him back in 2009, and the only reason he didn't acquire the defenseman from the Florida Panthers was because he got Chris Pronger at the NHL Draft that year instead. The morning after Pronger was traded to the Flyers by the Ducks, the Calgary Flames picked up J-Bo via trade with Florida.
Nothing has really happened in the meantime that would force Holmgren to lose the original interest in Bouwmeester. He's steadily been Calgary's best defenseman since the acquisition. He plays tough minutes and he plays a lot of them. He's perhaps a bit overpaid at $6.8 million per year, but with only two years left on that deal and the current state of the Flyers' defense, Holmgren likely wouldn't be scared away.
But despite the likely interest and the clear proof that Bouwmeester would greatly help the Flyers current blueline woes, it doesn't appear as though the two will come together. Not this summer, at least.
That's for two reasons:
1) There are other options that make more sense for the Flyers.
What's the one thing Paul Holmgren has objectively succeeded at this summer? He's said a million times that he wants to improve his team without subtracting, and while it would clearly be a stretch to say he's improved his team, he certainly hasn't made a hasty decision to trade away any of the talent locked up by the club. That's a very good thing.
But one thing is clear: To get Bouwmeester, the Flyers are going to have to give something up. It likely wouldn't be Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, but they'll still have to give something to get him. They might give up less than he's worth and could probably win the trade, but why should they give up anything? There are other players available that the Flyers could acquire without giving up a hefty amount of return -- some of the free agents still out there like Carlo Colaiacovo, other trade targets like Sergei Gonchar, etc.
These guys might have a lesser impact on the roster than Bouwmeester would, but consider the price.
2) The Flames are probably not trading him, anyway.
Some have said that the acquisition of Dennis Wideman makes Bouwmeester expendable for Calgary. Perhaps not. Via Flames blog Matchsticks & Gasoline this morning:
Strictly from a hockey perspective, and with the Flames stated goal of going for the playoffs next season, it doesn't make any sense.
The only way the rumor would have credence is if Jbo himself is driving the bus on a trade -- if he has made a trade request in the background. Even if he has, I'm not sure how the Flames can drop him to a team at his request for what would be a paltry return.
He is simply too important to the team. Those who have watched him play for years know it.
What do you think? Is Bouwmeester a legitimate option for the Flyers?