If you’d like to acquire Calgary forward Rene Bourque, go ahead and call Flames GM Jay Feaster. He won’t hang up.
And if you’d like to acquire Matt Stajan, Feaster will fly you out first class, wine you, dine you, and tell you how pretty your eyes are.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports via Twitter that while Feaster isn’t “shopping” Bourque, he’s “willing to consider interest or offers on a number of players.”
We’ll go ahead and assume Bourque is one of those players.
We’ll guarantee Stajan is.
Dreger kicked the Bourque speculation into high gear last week when he suggested the three-time 20-goal scorer was in play, along with Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu.
Bourque, 29, tallied 27 goals last season for the Flames. He also features a manageable $3.3-million cap hit on a contract that runs until 2015-16.
Feaster appears to be trying to clear the deck of non-essential future obligations in order to give the club more financial flexibility. If he can move Bourque, the Flames will have just six players signed past next season – Stajan, Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Miikka Kiprusoff. (Jarome Iginla is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013.)
While sending Bourque packing might seem odd considering he’s only 29 and playing relatively well, he’s also one of the few Calgary assets with the potential to command a significant return on the market. And unlike Bouwmeester and Giordano, Bourque can’t say no to being moved. As part of his modified no-trade clause, he can give (and has given) a list of 10 teams the Flames cannot send him to. (Leaving 19 he can go to.)