According to Brendan Savage of MLive.com, the Detroit Red Wings are in discussions to acquire Calgary Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
Citing confirmation from a “team source,” Savage reports the Wings have turned their attention to Bouwmeester after missing out on a number of defensemen during free agency, most notably Ryan Suter.
More, from MLive:
Bouwmeester became expendable in Calgary when the Flames signed Dennis Wideman to a five-year, $26.25 million deal and the Red Wings need help on defense after captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart was traded to San Jose before he could sign with the Sharks as a free agent.
Wideman’s contract hiked Calgary’s payroll to $66.6 million, which is under the $70.2 million salary cap. But if the cap is reduced as expected when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, that could force the Flames to dump salary and the possibility might reduce their asking price for Bouwmeester.
If Calgary is indeed feeling financial pressure with Bouwmeester, Detroit could be willing to relieve it.
The Wings aren’t totally desperate to add blueliners, but can’t be far from it — their current top six is comprised of Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. The latter two have a combined 130 games of NHL experience.
That said, the Flames might have other options.
As Savage notes, the Philadelphia Flyers could also express interest in Bouwmeester, especially after defenseman Andrej Meszaros was lost “indefinitely” to a torn Achilles tendon.
While the Flyers don’t have a ton of available cap space, they would be able to free some up by placing Chris Pronger (and possibly Meszaros) on long term injured reserve.