The Calgary Flames continue to sell off high-end assets as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches.
Monday night, the club moved defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a conditional first-round pick, minor-league defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Reto Berra, an unsigned draft choice playing in Switzerland.
The Flames will receive the Blues' 2013 first-round pick if St. Louis qualifies for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Blues miss the playoffs, the Flames instead will receive a 2013 fourth-round pick from the Blues and their 2014 first-round selection.
The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Playoffs for Bouwmeester?
|Most regular season games played without appearing in a postseason game|
|Most regular season games played before first postseason game|
|Olli Jokinen (2008-09)||799|
|Marc Savard (2007-08)||659|
|Stephen Weiss (2011-12)||637|
Calgary GM Jay Feaster said that the Flames initiated this deal, not the player.
"We asked him for his list of teams – he did not request it," Feaster told Fan 960 radio in Calgary. "We did have some conversations with Jay over the past few weeks in terms of where he would be as far as an extension when we're able to sign one in the summer. We just felt that that was probably not a realistic possibility for us. We initiated it from the beginning. [There was] nothing from Jay, other than the fact that he was willing to work with us."
Bouwmeester, 29, has played 750 regular-season games without appearing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has played for the Florida Panthers and Calgary during a career that began in 2002. He has 71 goals and 229 assists for his career.
"I think Jay, Jay's style of play, is someone that we've coveted for a while," St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a conference call Monday night. "Jordan [Leopold] is an important piece now moving forward, but he's a player that we don't have contract rights to after the season. We do have that now with Jay Bouwmeester.
It's just exciting to have [Alex] Pietrangelo's caliber, [Kevin] Shattenkirk's caliber, Bouwmeester's caliber moving forward. You couple that with the rock-steady play of Roman Polak and Barret Jackman. So I'm really excited about our group now."
It is the second move for a defenseman in three days for the Blues, who traded for veteran Leopold on Saturday.
Cundari, a native of Woodbridge, Ont., is currently in his third professional season with Peoria of the American Hockey League. In 56 games this season, he has seven goals, 18 assists and 80 penalty minutes.
Berra, 26, was the Blues' fourth-round pick (No. 106) at the 2006 NHL Draft. He has spent his entire professional career in Switzerland. He has played the past three seasons with Biel, in Switzerland's top professional league. This season, he had a 3.01 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 49 games.
"We talked about a lot of different things," Armstrong said. "We wanted to add a player, but we didn't want to deplete everything to do it. We were firm in what we could afford. Jay was firm on what he wanted. And after some arm-wrestling, we both decided we might have to give up more a little more than we want and get a little less than we want. But that's how deals are done. Both sides gave a little bit. In the end, I think it's a great deal for the Flames and a great deal for the Blues."
It is the second major move made by the Flames in the course of the past five days.
"It's on me," Feaster told the radio station. "I talked when I came here and took over as the interim GM that it was about intellectual honesty. Unfortunately, the results of the last two years, under my watch, maybe I wasn't as intellectually honest as I needed to be. That's the one thing that I wasn't going to make that mistake again this year."
The Flames now have three first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
There are also several reports, including one by TSN's Aaron Ward, that say the Flames have given Toronto permission to talk to starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who has another year remaining on his deal.
Kiprusoff would likely bring even more assets into the Flames' coffer if Feaster can work out a deal with the Leafs. Unfortunately, Kiprusoff was pulled in the first period against Edmonton on Monday night, allowing three goals on five shots.
In 18 games this season, the 36-year-old Kiprusoff is 6-10-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average and .871 save percentage.
Feaster said other players could be on the move as well before the deadline.
"No, we're not done," he said. "We're open for business. We may get a lot of phone calls; we've made a lot of phone calls. We've apprised other teams of what our thinking is and who we're willing to move, and who we're not. We'll continue that process right through until 1:00 Mountain time on Wednesday."