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Flames acquire Bouwmeester from Florida @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL (AP) -The Calgary Flames acquired Jay Bouwmeester from the Florida Panthers on Saturday, hoping to sign the smooth defenseman before he can become a free agent next week.

The Flames sent defenseman Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick in Saturday's NHL entry draft to the Panthers to complete the deal.

The trade gives Calgary a window of exclusivity in negotiating a new contract with Bouwmeester and his agent, Bryon Baltimore. Bouwmeester can become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.

A 6-foot-4, 214-pound native of Edmonton, the 25-year-old Bouwmeester had spent his entire career with Florida, which drafted him third overall in 2002.

Bouwmeester, who had 15 goals and 27 assists last season, never made a playoff appearance in six full seasons with the Panthers. He has 53 goals and 150 assists in 471 games.

Leopold, who has been traded four times, also is eligible for free agency next week.

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