Once an offer sheet is laid out by a team all of the other team’s fans start to wonder why their team is not doing it.
Jamie Benn, Suban, or however you want to talk about are not going to be let go via offer sheet, it’s very rare. If they do get the sheet they don’t move very often, most clubs will match and trade later when they can control the return.
So are the Flames making an offer sheet? Possibly. Will they get the player? History says it’s more than likely not.
Instead of wondering who the Flames might put forward an offer sheet to I think it may be more reasonable to look at what options are out there for the teams who are looking for a top pairing Defenseman that also lost out on signing Suter and Weber. Would there be a fit with the Flames for Jay Bouwmeester? What we know and what the Flames have made public is they are looking for grit and skill and not necessarily exclusive of one another, they want to be harder to play against. When thinking about this player think Ott or Brown. Guys who can contribute and also are pesky as hell.
A guy who I thought fit what the Flames needed desperately was Brandon Dubinsky, since he was just recently moved it seems unlikely he will be again so I’ll shift focus.
Philly obviously has a hole on their defence and unless they want to put up Weber money for Suban, which I think is crazy then Bouwmeester might be a fit for them. Calgary desperately needs a center who can win draws and is pesky. A center who can play top two line minutes if needed. Does not Danny Briere fit that bill? In terms of cap money it’s a pretty straight draw with Calgary getting the extra year so maybe even a pick to come with it. His face off percentage is not league leading but would have been the best the Flames offered last year at Center. He is a consistently .7 PPG or better every year and although he misses time every year with injuries has played 70+ games the last three. Philly has a glut of Centers and all of them are of the top two line calibre or will be so at what point do they try and get an asset for Briere? There may be a fit there.
Darren Helm just re-upped in Detroit but certainly if there was a team that Bouwmeester would fit on I would have to say the puck possession, skating style of Detroit is it. Helm would fit nicely on the Flames, good speed, good face off guy and would chip in 10 goals and roughly 15 assists. Maybe not the grit or peskiness they need but for sure a guy in that 24-28 year old range they are looking to fill. There would be a major cap difference here so play with the idea if you want but if Nash gets Dubinsky then Bouwmeester gets a third line center.
Another team quietly making moves has been the Colorado Avalanche yet their back end is still slightly spotty. Johnson and Hejda average roughly 20 minutes a night and are the best guys Colorado throws over the boards on D so it would seem Boumeester might be a fit with his 25+ minutes a night. The guy who keeps coming up in trade rumours out of Colorado is Stastny who fits the age bill perfectly for the Flames, his cap hit is roughly on par with Bouwmeester and his history as an assist guy is certainly attractive to a team with so many snipers. Term and money match very closely and this would be an excellent hockey trade for both teams needs. Colorado has the centers to make this work and Calgary has the D to make this work, it both hurts and helps both teams. Just something to kick around. Oh and it doesn’t hurt Stastny’s 55% + in the face off circle, something Hartley wants.
Backlund is always out there as bait in a trade but I do not think he moves until he has flopped this year, it is his last kick at bringing out his scoring talent so if he does move do not expect a massive return or anything really significant.