Jay Bouwmeester or No Jay Bouwmeester?

Are the Oilers in on the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes? According to a lot of sources -- yes. Does that mean that Jay Bouwmeester is interested in becoming an Edmonton Oiler? Until recently we didn't think so, but now it may not matter.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is now reporting that word has come from Oiler management that while Bouwmeester is among the top UFA's available in this year's crop, the Oilers aren't making it a priority to land him. Bigger holes require filling and Tambellini feels it better to improve the offense on their deficient first line by finding help for forward Ales Hemsky.

With Mr. Bouwmeester about to receive rediculously high offers from teams with available cap space, it may not be best to out bid for a player in a position that the current team seems to have strength. For the first time and contrary to many reports, Matheson suggests that the Oilers are finally comfortable with their blueline core and would rather not make changes to it if need be. An interesting notion considering how often Tom Gilbert's name has been thrown around in trade rumours.

What does this leave? Available names like Marian Gaborik or Martin Havlat won't come cheap. Dany Heatley's name has been everywhere and linked to many teams over the past two weeks, and of course there is always the Sedins and Marian Hossa. All options will require clearing some cap space and the movement of some players like a Dustin Penner, who we previously wrote was not actively being shopped. Has that changed?

Time will tell, but not for long. With the draft only days away and the free agent frenzy only days later, expect some moves.


clear cap space will be easy for teams with owners with big pockets - simple put them in the minors. Wade Redden will be the first out in NYR to clear up cap room for a top six forward.

June 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM comment-delete

In a way I agree but there are a few things to keep in mind that make this not quite as easy as it sounds.

One way vs two contracts. Re-entry waivers for players who have either a) played more than the minimum games playable or b) making more than I think $95,000 or something crazy like that.

Wade Redden is a great example. Should he have a one way contract, which he likely does, he would have to clear re-entry waivers to come back should they need to call him up due to injury or trade. If he clears he becomes a UFA, if he doesn't clear, can he not be claimed by another team for 50% of his salary?

That means the team that sends him down is responsible for half his cap hit and the team that claims him gets a player like Redden for under $3 million, which would be quite attractive to some teams.

That's a big risk to take. But I agree, I do see some teams doing it if they don't intend to ever call the player back up.

June 22, 2009 at 1:07 PM comment-delete

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June 30, 2009 at 11:40 PM comment-delete

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