Saturday, June 27, 2009

Panthers Trade Jay Bouwmeester to Flames

Florida Panther fans knew this day was coming, they just didn't know when.

Jay Bouwmeester has been on the trading block since the All-Star game this past year. The Panthers kept him in an attempt to make a playoff push.

Draft Day came around on Friday and again fans thought this was the day, but the Panthers surprised us. The Panthers are known to make big trades on Draft Day.

This gave hope that the Panthers might attempt to re-sign Bouwmeester when he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

Day two of the draft began and the Panthers announced that they traded Bouwmeester to the Calgary Flames for another unrestricted free agent, defenseman John Leopold, and this year's 67th draft pick.

Both teams have a four day exclusive negotiating period starting July 1st to attempt to sign the players. The Panthers will sign Leopold, if the price is right.

Calgary took the biggest risk since there is no guarantee that Jay will sign with them. They could come out losing a draft pick and an defenseman with nothing in return.

Florida wasn't expected to meet Bouwmeester's contract demands, so they came out on top by receiving the draft pick.

Florida took 18-year old defenseman Dmitry Kulikov with the 14th overall pick on Friday who might become Bouwmeester's immediate replacement.

Florida expects for Kulikov to compete for a roster spot once training camp begins in a couple of months.

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