Conflicting reports out of Detroit regarding the Red Wings search for a defenseman.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports the Red Wings still need a defenseman, and there’s still some available in the UFA market (Michal Rozsival, Carlo Colaiacovo, Brett Clark), but the current CBA negotiations have “thrown a monkey wrench” into the Wings plans and those of other NHL clubs. If salaries are slashed, some teams might be forced to dump salaries to become cap compliant, which could provide the Wings with more choices for defensemen.
MLIVE.COM: Brendan Savage reports a team source claimed the Red Wings have been talking with the Calgary Flames about defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. Savage also suggests if the salary cap is reduced, it could force the Flames (currently sitting with over $66 million in payroll) to shed some salary, which could make Bouwmeester a trade candidate. Savage believes the Wings are concerned the Philadelphia Flyers, who recently lost Andrej Meszaros to a season-ending Achille tendon injury, could make a pitch for Bouwmeester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the cap goes down, salaries could also be rolled back (if the league gets its way), so there wouldn’t be any need for teams to shed salary as they’ll still remain under the cap. That being said, it’s apparent the CBA talks is having an effect upon the UFA market, and upon the Wings efforts to bolster their blueline. It’ll be interesting to see if the trend continues, especially with the Flyers now definitely in need of more blueline depth. Bouwmeester could be available, but it now seems Flames GM Jay Feaster is reluctant to move him, or even shake up his roster. Of course, if the cap goes down but salaries aren’t rolled back, Feaster would have to shed some salary and Bouwmeester would be an obvious choice. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.