Oilers unlikely to make move on Bouwmeester
Goal scoring a more pressing issue
By Jim Matheson, The Edmonton Journal
Will the Edmonton Oilers make a play to sign Florida Panthers defenceman Jay Bouwmeester or trade for his negotiating rights just before the free-agent market opens on July 1? Sources say the Oilers would rather, for now, spend the $6 million US or so a year it would take to sign the 25-year-old unrestricted free agent on somebody to play with winger Ales Hemsky on their No. 1 line.
The Oilers like the Edmonton product, who will likely be on Canada’s 2010 Olympic team, maybe as a shutdown-type defenceman. But they see other bigger holes on their club. They’re crying out for a goal-scorer.
Edmonton would also have to move a blue-liner to bring Bouwmeester in and they aren’t prepared to do that.
Bouwmeester’s local agent, Bryon Baltimore, wouldn’t be surprised if some team deals for his client’s negotiating rights for, say, a 48-hour window prior to July 1, but no club has called to sound him out. Logically, that step would have to happen before a team would give up a high draft pick or player just for the chance to talk dollars.