I don't have the time or inclination to figure out the potential salary-cap implications of adding a defenceman at what will probably end up $7-million per. (Also, I'm sure Kent will do that.) Here's what I think about this:
• Jay Bouwmeester is a Top 10 defenceman in the NHL.
• I'm skeptical that he would actually make the team better.
• I still think Dion Phaneuf has a higher upside.
• I think Robyn Regehr is the best defencemen of the three mentioned here.
The Flames have struggled to get out of the first round for four straight years while spending too much money on its defence, percentagewise. Bouwmeester, Phaneuf, Regehr, Sarich and Vandermeer would be a $23-mllion back-end, and that's before your factor in D6-7 and Kipper.
So, who will score? Perhaps there's an answer to that question, but it doesn't come to mind very quickly. I just don't like the idea of having to pay 13 forwards with about $20-million total. So, could they move Sarich and Vandermeer, and replace with $1M/yr guys? Can you build second and third lines even with that budget? All stuff that Darryl Sutter has to figure out. Good luck, Darr.