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July 25, 2012 | 10:02am ET
Bouwmeester draws more interest

The Calgary Sun has reported that if the Flames are actively shopping defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, options have improved since the Predators matched the offer to keep blueliner Shea Weber in Nashville.

After all three top free agent defensemen agreed to contracts, with Weber sticking to the Preds, former defensive partner Ryan Suter moving to the Minnesota Wild and Matt Carle signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning, some teams are still left looking for a boost on the backend with fewer and fewer candidates available to fill the position.

Although Bouwmeester has struggled since joining the Flames in 2009, where he earns an annual salary cap hit of $6.68 million, teams like the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers and Flyers are all hoping to bolster their blueline.

While Bouwmeester's numbers aren't his highest selling point, he remains a minute-eating defenseman who could potentially help the Flames acquire the centerman they are desperately seeking.

However, the 28-year-old has a no-trade clause and remains in the driver seat as he is reportedly adamant about staying in Calgary.

The Flames are also looking to move defenseman Anton Babchuk, who could be easier to deal away with his $2.5 million salary.

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