Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter did what most thought he couldn’t, he signed defensemen Jay Bouwmeester. Rather than test unrestricted free agency, he agreed to a five-year deal worth $6.6 million per year against the salary cap.

The native of Edmonton, Alberta played his entire six-year career with the Panthers after being selected third overall by the club in 2002. He had 15 goals and 27 assists in 82 games this season.

The Flames acquired the rights of the 25-year from the Florida Panthers on Saturday at the NHL Draft for the rights to blueliner Jordan Leopold and a third round pick (67th overall), which the Panthers used to select right winger Josh Birkholz.

Calgary now has approximately $35 million wrapped up between Bouwmeester, Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow , Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, and Miikka Kiprusoff through at least the 2011-12 season, Oli Jokinen’s contract is up after next season.

“I am happy to have this deal done as Calgary was a team I was very interested in playing for. I was encouraged by the commitment Calgary showed by acquiring me prior to July 1,” said Bouwmeester. “I am familiar with some of the players and believe we have a strong club that is poised to make the next step in becoming a championship club. I look forward to contributing to that success.”

The Flames will formally announce the deal at a news conference Wednesday at 2pm local time.

No word on whether the Flames have any other moves up their sleeves……It’s tough to believe they can afford Phaneuf (now Bouwmeester makes 100000 more per year) and Regehr.

[tags]Bouwmeester [/tags]