Scratch the highest-profile defenseman off Wednesday's free-agent list.
Bouwmeester's deal is worth an average of $6.6 million per season, a source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun. He made $4.875 million this past season. He didn't even entertain any other offers.
"It just got to the point where I was totally comfortable with things here," Bouwmeester said Wednesday. "It probably wouldn't have really mattered what else was out there. I liked the situation. I can't really explain it. It's just one of those things. You just kind of know."
The Flames had about $10 million worth of cap space to work with for 2009-10.
"Jay is one of the most complete defenseman in the game, and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that will make him an important component of the Calgary Flames success," Flames general manager Darryl Sutter said in statement. "We identified Jay as the priority player where we were going to focus our money. We wanted an opportunity a few days in advance of the deadline, and that's why we made the move we did this past weekend."
The Flames' personnel, particularly on the blue line, drew Bouwmeester to Calgary because he sees himself as a cog in the wheel of a high-end defense that includes Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf and Cory Sarich.
"That's what was one of the things that was real attractive here," Bouwmeester said. "You look at the solid group of guys they already have. Robyn and Dion, and not just those two. Cory Sarich, I've played against him a long time. It seemed like it would be an easy place to slide in and hopefully have some success."
"We had no intention of waiting for today," Sutter said. "We prioritized the position and the player. We talked a lot of different ideas for him in terms of longer, shorter [contracts], but what it always kept coming back to was this was the market he wanted to play in."
Sutter later announced the signing of forward Fredrik Sjostrom.
"Freddie is a reliable two-way player," Sutter said. "We are happy to add him to our group as we identify him as a player who plays our style of game."
Sutter continued with the youth movement on the back end by signing Adam Pardy, another 25-year-old. He had a goal and nine assists in 60 games as a rookie last season.
Defenseman Adrian Aucoin, Anders Eriksson, Rhett Warrener, forwards Todd Bertuzzi, Michael Cammalleri, Carsen Germyn and enforcer Andre Roy all became unrestricted free agents Wednesday. Sutter didn't intend to re-sign them.
"Today no. We're not walking away on anybody, but at the same time the philosophy doesn't change," Sutter said. "It's about young players."
Bouwmeester, a native of Edmonton, completed his sixth season with the Panthers in 2008-09, recording 42 points with 15 goals and 27 assists.
The six-foot-four, 213-pounder has 203 points in 471 career NHL games. He was picked with the third overall draft pick by the Florida Panthers in 2002.
"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," Bouwmeester said in a statement. "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."
Calgary exited the playoffs in the first round for a fourth straight year last season.
Darryl Sutter hired his brother Brent as the new head coach with improving the defense in mind and the signing of the six-foot-four, 212-pound Bouwmeester is another piece of that puzzle.
Bouwmeester played for Canada at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, as a replacement for injured Scott Niedermayer.
"You can put him in any situation, power play, penalty kill, five on five, four on four and because he's such a smart player and such a great skater, he brings a lot of things to the table," Brent Sutter said. "He has a great understanding of how to play when the team doesn't have the puck and how to pay attention to detail."
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.