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The Flames and the Merrimack Star

Elliotte Friedman is reporting that undrafted French hockey player Stephane Da Costa, who has spent the last two years with Merrimack College, is looking to sign his first NHL contract- and soon.

Da Costa is headed to Newport Sports, where his agents, Wade Arnott and Ed Ward, will begin fielding offers. While Arnott confirmed that process begins Monday, he didn't really want to go much further.

Jay Feaster would be foolish not to try and get on this wagon. Da Costa is a solid talent who's great at distributing assists, and with a farm devoid of all but a few solid prospects (Reinhart!), such an acquisition could help the Flames going forward immensely. Here's his stats in two seasons with Merrimack:

2009-10 Merrimack College H-East 34 16 29 45 41  
2010-11 Merrimack College H-East 33 14 31 45 42

Excuse the odd formatting of the above table; all statististics are from HockeyDB.

While Da Costa will likely choose where to sign based on personal preference, since every team pretty much has an equal opportunity to do so (as the contract is limited by entry-level contract rules), I'd at least like to hear of a team.  A little more information from the Elliotte Friedman article linked above on the theoretical contract structure:

CBA rules indicate he must sign a multi-year contract with his new NHL team. But if he gets into a game before the end of the regular season, he'll burn one of those years.

Also important to know is that his cap number for this year would be pro-rated.

And finally, Friedman on who's shown to be interested:

There were at least 20 teams who scouted the centre at some point this season and it's believed approximately 15 of them have some level of interest. Expected among the most serious suitors are Ottawa (two sources said Senators scout Lew Mongelluzzo spent more time at Merrimack than many of the school's students), Boston (same for the Bruins' Ryan Nadeau), Minnesota, Anaheim, Nashville and Pittsburgh.

On the Canadian side, Toronto and Vancouver have also watched Da Costa closely.

I'd love to see the Flames jump in there, but lord only knows how likely that happening is.