Friday, February 27, 2009

Bow Flex

Really? This is the guy that GM's are going to be battling over this weekend?

James has already chimed in on the fate of the Florida Panthers this season. But I have a bigger question... who the heck is Jay Bouwmeester anyway? I spend the majority of my time watching Western Conference hockey, and since the Kings have only played the Florida Panthers 5 times in the last 5 years... I really don't feel like I have a clear sense of how good or how mediocre a defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is. I've never had him on a fantasy team, never traded for him in NHL 07, 08 or 09 and never heard a friend say "oh man, that Bouwmeester is a BEAST on the blueline." Although, if any friend said that about a NHL player I probably would hit him. Or at least smile at him gently.

Here's what I do know about Jay Bouwmeester... he is the current NHL leader in consecutive games played, not missing a game in 4+ seasons. His career high in points is 46. Career high in penalty minutes is 79. And he averages about 27 minutes a game. He's 25 years old and is a 6 year NHL veteran. So we are looking at a reliable, top 30 NHL defenseman without much of a mean streak. And man, does he know how to look non-threatening in a photo.

So if you are an NHL GM... do you make a play for this UFA? What do you give up for someone who seems to have no intention of signing with a NHL team before this summer? Remember, the NHL Trading Deadline causes strange things to happen... witness Mike Comrie being swapped for a low #1 draft pick. But for a NHL All-Star defenseman? Lubomir Visnovsky cost the Oilers Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene. What would you trade for Kyle Quincey? What would you pay to get Keith Duncan or Ryan Suter? Could Ron Hainsey be the one to put you over the 8th seed bubble? Because all those guys are in and around JBo.

Now I'm sure that Bouwmeester has some amazing intangibles that I'm just not aware of because I haven't seen him play as much as I've seen Pronger, Phaneuf, Souray or Jovanovski. And I realize that is my fault. But can you really blame me for not catching a lot of Florida Panther games over the past few years? I mean look at this monstrosity of a jersey.

I'm not paying money to watch this on tv.

Florida wants the return you get for a #1 defenseman because Florida actually thinks Bouwmeester is a #1 defenseman. In reality, he's a strong 2nd on a good NHL team. He is only getting so much hype because he is a UFA. But here's the fun part about the Trading Deadline. Someone will probably will give up what Florida wants. And then Brian Burke will get double that for any of his Toronto fire-sales.

I'm in the camp that believes 100% Florida should trade Bouwmeester. Sure the Panthers are 6th in the Eastern Conference, but they are only 4 points out of 10th place too. And are the Panthers really going to put together the kind of run to challenge Boston, Washington, New Jersey or Philly? There is a great future coming together in South Florida and McCabe, Boynton and Ballard should be able to hold down the team for the remainder of the season. So get rid of Jay Bouwmeester and be done with it... before he turns into this guy:

What say you Florida Panther fans? I know that you come to this blog in force. Is Bouwmeester really that good and he's never gotten the chance to play in a meaningful game? (well, he did play in 18 AHL playoff games with Chicago in 2005... and had 0 points.) Or has he just been the best defenseman on an awful team the last 5 years? Believe the hype or not?


jamestobrien said...

The one thing I'm pretty sure about Jay-Bow: he's apparently a great skater. And, yes, that knowledge comes from video games.

One thing about his point totals: he's only about 10 or so points off the the top for the Florida Panthers scoring lead. So, relatively speaking, he's an "important scorer" for Florida. For whatever that's worth.

No doubt, he's probably somewhat-to-extremely overvalued. I'm starting to come closer to completely agreeing with the trade Bo camp.

Chris Kontos said...

Come to the trading Dark Side!

Chris Kontos said...

Well so much for Nick Boynton to pick up the slack one Bouwmeester is traded... he was just sent home by the Panthers.

Evan50 said...

Ryan Stiles, that's who he looks like. I was trying to figure out who he looked like.

Jibblescribbits said...

Jay Bouwmeester is: Kevin Sorbo's long lost brother

Chris Kontos said...

I would rather the Panthers wear the outfit Kevin Sorbo is wearing than their current jerseys.

Whale4ever said...

Indeed he is a great skater. One of those that makes it look so effortless. And he roars in off the point like Coffey (with none of the attitude).