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Capital Win ... Jay Bouwmeester Speaks ... Will He Stay, Will He Go?

Boallstar3 WASHINGTON -- Big bounce back win for the Panthers today, Florida trouncing the host Capitals 6-2 just 24 hours after losing 7-2 in Newark.

Florida gets four goals in the first period and rolls to a nice win. Alex Ovechkin was held in check by Craig Anderson and the Panthers, although he got a late one when Anderson couldn't hold onto the puck and it went over his head and into the net.

David Booth left the game after being run into the boards and he didn't look too happy afterward. He's probably out for Atlanta.

Good news though, is that Cory Stillman should be back. He skated before the game and told me he's not only tying his shoes, but ''wearing my dress shoes.'' That, friends, is a step in the right direction.

-- OK, onto the big news.

Jay Bouwmeester spoke to us after the game about his future in South Florida. Nothing earth shattering here. Bo, a pending free agent, says he hasn't thought about whether he'll still be here in a few days (hours) and adds he doesn't know what's going on with his status.

Bo was the game's top star after getting a goal and an assist.

''I'm on the road, you don't see anything, don't read the paper or anything,'' Bouwmeester said. ''I don't think you worry about it. This time of year, everyone is in a different situation but you know anything can happen. You can't worry about it.''

On staying put:

''We're doing well, and obviously I'd like to be here to see what we can do, make a run at it. 'Whatever happens, happens. We'll see.''

How would you feel about being traded?

''If it happens, I'll deal with it. My head's here. This is my focus.''

You have a lot invested in the Panthers. Enjoying this right now? Is the franchise going in the right direction?

''It's been fun aside for the past couple of games where we didn't play very good. We've been solid, it's been fun. It's always better to win and it's been a long time coming I guess. There is some direction here now, and that's huge. Everyone is buying in.

''We don't have the most talented team, but with everyone chipping in the way we play, we can hang in with anyone. It's rewarding when it's like that because everyone is contributing. We kind of spread it around.''

-- And for you conspiracy theorists out there: Bo's travel bag looks just like all the others. Most of the players have a blue duffel with the Reebok logo as well as Florida's leaping cat. Except for Bo. Well, he has the Reebok logo. No cat in sight.


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It is so clear that he has no intentions of returning next year. We must trade him to get something in return.

It'd be awfully nice to see the Panthers hold onto Jay. I hear the Flyers are the biggest player for him, and the asking price is seriously hefty, and the Flyers are being seriously deterred. For Jay, though, the asking price should be outrageous. He's a great young talent who plays both offense and defense way too well.

Like I said, I'd like to see him here. But, if he does get traded, the Panthers better get gold.

That's the most this guy has said in three years. Look, he isn't staying. It's gonna be a top line center, a second line D-man, and a 2nd or 3rd round pick...take it and run.

I say we take him at his word. He was honest at the beginning of the season when he said he wants to win and was frustrated with the team continually rebuilding. I believe him now when he says he would like to play this season out here because he genuinely seems to be enjoying this run.

JM has to make the deal b4 the deadline if it helps us now and adds more certainty to our future, but I'm hoping that Jay is around to feel his first playoff as a Panther. I believe Jay is hoping for the same.

Of course Jay wants to stay now because he feels he will atleast make the playoffs with the Panthers, where he is comfortable. He doesnt know where he ends up in trade. Obviously it will be to a playoff bound team atleast as a rental but it doesnt mean he will sign there. So why would he want to move, most likely, twice ... once to a temporary home for the playoffs and then again to the team where he signs his big contract. He's obviously very shy so it makes perfect sense that he would be more comfortable making the playoffs with Florida as he feels they will make it finally, then have to move only once after the season is over.

Jay could end all the speculation with a 1 or 2 year deal at 7 million or more. That way he can "see" where the organization is headed without dedicating the rest of his career here if the Panthers change course.

JayBo could sign a short term extension and demand a no-trade clause. He holds all the cards. It's obvious he wants to play with us in the playoffs and leave when the year is over.

C'mon Jay, quit teasing us!

Trade Him as soon as they canhe doesnt want to be here and we need someone that can put the puck in the net for the next few weeks and get into the playoff and make a run. GET HIM OUT OF HERE!

time to trade him only if you get at least a top six forward and a 1st or if you get a top six forward and top four d-man or top four d-man and a 1st otherwise don't trade him for the sake of trading him like we did with Luongo.

Another question is how many points will it take to make the playoffs in the East.

The Sabres, Canes and Penguins have the least points at this time. (Sabres have a game in hand on Canes and Penguins).

Looking at the schedules of the Canadians, the Rangers, the Penguins, the Sabres, the Canes and the Panthers they have the following games left and games left against teams battling for the playoffs.

Canadians 19 games left, 75 points and 9 games against possible playoff teams.

Panthers 19 games left, 72 points and 13 games against possible playoff teams.

Rangers 18 games left, 72 points and 15 games against possible playoff teams

Penguins 18 games left, 70 points and 12 games against possible playoff teams

Sabres 19 games left, 69 points and 12 games against possible playoff teams

Canes 18 games left, 69 points and 13 games against possible playoff teams.

Assuming that the teams when 80% of their games against non playoff teams and 50% against playoff teams the standings would be:

Canadians in 5th with 100 points
Panthers in 6th with 95 points
Sabres in 7th with 93 points
Penguins in 8th with 92 points
Rangers in 9th with 91 points
Hurricanes in 10th with 90 points

Get him out of here...

Take the deal...leave the cannoli.

If I were Jay or the panthers, I would trade him for something equally as good and then try and sign in the off season.

Of course that is sneaky and the other team might hate the Panthers afterwards, but all is fair in love and hockey...

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