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Good Morning Miami ... Trade Deadline Central ... The Jay Bouwmeester Watch

Jaybo5 ATLANTA -- Good morning from a still chilly Terminal A in Atlanta where there's plenty of buzz regarding today's NHL trade deadline.

OK, I made that up. It's nice and warm here in the terminal.

The trade deadline is a huge deal in hockey circles, with people talking about this day for more than a month. I've been getting calls from Canadian newspapers and radio stations since January. Today is like a holiday for hockey fans. Of course, some enjoy it more than others.

Big day for Jacques Martin and the Panthers today. JM is definitely in a tough spot. He's working on some deals right now, trying to get as many pieces as he can for All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. But how much is enough? JM has said he wants a good forward and a top four d-man at the very least. If he doesn't get it, Jay stays -- at least for a few more months/weeks.

If Jay isn't moved, look for the Panthers to make some minor moves, taking into consideration how close they are to the cap. Florida also has to look at next year; the Panthers like their nucleus and have some expiring contracts, but David Booth is going to get a nice raise next year.

The cap probably isn't going down next season, but the Panthers' financial commitments might. Now, I've heard people say the Panthers are planning to pare their payroll down to the cap basement, but I've been told that is absolutely not the case. Next year's payroll will probably be close to what it is now.

What's going to happen? I don't have any clue. I could see Jay stay. I could see him leaving. I'm just glad I'm not in JM's position today. This is a tough spot.

Anyway, check back in throughout the day. I should be back in the 954 around 9 a.m. so that means I'll be down for a few hours while in flight. David J. Neal is on the case, however, so if something goes down while I'm up, he'll be all over it.

-- Plan on going TradeDay LIVE! around noon today, with a break around 1:30 so I can make the drive across Sunrise Boulevard to the Billboard. Again, check in throughout the day.

If anything happens while I'm in transit, I will be filing via cellphone (you can tell those posts because they come without pics).

-- Got an email last night asking if the Panthers had any interest in Gary Roberts. Sure they do. A lot of teams do. But the problem is Gary's big contract with the Lightning. The Panthers can't bring in that number, especially since they don't know how healthy (hockey wise) Roberts is.

Plus, if he were to come back to South Florida, Pete DeBoer might have to pack up the kids and find a new place to live.


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Well I for one want to cast my vote to keep Jay here. This team is definitely good enough to get hot and make a run. Plus someone should tell Jay about the last star that wanted to get out of here cause this wasn't a "winning organization".

Liked the comment on Hockey Central on Vs last night. Perhaps Jay could soften as we are making a damn good run this year, and should have the same pcs together next year to do it again.

I say let him go the Jokinen route--the other D-men will step up, just as the rest of the team shone outside of Jokinen's Finnish shadow. THE BEST CASE scenario, would be to see Jay re-sign after we make our playoff...OR Stanley Cup Final appearance...but one can dream, eh?

No matter what happens, unfortunatley, JM is never going to be a hero in the case--tough spot for him and a lot of people to please.

i say trade him basically cuz i care more about the team. i rather get something back that helps over time then maybe making the playoffs just this year

Jay has had plenty of time to see the direction this organization is headed, and that's up into playoff contention. If he doesn't want to be here, I don't want him here for the playoff run and I want to see us gather the best pieces we can to ensure a successful future.

Just heard on TSN that Columbus has acquired Vermette (C/F) for Pascal LeClair (G). Good move for Columbus and he's going to play next to Nash.

well if he resigns i'm all for it but i highly doubt he'll be here next year. so getting something for him is a big key, but obviously if we don't get what we are looking for then keeping him to hope we can go further in the playoffs is the best situation.

obviously jm is stuck n a bad situation all around.

Heard Barry Mont-blonc on ESPN this AM - Jay traded for 4 players in return....a great deal for the Panthers....no details....can anyone confirm?

That was just a prediction he was making.

wht about boyton for ollie straight up :-)

JK. Jay wants no part of here and its his loss. Id hold him unless a foolish offer is made...

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