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The Saddledome is Now Home: Jay Bouwmeester Signs With Flames ... Panthers Lose Another One

Jaybocalgary Cross Jay Bouwmeester off the list of coveted free agents come tomorrow as the 25-year-old former Florida Panther is going back to his native Alberta (that's in Canada, eh).

According to our pals at TSN, Bo signed a five-year deal with the Calgary Flames just days after the Panthers traded his rights to Darryl Sutter and Calgary for a cap hit of $6.6 million per.

Bo now gets close to home as he is from Edmonton (which is to Calgary what Orlando is to Miami. Only colder. And no mouse).

Good for the Flames. They didn't listen to the naysayers (OK, Jay's agent) who said Bouwmeester wanted to be a 25-year-old free agent and test the waters.

And there's no doubt the Panthers got hosed.

If Jay's agent told Randy Sexton a few weeks ago that he would talk to teams, then it leaked that "you can do what you want with Florida, but Jay isn't signing anywhere until after July 1,'' and then Jay ends up signing with Calgary on June 30 anyway, well, that's pretty crummy.

But it's a business and Jay and his agent owed the Panthers nada. And that's about what the Panthers ended up with.

Truth is, Jay's agent told the Panthers there were a bunch of teams he would rather play for than, you know, the Panthers 18 months ago.

So the Panthers got hosed, and for the most part, it's their own doing. But how they got hosed in the end, well, they had some help there.

The Panthers -- OK, Jacques Martin -- should have dealt with this earlier. And I don't mean at the trade deadline. By then it was too late, the team needing him too much. No, JM the GM should have done something last summer when Jay once more refused to sign long term. JM had Bo's NHL Sears Wish Book in his desk drawer; what more did he need?

What could the Panthers have gotten for Bouwmeester at the 2008 draft? A lot more than a third round pick and the rights to Jordan Leopold for sure. A lot more than what they got in return for Olli Jokinen (although, that deal worked out pretty well). How about a Jokinen/Bouwmeester package? What would teams have surrendered for that?

Well, Calgary's got 'em both now. Florida did get that third round pick Phoenix gave to Calgary when Jokinen went to Alberta at the deadline. That was nice irony.

As for JM, he doesn't have to answer those questions now.

He's in Montreal, far away from the problems in Florida. Are the Panthers better today than they were when he took over as GM? Yeah, I still say so. But the Panthers got nothing for a premier defenseman and by the timeline Randy Sexton gave us, they knew this was going to happen a long time ago. The Panthers have given up three franchise-type players and haven't gotten anything close to their value in return. Florida got some good players back, yes, but at cents on the dollar.

We could say this latest fiasco is going to cripple the Panthers, but that would be too easy to say. Heck, the Panthers missed the playoffs with Roberto Luongo, Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester. They can easily miss them again without them.

As far as Jay goes, he and his agent could have helped the Panthers out. They were of no obligation to do so, but Jay is a very rich man because of the Florida Panthers. He's even more wealthy today. But Florida laid out some serious jingle to Jay over the years.

But he never wanted to be here, money or not.

I often enjoyed dealing with Jay, and I'm not one who thinks the media pressure up there will be too much for him to handle. The media will not be Jay's problem, he can handle that just fine as he showed here, on Florida's tour of Canada earlier this past season and his marathon sessions at the All-Star Game (where, he never once ripped the Panthers but did talk about his desire for more stability down here and would have liked to see more of a hockey atmosphere in South Florida).

No, the media won't be Jay's problem; the other parts of living in Calgary just may be.

No, not right now. Jay's enjoyed much of his offseasons in Alberta, and I'm sure these lazy summer days were a big reason he wants to play there. No, things will change during the heat of hockey season. What's going to happen if/when the Flames lose 3-2 to Edmonton and Jay is on the ice in the final minute and somehow flubs the puck which finds its way past Kipper?

Talking to the media after the game? Oh Jay will do that, he will be the first one in the room to face the music.

But how about after the game when he wants to find a nice quiet place where no one knows -- or even cares, for that matter -- that's he's Jay Bouwmeester? Good luck with that. You've heard how the grass isn't always greener? Well, Jay's going to find out whether it is or not. His lifestyle is about to change. Hopefully, for his sake, it will be for the better. But one never knows until you are in that position.

It's obviously a position Jay's been wanting to be in for a long time. He wanted the spotlight, he's got it. Some guys run to the limelight. I don't think Jay is one of those guys, but he may just enjoy being The Man in a place where he can truly be appreciated.

He and his dad have their wish: Jay Bouwmeester is a Florida Panther no more.

The Panthers? They'll move on, just like they always do.

Weaker, yes, but moving on nonetheless.

It's July 1. Lets see what happens today.


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and free healthcare

I'm glad Jay was able to test the Free Agency market like he kept telling us he planned on doing. We all knew he didn't want to be here, he should of just manned up and said so. Maybe if he would have said he would be willing to sign someplace before free agency started (instead of saying the exact opposite), Sexton could have gotten something more in a trade. May his years in Calgary be a total failure.

Boy I can't wait for the first time Calgary plays at the BAC. I personally am going to let this guy have it.
Yes, I understand that he gave us a few years of quality service....but....face it. He & his agent lied to the organization and its fans. All that nonsense about "not being sure" if wanted to return...and how it depended on whether or not the team made the playoffs. Complete and utter nonsense.
I would have a lot more respect for the guy if he just said that he had given the Panthers what he was required to, had honored his contract, and wanted to return to a team from Canada. At least give the Panthers an opportunity to get a return on the investment they made.

George, considering Yormark said today the Panthers knew a long time ago that Bouw did not want to re-sign with the Panthers,(To be quite frank with you, as far as we were concerned, Jay made a decision a long time ago that he probably didn't want to re-sign with the Florida Panthers. "I'll tell you personally that if Jay Bouwmeester doesn't want to be part of the Panthers organization, then it's probably better that he goes elsewhere."http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Panthers-president-on-marketing-a-post-Bouwmeest;_ylt=AodVVWBi9rC.7KmN2Fpx2Rx7vLYF?urn
Doesn't that mean that JM was woefully negligent not dealing Bouw this past Summer? Especially considering the haul that Anaheim received from Philly for Pronger who also had just one year remaining on his contract like Bouw would have had last Summer.

It will be interesting to see if he can play up to his ability under the pressure of a Canadian market or it and the media crushes him. There was a little bit of pressure after the trade deadline to make the playoffs and he played some of his worst hockey.

Thanks Jay for having your agent say you won't negotiate with a team before July 1 so Panthers couldn't get any good return, real honorable of you. A-hole.

Good for Jay and good for the Flames. He gets to play somewhere where he'll be appreciated properly. Its become clearly evident through the years that Panther fans do not understand "media speak" when it comes to the things that are said when wanting out of an orgnization and market. They didn't grasp it with Luongo, when, he was taken to arbitration by Keenan. They didn't see it with Jokinen. And they definitely didn't understand it when Bouw gave a list of teams 18 months ago.

Honestly, why would ANYONE want to play in Sunrise, when you are not there to win a Stanley Cup. You are there to sell billboard space and to be a dancing monkey for the ownership.

Ah, good ole Clash. Thought you may have changed at this point...lol.

All in all, Cats didn't win anything with those three, and they looked a lot better last year minus two of em (not a knock on Louie). Let's get some guys in here like Ballard, McCabe and Booth who WANT to be Panthers!!!

Why would I change when I have been right? Horton belonged on the wing. Olesz is a third liner. Martin killed any creativity on offense as coach with his system. The Panthers needed someone who could work with younger players as coach. I said Luongo wanted out of town a year before anyone else wanted to acknowledge it.

Give Ballard, Booth, and anyone else not looking to have a retirment contract, 5 years in this organization in its present state, and they'll want out also.

Luongo wanted to be here, Keenan didn't want him here, and the rest is history.

Bo was non commital here, but Martin clung to hope that had we made the playoffs, we at least had a shot.

He did try to trade Bo at the deadline but didn't get the package he wanted in return so he tried to make the playoffs with him.

Bo said in the beginning of the season and throughout that he wants a stable team and a team making headway to win. I am not justifying the way things were handled, but to blame him without blaming the instability of the orginization is wrong.

Bo's agent did what he felt was best for Bo, not the Panthers, but Bo is an elite athltete who gave all he could on the ice for this team and helped make them fairly respectable.

The coach, players, and new owners have a lot of work ahead.

The buck stops with the owner. There is a reason that Cohen was named the 2nd worst owner in the NHL. We can only hope that the rumors regarding new ownership are true.

look at the Heatley situation in Ottawa. He told the media he wanted out and it has tied the organizations hands.

18 months ago he gave JM the GM a list of teams he wanted to be traded too. JM the GM showed why he should never have been GM by not moving his assets (he gave up a 3rd round pick for a player that didn't want to be here)

Bouwmeester did everything the right way in trying to get out of town it was the Panthers that messed this up just like they messed up with Bure, Jokinen, Luongo and others.

This is an organization that has hardly any depth, their minor league team was a disaster, they sell every inch of space to advertisers where you feel like you walked into commercial land instead of what once was a class arena. Now they pull the biggest bush stunt in years by using Drew Rosenhous to advertise lower prices.

This is an organization who when they first purchased a team hired Mike Keenan as coach and got rid of Chuck Fletcher (even though Bill Torrey felt he should be ghe GM) and then on his recommendation hired Rick Dudley as GM, Dudley and Keenan then have a falling out so Keenan is gone. Them JM becomes available and the owner insists on JM being coach even though his GM says it won't work. So the owner fires Dudley hires Keenan and JM. Keenan then realizes that Dudley was right and JM won't work out as coach and they have a falling out and Keenan is fired then to save money he hires JM as GM and coach. JM the coach doesn't work as told by Dudley and Keenan so he is fired as coach and promoted to GM.

Just knowing this you wonder why Bouwmeester would want to stay here.

Please Mr. Cohen sell the team already so we can get a NHL team back instead of an organization that thinks it is running a circus.

this is why they pay you the big bucks, GR. couldn't have said it any better myself. Bo earned the right to sign when and where he wanted, but he sure didn't help us out any... can't wait for the Olli\J Bo return to the BAC... c'mon scheduling gurus out there, don't make Calgary one of those western teams that doesn't visit Sunrise!

Regarding the GM search, Sexton has earned the job as far as i'm concerned: this article says it all - http://www.espnamerica.com/portal/content/LeBrun2

Some of your best work, George.

I'ma wishin for UFA's Comrie at C, Cammalleri at LW, Montador and(yes, I want him back) Mara on D, and the signing of Leopold. Bring Dvorak back into a 3rd line role, and hope that kids like Frolik and Repik will be ready to help put the puck in the net when Stillman invariably breaks down, and Horton pulls another disappearing act when he...and his potential...is needed most. I hope Ellerby is close to ready, and I don't buy the idea that Kulikov will make the team out of training camp. I certainly HOPE he doesn't. If he does, that speaks volumes about how bad the existing D-men are, IMO.

Come to think of it, who wants to bet the mention of a list 18 months ago isn't more scapegoating by the team? Happened with Olli, happened with Keenan, to my knowledge it happens all the time when a big name leaves that the team finds a way to officially blame that person for everything wrong with the organization.

AC, I gotta disagree with this:

"Bo's agent did what he felt was best for Bo, not the Panthers, but Bo is an elite athltete who gave all he could on the ice for this team and helped make them fairly respectable."

Bouw hardly gave anything after the trade deadline. In fact, he scored a goal on Vokoun in the third period of a one goal loss to Buffalo. An OTL in that game with the same result for the rest of the season would've made us a playoff team.

I'm not blaming missing the playoffs on Bouw, but when you're supposedly holding the team ransom to make the playoffs and directly affect the outcome, it's crappy to pretend that it's all on the team for failing to reach that goal.

Man, you Panther fans were shanked badly on this one. Jay Bouw for the rights to Jordan Leopold, a player who clearly is now on the AHL borderline. The guy couldn't crack the top 6 D in Colorado last season, that's right, he couldn't play D on one of the absolute worst Western Conference teams last year, and was only brought into Calgary late season as an injury replacement when most of their D was on the shelf. In no way was he in the future plans of Calgary, or likely of any other NHL team... save the Panthers.

Those of you looking to sign him are in for a big surprise should it occur.

Great piece GR. Really captured all of our thoughts.

I'm hoping we get someone today significant. It's not exactly bright days here in Pantherland.......but when is it ever?

Although I'm as disappointed as anyone about the current Panther situation regarding JBo & our rapidly disintegrating defensive corps, you really can't be all that surprised or even resentful of Bo. No one has mentioned this, but remember how his time here began--Dudley traded down w/Columbus so that Bo went 3rd instead of 1st in a move that could only have benefited the team financially & I imagine, left a new, brilliant player with a very sour taste in his mouth--you only get one chance to be the number one pick overall.

So Jay and Silent Bobmeester gets to go home to Alberta. I hope he'll be happy there. He might find it difficult to play in a town where they actually know who you are and expect you to speak to the fans, the press, and actually do something to promote your team.

Actually DJ, I'm from Calgary and can say with a certainty that team promotion ranks last amongst fan concerns. As long he Jay Bouw gets it done on the ice is all that matters in Calgary. Help the team win and he'll be a God, period, mute or not.

The panthers are a joke and have made hockey meaningless here in Florida. I can't believe I am saying this but I wish Wayne was still the owner. How this team got their own arena is beyond me. What a waste of money.

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