From Jeff Angus (and I'm a few days late on posting this):
The Florida Panthers took a big risk when they decided not to move Bouwmeester at the 2009 trade deadline. He was highly sought after by a number of teams, and the Panthers could have fetched a pick, a blue-chip prospect, and a roster defenseman in return. Hindsight is always 20/20, and at the time the Panthers were in playoff contention and management needed to make a statement to both their fans and players that they were serious about winning. Bouwmeester (and the Panthers) fizzled down the stretch run, and once again they finished on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
W4E say: nothing really new here, but any fresh bit of speculation is always fun. As for the Panthers - and whomever my be running the show - Jay's rights must be traded, preferably minutes before the Entry Draft, allowing the club to gain something from the inevitable loss.
I remain hopeful the Cats can parlay a nice catch from a club desperate for BouwMania, be it with roster players, draft picks, or a combination. In any event, whatever organization wishing to grab exclusive negotiating rights (for a bit over a week's time) will need to dump salary in a big way.
From Steve Gorten:
(Bouwmeester agent Bryon) Baltimore confirmed that he recently spoke with Panthers' asst. GM Randy Sexton -- which Sexton revealed earlier today -- but said nothing has really changed with Bouwmeester's situation.
"It's kind of the same position we've taken for the last while," Baltimore said.
Nothing surprising there. It's Booth and his situation we're clinging to. If rival teams aren't circling like vultures for this kid I'll give birth to an eggroll.
From Toronto Sun via SI/FanNation:
The thing about Bouwmeester is, no one really knows how good he is or how adaptable he would be to a high-pressure market such as Toronto.
Anyone wish to toss out a guess? Burkie knows his stuff. There's something almost otherworldly about his scouting of defensemen, whether they be old-line veterans (Nieds and Pronger) or greenies (um, Pronger).
His club will be winning lots of games within two years...if he survives the uber-hands-on ownership of the Leafs.
From Steve Gorten:
Koivu, who made $4.75 million last season, is 34 years old, but is a two-time All-Star and a three-time Olympic medalist. And despite missing 17 games last season because of a foot injury, he still totaled 16 goals and 34 assists, including five-game winning goals. He has averaged 60 points the past four seasons.
W4E say: No. Way. He's an inspirational leader given his bouts with health issues, no doubt, but far less effective on the ice. Witness his team's inability to make a dent in the playoffs.
Montreal's done nothing with him in the lineup. Though this probably has far more to do with the Habs' management than the captain himself, are the Panthers in a position to take such a chance?
Florida must win now. The luxury of a rebuilding process is unavailable to them in this market; they've been rebuilding for a decade.
"Strong" leaders from the late '90s/early '00s simply aren't an option. It's either coming from within (Stephen Weiss?) or via acquisition of a modern-day captain.