Is Bouwmeester Really The Answer

bouwmeesterThis off season has been very confusing for the Philadelphia Flyers. They sign a troubled goaltender who was exiled from the NHL last year to a 1-year contract, and he will the starter. Obviously, Marty Biron is all but gone at this point.

As of last week, the Flyers have came in contact with their former net minder Robert Esche. Esche has been in Russia for the past two seasons. Antero Niittymaki is still available but is unlikely to sign to be a backup. So, the Flyers need a backup to Emery, in comes Esche.

Esche won’t be let go of his contract unless his team can acquire a suitable replacement.

So, who is the free agent that the Flyers are making room for? That would be Florida Panthers star defensemen Jay Bouwmeester. The whole hockey world has been all over the ‘JayBo’ train, including the Philadelphia Flyers.

But, all in all, is he really worth the $6-8 million a years he’s going to demand? I’m not sure at this point.

Through 82 games last season, in which he played them all–he only posted 27 assists and had a minus-2. Given, the Panthers were not that good of a team, but he averaged over 27 minutes of ice time a game last season.

The 15 goals he put up would be helpful for the Flyers due to the fact defense played a large part in the Flyers first-round exit this past year.

Now, im not sitting here and saying that this would be a bad signing. I think the Flyers should definitely go out and be aggressive with Bouwmeester. Don’t spend the entire bank on the guy if it means setting the club back a few years because of the salary cap problems it could cause.

Is Bouwmeester the missing piece? Maybe.
Can he instantly come in and help? Yes.
Is he going to be worth a Danny Briere contract, or bigger? That’s up for you to decide.

In my own opinion, im extremely worried about the possibility of the signing of ‘JayBo’. I like the durability factor, playing full seasons five out of his first six years in the league. Also, I like the fact that he turning 26.

My main concern lies on the salary cap. We seen how much trouble Paul Holmgren had changing the lineup around towards the end of the season. Signing guys off the streets to one-day contracts, sending certain guys down so they don’t affect the cap when players like Briere come back in the lineup.

The Flyers should be aggressive for this upcoming free-agent shopping spree. They should weigh all their options before breaking the bank for one guy and try and see if they can plug holes with multiple guys that they can sign for less.


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