Analyzing the Bouwmeester signing
Flames fans have to be ecstatic with today’s news of Jay Bouwmeester signing with the Flames for 5 years, at $6.5 million cap hit per season. Think about it for a second. The Flames now possess a defense corps that includes Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr. Never mind the fact that all three defenders are Western boys playing for the Sutters, but all three possess tons of talent.
In Bouwmeester, the Flames get a player who can play in all situations (power play, even strength and penalty kill) and is able to log big minutes. Additionally, he skates as well as any defender in the game, isn’t shy about throwing around his body and is adept at moving the puck quickly and effectively. What is there not to like?
I realize that Dion Phaneuf had his struggles last season, but few people believe he doesn’t have the necessary qualities to turn that back around. The addition of Brent Sutter behind the bench should really help Phaneuf regain his old form.
Along with Bouwmeester and Phaneuf, the Flames have defense-first Robyn Regehr punishing the opposition. His work ethic is impeccable and his desire for the team to move in a defense-first direction will be realized with the hiring of Sutter.
So, Flames fans can now count on having one of Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr and Dion Phaneuf on the ice at all times (I’m not trying to short change Cory Sarich–a player I think is fairly underrated). Just ask any player in the Northwest Division and I’d bet that they aren’t the least bit pleased by that news.
Give Darryl Sutter a ton of credit here. Talk is cheap and Darryl proved that. He took action to acquire Bouwmeester by giving up a third round pick (w/o any assurance of Bouwmeester signing) for a few extra days of exclusive negotiating rights. While some GMs don’t believe in that, Sutter went with it and came out on top. He secured the best free agent defenseman on the market and signed this player at only 26 years of age.
Finally, for all the Flames fans that are worried about the salary cap, you can worry about that later. You have Jay Bouwmeester on your team for the next five seasons and whatever you do to accomodate him will almost certainly be well worth it.