July 1, 2008 |
number of teams have restricted free agent defenseman Jay
Bouwmeester atop their wish list, says TFP Editor-in-Chief David
ON] -- The Florida Panthers could be on the verge of
losing another one of their superstars, as restricted
free agent defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is catching the
eye of a number of NHL clubs.
Negotiations between the Panthers and Bouwmeester's
Edmonton-based agent, Bryon Baltimore, have not gone the way
Florida GM Jacques Martin would like. Various reports suggest
Bouwmeester is unhappy playing in South Florida and while he
hasn't requested a trade, many pundits suggest he'd welcome
one with open arms.
As of 11:45am this morning, a deal with the Panthers had not
been struck and Bouwmeester's agent sounded like a new
contract wasn't on the horizon.
"There's been discussions," Baltimore told TFP.
While teams have inquired about his availability, they have
also tinkered with the idea of signing Bouwmeester to an offer
Last season, the Edmonton Oilers really opened the doors to
signing restricted free agents to offer sheet, doing so with
Buffalo's Thomas Vanek and Anaheim's Dustin Penner. While the
Sabres matched Edmonton's offer for Vanek, the Ducks decided
to let Penner walk and take compensation.
Is this a
trend we'll be seeing more of this week?
the offer sheet mechanism is a very viable part of the
CBA," said player agent Ian Pulver, who recently added
Bobby Holik and Mike Cammalleri to a growing list of
clients that already includes Bryan McCabe and Scott
Gomez. "However, a team better be smart on how they use
the tool of the offer sheet."
Yesterday, Martin told reporters he didn't have a
timetable for an agreement with Bouwmeester, which
should have Panthers fans worried.
You don't come across a potential No.1 defenseman very often
and teams will seriously consider the pros and cons of signing
Bouwmeester to an offer sheet.
Bouwmeester, 24, made $2.25 million last season and should
easily double his salary - he might come close to even
Is it worth it? Is signing him to an offer sheet worth the
five first-round draft picks a team will have to give up as
"Teams will look at it differently," Pulver said. "Some teams
who have a plethora of young talent in the NHL with a lot more
talent on the way, and can use the offer sheet as a means of
getting better and faster without giving up as much.
"There are many varied and wonderful ways an offer sheet can
be used, but as I said before the team better be 'right' when
they pull the trigger."
David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine and covers the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL for TheFourthPeriod.com. He is also a contributing writer for NBCSports.com and MSNBC.