So it appears that Jay Bouwmeester (Bo for short) may know the door out. Reports are now surfacing that he rejected a multi-year deal in the neighborhood of six million bucks a season to stay with Florida. With inflated salaries, expect him to get a nice one year contract from the arbitrator which will send Jacques Martin into a dilemma. Walk away and get nothing or here endless rumor speculation all season because one thing is clear. Bo says no to Florida.
Panthers fans are pretty much up in arms as this thread will indicate. Florida picked up two defensemen in the Jokinen trade that may be nowhere near the calber of player that Bo is but you know what...maybe Florida doesn't need him at this point.
Florida could make a late push to try and get a guy like Antoine Vermette who clearly is a hard-nosed two way player that coaches and GM's covet. Hell they will practically cream themselves over and over for a guy that just does what he is supposed to do without questions. In an ideal world, that is what a fan truly wants which is why Vermette will be missed if and when he is traded (I am leaning more and more on the latter).
But with the salary cap, teams are increasingly finding themselves unable to retain this mid-level type of player which makes it harder to build chemistry and depth when you can't retain them. So Jay has been vocal and clearly has a plan while Jacques has been relatively silent about the subject. This week I have a feeling the GM will have plenty to say because soon he is really going to hear quite an earful from the fans, media, and much much more. Maybe Jacques can consider getting a forwarding messaging service....it couldn't hurt!