Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Flames Panel: Keep or Trade JBo?

Today panel is on whether the Flames should trade JBo. This is an ongoing question since the Wideman trade. Before I ask my good friends Dearen and Mike, I thought I would give my own opinion on this question.

Reasons Why They Would Trade JBo 


Most people with his cap hit are scoring in bunches; most stay home defence do not get his cap hit.   A good stay home Dman . 

The biggest complaint is that Jbo does not get involved in the play enough; he needs to know when to pitch in. His defensive game is very good, but seems to have hindered his offensive game. 


This problem has been here since the beginning of time. The Flames have not had a major number one center since the 90's.  At this time, their number one man is Cammy, who is not even a center. 

Reasons Not to Trade JBo


Lets face facts -- the Flames used Jbo for every situation; he was a steady influence on the back end. He is basically a 1A dman. Some people have even put him ahead of  Gio.  He was good for over a 20 minutes a game.  The Flames need him for his minutes. If they trade him, they do not have the manpower to make up for his  ice time.


The prospect pool is not as deep as it used to be. We do not have the prospects ready to come up right away. We had to use Butler as a number 4 dman.  If we do this trade, he would be a number 3 moving up in the depth chart.

My Choice 

My choice would simply be with keeping JBo. I really do not like weakening our defence. We do not have enough scoring to make up for the loss of JBo. Though I do agree that we need a number one center, the need on the defensive end is greater.

Now it is time for Dearen's reply.

Flames Panel: Keep or Trade Jay Bouwmeester?

For me, this is an easy answer. Keep Jay Bouwmeester. We all know I have not been pleased with his performance in a Flames uniform. But the reality is that in my opinion, his trade value does not make him worth trading.

When Wideman was acquired and signed, a lot of people saw the writing on the wall. But did we really expect Wideman to come in and replace Bouwmeester? I sure didn’t. Wideman was brought in to help the power play and provide some character in the dressing room. There is no way Wideman is even remotely as good of a defenseman as Bouwmeester. Plus, Wideman’s skating is sub-par and can’t be relied upon to be a top guy defensively.  

With all that said, I like Wideman and I believe he does make the Flames a better team. Wideman was brought in to improve the team and take the pressure off Bouwmeester to perform offensively. I just can’t see Feaster moving JBo for a couple of average players and weakening our defense core.

Unless Jay Feaster can get a top 4 d-man plus a prospect in return, I would not look to move Bouwmeester. We don’t have cap space issues as of right now and frankly, our team is better with Bouwmeester on the roster. I believe that if last season Chris Butler did not have to play top 3 minutes and we did not have the Giordano injury, the Flames would have been a playoff team. Jay Bouwmeester and the addition of Dennis Wideman give us a solid top 6 and a better chance to win. It allows Butler to play a little less, and play where he should.

Feaster continues to preach “win now”, and trading Bouwmeester does not go with that mentality.

Dearen's Verdict:

Keep Bouwmeester . . . for now.  

That is a major point, Dearen. The Flames need to get a top 4 dman back, and I really don't see the Flames getting a top dman and a center back.  We just do not have enough depth.  Great answers, buddy.

I also asked for Mike Walsh's opinion.

Should the Flames trade Jay Bouwmeester?
I imagine that this is not an easy decision for Jay Feaster. On one hand, Bouwmeester has underachieved and has never really lived up to his contract, a Sutter contract, a move that was considered a major coup at the time; and has really become a whipping boy for the local fan base. But then there is the other side: if you move Bouwmeester, you are not likely to replace him with another top 4 defender and get another major piece to help your team with in the now.

It is clear, and has been clear, that this organization will not go into a rebuild, so the Flames moving Bouwmeester for picks and prospects is not going to happen. Feaster likely wants a first round pick, a top 6 forward, and maybe even a younger blue liner who has the potential to be a top 4 guy right now. The problem I have with that kind of move is that it would weaken the Flames' blue line significantly. I don’t mind the blue line the way it is right now. I think you will see Wideman and Gio paired together, Bouwmeester with Butler again this year, and then Brodie with a combination of Sarich, Smith, and maybe Babchuk, although I do believe Babchuk will be gone by the time the season starts. It is not a great blue line, but better than what they finished with last year.

Back to my comment on Feaster likely wanting a top 6 forward: I believe that the organization wants a legit number 1 center. In my opinion, the Flames cannot acquire a true number 1 center. They simply do not have the assets to get one via trade. Bouwmeester is not worth a number one center. He would likely get a 2nd line center, plus another asset, but is it worth the loss on the blue line?

I say keep Bouwmeester and go into camp with what you have right now. They have to get production from Cervenka and Backlund this year. My surprise for the upcoming season is Matt Stajan, who I believe will rebound under Bob Hartley.

I like  your comment that the Flames don't have the ability to pick up a center. They really don't  have the assets.  Great comments Mike.

Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.