Thursday, June 18, 2009

Expectations for Bouwmeester's Contract

Jay Bouwmeester is a 25 year old #1 D that has led the league in minutes for 2 years straight, and hasn't missed a game since the lockout. A player like this has never been available as a UFA, and there's probably not that great a chance another one will be any time soon. The confluence of events that see a player end up in Bouwmeester's position would seem to be exceedingly rare. Very few players have, or will, become a UFA at 25. To have established yourself as a, without question, #1D by age 25 is also uncommon. There are few players with the durability and ability/talent to lead the league in minutes two seasons in a row. For such a player to have not already locked up an extension with his team would also seem to be rare as teams generally find a way to sign such players.

Because of Bouwmeester's age, a 10 year deal would not necessarily extend late into his decline years. While Bouwmeester maybe be regressing by 35, he probably will not be completely falling off a cliff either. Lidstrom's 39. Niedermayer's 35. Pronger's 34. Bouwmeester would be 7 years into a hypothetical 10 year deal before he would even be Chara's current age. For Bouwmeester to sign a long term deal taking him to the same age Zetterberg will be after his 12 year deal, Bouwmeester would need to sign a 15 year contract.

I will not be shocked if a team signs Bouwmeester to a 10 year 80 mil deal, or a 15 year 100 mil deal to cut the cap cost a bit.

Bouwmeester could be such a long term signing that conventional roster analysis for a team like the Oilers might not make sense. They would have to move some salary to make it work, but if they are willing to stash a player or two in the minors and move one of the 3 D making big money (preferably one of the two older ones IMO) it is workable for next season.

How far should EDM be willing to go? I'll cheat and say it depends what the market is like for their players in trades. If they can't move Souray or Visnovsky then they'd probably need to move Gilbert, Moreau and Staios (or equivalently paid players) to make it work. Not that they need to get a ton in return while clearing cap space for Bouwmeester, but they probably need to be able to move a player or two even if the return is only futures, or minimal, or both. Burying a bit of money in the minors is one thing, but burying 10 is probably more than Katz would like to spend, and also, depending on the timing in signing players, perhaps impossible since they'd be carrying over 110% of the salary cap in the summer.


Black Dog said...

Good stuff Speeds.

Rumours say Philly but I can't see it - they are in a tougher bind then the Oilers and already have Timmonen and Coburn.

I like the Canucks and Habs to take a run at him, the Leafs too, although latest here (Cox' 'blog' I think) is that he's not interested in Toronto.

He's the one guy I think the Oilers have to go all out on. As you said, once in a lifetime opportunity. Here's hoping that the rumours about his fiancee (wife?) wanting to move home are true.

And based on the Hossa pursuit I can't see Katz getting outbid.

Smytty777 said...

I don't see alot of other UFAs realistically wanting to come here. Hossa, Gaborik, Havlat are all a bit pie in the sky for my taste.

If J-Bo is willing to come here and money is the only issue then we need to make it happen.

$100/15 years = 6.7M cap it. Sign it up.

speeds said...

I want to expand on my 4th paragraph thoughts having read Matheson's article in today's Journal.

It would probably be easier for the Oilers management if signing Bouwmeester fit a current need for the Oilers, but they are being short-sighted, IMO, if they don't sign Bouwmeester simply because they already have a quality top 4 D. It's true that they pretty much have their current top 4 signed up for at least 3 years (assuming they are as close with Grebeshkov as has been hinted), but signing Bouwmeester and moving one of Souray/Visnovsky now would give them 3 pretty decent top 4 D under 26, two of them (Gilbert and Bouwmeester) under contract, presumably, for at least 5 seasons each.

I would be pretty surprised if EDM couldn't move one of Visnovsky or Souray, even if just for picks this summer, but I will certainly admit Tambellini should have a better feel for that market than I.

If you could sign Bouwmeester and trade Visnovsky (and Staios is possible) this summer, you'd still be spending more than you'd probably like on D for the upcoming season, but would seemingly have nice options for the 10/11 season.

Souray's NMC would be up, Smid would, presumably, be ready to step into the top 4 with Gilbert, Bouwmeester, and Grebeshkov.

It seems to me like passing on 10 years of Bouwmeester just because it doesn't precisely fit a current need and you'd have to make a couple of moves might not be looking at the big picture.

Of course, that all assumes Bouwmeester will sign in EDM, and who knows how likely that might be?

speeds said...


My bet would be on Bouwmeester landing in TOR or ANA.

ANA might only be a player if Niedermayer has already told them he's retiring/will hit the market, and also depending on what they can get for Pronger. If Nieds will come back on a one year deal at the same money or less, and they can get something pretty decent for Pronger via trade, ANA looks like a pretty good fit.

With TOR, they have tons of cap room and I'm sure Burke wouldn't mind a #1 D, who would? that said, not sure how attractive the market would be for Bouwmeester. Same story for MON, I guess, with the additional complications of being in Quebec. Language, taxes.

YKOil said...

For me the trade market is irrelevant.

Barring injury J-Bo represents a once-in-a-decade opportunity to snag a #1b d-man for 10 effective years, 3 okay years and 2 retirement years.

I like the 15 year deal for big dollars with a small Cap kicker at the end.

If the Sedin deal is real a team that signed them (10.5 Cap) plus J-Bo (say 6.5 Cap) would have top players locked up for 12+ years.

No brainer for me.

And then I swallow and show salary players what its like to play in the minors and get paid millions for doing it. Team comes first.