As per TSN.ca, Jay Bouwmeester has elected not to test the free agent market, signing a 5-year, 6.6-million dollar per season contract with the Calgary Flames.
Bouwmeester is a complete defenseman with decent but not spectacular offensive ability, and he should stabilize the blueline in Calgary. Nobody questions his ability as a player, and so far this is exclusively a positive for Flames fans. That said, the Flames are very, very close to the salary cap, and given the similarities in contracts between Bouwmeester and Dion Phaneuf I can’t help but wonder if the latter is on his way out of town – something that might soften the blow for Oilers’ fans.
Why do I say that? It’s fairly simple. Jay Bouwmeester, who played for a terrible team in Florida, still had decent goaltending behind him (.936 EV SV%). Dion Phaneuf, who struggled on a very good team in Calgary, did not (.896 EV SV%).
Why does this matter? Because, quite simply, if we reverse the goaltending behind those players, Bouwmeester jumps from having 56 goals scored against him to having 92 scored against. Phaneuf goes from having 79 goals scored against him down to 47 against.
The full story is a lot more complicated than this simple calculation, and if Calgary manages to hold on to Phaneuf than we can’t even find this silver lining. But, at the moment, I don’t believe the gap (which does exist) between Bouwmeester and Phaneuf is as wide as the majority of people believe.