Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/11/09 at 04:16 PM ET
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Most are predicting, with good reason, that he will not re-sign. The fact that he hasn’t agreed to an extension, when the Panthers want to retain him, is evidence enough. Why would he go? Well, he’s 25, and he hasn’t played in the postseason since the Panthers drafted him third overall in 2002, one pick after Atlanta took Lehtonen. He is from hockey-crazed Alberta, and while playing in relative obscurity here seems the best fit for Bouwmeester’s introverted personality, his father, Dan, told New Times that South Florida “shouldn’t even be in the NHL” and “it’s not a hockey town.”
So all signs point to relocation to the North, to play for a fan base that better appreciates his attributes, even if it might also be more critical of the inconsistency of his physicality.
This has all inspired the assertion that the Panthers should get value for him now, while they can. After all, better to get 80 cents on the dollar than nothing.
That would be a reasonable argument, and the prudent approach, for any franchise other than this one. The Panthers will never get any traction, or respect, without a playoff appearance.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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