Bouwmeester likely headed to arbitration
Have spoken to a number of folks within the organization (none of whom own the initials J.M.) and even a couple of players. Not one thinks Jay [Bouwmeester] signs a long-term deal here before his hearing, and only one said he expects Jay to be here come the start of the 2009-10 season. It appears to me that there isn't just one reason why Jay isn't a big fan of the Panthers; there are quite a few issues here.I'd heard Bouwmeester was looking for "Phaneuf-type money" and this contract Richards talks about is pretty darn close to that. Florida is desperate to keep its last real franchise player on the roster after dealing away captain Olli Jokinen for two defenders.
Jay's agent told our Barry Jackson that he rejected the Panthers most recent offer (I have heard almost $6 million per for six years but cannot get that confirmed by the agent nor JM) and they are preparing for arbitration.
I'll have more on Bouwmeester in the near future.