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05-19-2008, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Originally Posted by
In my eyes, Bouw is a good #1 defensman but is not a franchise defensman. I think very few players are franchise dmen. Pronger and Lidstrom are the two that come to mind, but in the future, guys like Phaneuf, Burns, and Erik Johnson could become those type of dominant physically, offensively, and capable of changing a game in several facets. Bouw IMO can't change a game on his own but he can be an incredible player and asset for us, eating up minutes and preventing the top forwards on the other teams from scoring. I don't see him as having the ability to change a game in several facets, be it with a big hit or big goal. That's the reason why I don't think he belongs in that top top price range. He's an excellent #1 dman with the ability to perhaps rise into that franchise dman status still, but because of his weakish slapshot and less than stellar hockey sense, I believe he'll be limited, which is why I think it's a pretty risky investment.
He's a franchise defenseman. No way is Erik Johnson better than Bouw, and I don't think he has a higher upside either. Again, you're expecting big hits from Bouw like you'd see from Pronger or Phaneuf, and that just isn't him. Why can't people just accept the guy for what he is. Why does someone have to be overly aggressive like Phaneuf or Pronger to be a franchise defenseman? Are Lidstrom and Niedermayer overly aggressive? No, they are physical when they have to be, which is what Bouw is. Style points don't make a defenseman better. What Bouw will do is play excellent defense and be able to rush the puck up the ice with ease, pinch in offensively, and be fast enough to recover defensively. He will change the game on his own by playing shutdown defense.
And let's not forget, even though he had a subpar season, he still had 15 goals, so he's not anything to laugh about offensively either. He's young yet, wait until he puts together his 41 assist form from two years ago together with this season's goal scoring prowess. He should be in the 60 point range in his prime.
And you said less than stellar hockey sense? Are you kidding? His hockey sense is one of the strengths of his game. He's had a little trouble with decision making this past year, but like I said he's just in a little funk right now. He's already proved before this season that he has excellent hockey sense, when he's on top of his game and his confidence is high, he makes great decisions and plays at a dominant level.
And again, weakish slapshot? Who cares. Style points don't matter. He's scored 15 goals and he's only 24. He gets the job done. No way is it a risky investment giving Bouw 6.5 mil. Like I said, he'll be slightly overpaid at the moment, but it'll pay off down the road. Boyle makes 6.6, Timonen makes 6.3, Campbell will supposedly be asking for around 6.5. Bouw is better than all of them. He is definitely in that ballpark. Maybe they are all overpaid, but then if that's the case, why shouldn't Bouw be then? That's what his angle is going to be. It's well worth it to pay him that.
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