With all this talk of defensemen, contracts, and arbitration….I found myself  pulled in an interesting direction today.

With a new one-year 7.5 million dollar deal under his belt, Shea Weber, next season, will be the HIGHEST-PAID blueliner in the NHL.  Is he the best?  Maybe.  BUT, not the point I’m getting at.

Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeetser, is FOURTH on the money list for NHL dmen.  FOURTH!

Listen.  We all know the JBO deal has not worked out for the Flames like everyone had hoped.  We all know hindsight is 20-20, ansd we all know many players in the NHL are “overpaid”.  My point is not to sit here and point fingers at the organization for a bad signing.

But..just what IS Jay Bouwmeester.  I know he’s not the 4th best defenseman in the NHL, but surely he’s what…. top..15? 20?

The answer is somewhat surprising and definitely sobering.  The fact is….he’s not even close.

I’m interested in your feedback here.  Where does JBo rank, NOT taking cap hit into consideration.  Simply, how many defensmen are there that you would rather have on your team?

In my mind.  There are 20 blueliners that I WILL NOT take arguments on.  The following 20 are better players who I would trade JBO for:
1) Zdeno Chara
2)Mark Giordanio
3) Brent Seabrook
4) Duncan Keith
5) Drew Doughty
6) Nick Lidstrom
7) Nicklas Kronwall
8) Jack Johnson
9) P.K. Subban
10) Shea Weber
11) Ryan Suter
12) Marc Staal
13) Chris Pronger
14) Keith Yandle
15) Kris Letang
16) Dan Boyle
17) Brent Burns
18) Dion Phaneuf
19) Tobias Enstrom
20) Mike Green

So there you have it.  JBo is no better than 21st in the NHL.  At best.  He is probably lower than that.  The following is a list of players I WILL take arguments on, but are still players I would rather have

1) Lubomir Visnovsky
2) Christian Ehrhoff
3) Tyler Myers
4) Ryan Whitney
5) Brian Campbell
6) Erik Karlsson
7) Alex peitrangelo
8)Marc Streit
9) Dustin Byfuglien
10) Alex Edler

That would put JBO at no better than 30.  the following players could foster up debate:

1) Joni Pitkanen
2) Thomas Kaberle
3) Eric Johnson
4) Alex Goligoski
5) James Wisneiwski
6) Stephane Robidas
7) Andrei Markov
8) Braydon Coburn
9) Kimmo Timmonen
10) Paul Martin
11) Luke Schenn
12) Dan Hamuis
13) Kevin Bieksa

I would hazard a geuss that even the staunchest JBO supporter would STILL find a name or two on the THIRD list that they’d rather have.

I got some angry emails from Flames fans today for this on-air take…but I stand by it. It’s tough to make the argument that the 4th highest paid blueliner in the NHL is any better than at LEAST 30th.


12 Responses to “JBO Debate”
  1. 1.

    The fact that you would rather have Dion Phaneuf even though his CorsiRELQCOMP is a full .6 lower then Bouwmeester’s is a joke. Don’t even get me started on the 41 year old and 36 year old on the list.

    Oh, and Jack Johnson is unequivocally terrible by any metric.

    When ZS, QCOMP, CRELQCOMP and P/60 are taken into account, out of the 43 players you’ve presented here, I would rather have 13 over JBo.

    Maybe you should talk about how Kiprusoff is overpaid instead, since he’s been replacement-level 2 of the past three years.

    - Justin Azevedo
  2. 2.

    The problem with your argument is you’re not comparing apples to apples. JBo plays against the best in the league for half the game, so you can’t compare him to players that get tons of PP time and play in a 3-4 D man role. Brian Campbell? Alex Edler? Sure, I bet they are “better players” in less competitive roles. Mark Giordano is an excellent D man, but plays more PP, less PK and faces lesser competition 5on5. JBo is overpaid, no question, but of the D men in similar roles: I’ll take JBo over the likes of Ryan Whitney… and I won’t even address Christian Ehrhoff.

    Fun debate, however. Good read

    - Graham
  3. 3.

    I don’t agree with your list because it includes Dion Phaneuf over Jay Bouwmeester. As we saw the year he was traded – and ever since – that isn’t really accurate. Phaneuf has become a shell of his former Norris-nominated self, and has basically become Todd Bertuzzi on the blueline. To make matters worse, he seems to have lost his precious point production too, which is the only reason he was even in the same breath as Crosby and Ovechkin when he first entered the league in 2005.

    That doesn’t let JBo off the hook, but there is definitely more to his game which leaves fans, the coach, and the goaltender a tad more relieved on an odd man attack than when #3 was back there. Realistically though, Bouwmeester should be making $3.4 million a season, because he’s half the player he was when he signed here. Yes, he plays big minutes, is solid defensively, but no longer seems to have any scoring touch or offensive flare to speak of. This is a guy that used to be good for 15 goals a season on a bad team. Until he corrects this problem with his game, he’ll never be a fan favorite, he’ll never be a strong market commodity, and ultimately he’ll likely never have to worry about waiving his no-trade.

    - Eric
  4. 4.

    I knew Jbo’s contract was bad, seeing this in front of me makes it horrible. I imagine you could come up with a 4th list too. What is a fair price for him then 3.5? 4? I should never of bought his jersey when he first signed..

    - bustmeester
  5. 5.

    hi andrew. used to love listening to you and richards on the fan before i moved out to ottawa. adding you to my twitterfeed asap!

    there are a few players on your first list of 20 whom i would rather have J-Bo: Subban, Green, Enstrom, Johnson, and definitely Phaneuf.

    i assume those guys made it onto your list because of their gaudy offensive stats. clearly they trump Bouwmeester there. but that to me – shocking opinion incoming – is not the most important part of playing defense.

    now some of those guys are still pretty young and may develop into better bets defensively, but right now they’re mostly riverboat gamblers and a bit of an adventure in their own zones.

    to me, Bouwmeester slots right in with Burns and Myers as 3 pretty similar players. would i feel better if Bouwmeester had a contract like Burns just signed. YES.

    oh well.

    - mats thomassen
  6. 6.

    I think JBO is more important to the team than points can say. He is a minute hog and can take up half the ice when he wants to with that stick. 1.5 to 2.0 million overpaid however.

    - Jason B
  7. 7.

    You are seriously under estimating Bouwmeester. His combination of minutes, mobility, durability, shut down capability, etc. He belongs in your list of 20.

    Do you really believe Gio would have the level of success if playing Bouwmeester minutes and circumstance?

    It appears you are evaluating individual success in a vacuum.

    - sincity1976
  8. 8.

    heard about your blog on the afternoon show and had to check it out i dont listen to yhe morning show any more as i cant stand that boomer guy bravo walks i could not agree more jbo is in the 30s list for sure cheers for having the guts to speak your mind

    - johnb
  9. 9.

    you have gio rated 2nd????is that a flames fan perspective or your real thinking that he is the 2nd best d-man in the nhl??? cause wow if you would take gio over any of your top 7 you have lost control of your franchise and you havent even lost the acting title i just gave you. jbo aside i would rather have him fill a roster spot above dion “i give up on plays” phanuef. jay aside from the point decline has been a a better pce to the puzzle than steve “im ancient” staios i mean you did say money aside right???. so my attention turns to your gio number 2 list issue because if you think the flames could trade mark giordano for any of those top seven players on your list (money aside i remind you) i would love to hear your on air or next blog be dedicated as to which of those respective players teams would heads up make that trade with the flames and pls feel free to defend your list there which most i agree…gio 2??? no id say in an actual nhl vote by league scouts i mean scouts that watch nhlers not ahl players i think gio is lucky to be 15-20 if not dumped in your second list of players. this is a player shopping thought to me and if im a gm of an nhl club dion stays in t.o. even if i dump 6 million and take him on at entry level cost. jbo brings more return than phanuef did i promise.regardless of who you get i think he brings in one of the players in your top 20 if we send a pick in the package.

    - brinston
  10. 10.

    Some Responses:

    Justin: I can appreciate these new stats and “metrics” that some people are starting to use to identify who is good and who is not. NOT ME. I go to every Flames game, I watch center ice every night, I’d like to think I know the game. I don’t need metrics to tell me if Jack Johnson, Lidstrom, or Doughty are good or not.

    Graham: My point of contention with JBO is just that…yes he plays a ton, yes he plays against the other teams top lines. This is true. JBO has never played in the playoffs, so obviously, he is not good enough in that role. Look at Ryan Whitney is Edmonton for instance. He’s a bit soft, he plays 25-30 minutes a night against other teams top lines, and the Oilers lose. Whitney, however, will get you 40-50 points.

    Eric (and others): I understand why people debate the Dion thing. If you want to tell me that JBO is better, I will listen. I am not a fan of Phaneuf either.

    Brinston: The list is in no particular order. Gio is not rated 2nd overall, he just happens to be in the top group.

    Thanks for the comments, keep em coming.


    - Andrew
  11. 11.

    Ok lets see if I have this straight.

    You don’t acknowledge any of the advanced stats and metrics that all NHL teams use.

    You don’t care that Jbo plays the hard minutes and a ton of them.

    Is the fact he is paid top dollar and has turned out to be a defensive defenseman instead of the elite two-way D man a fair critique? Yes it is

    BUT you list several other offensive D men over Jbo for what reason? Is it because your incredible knowledge of the game just makes you more excited to see a Mike Green score points despite the fact he is a defensive liability on the ice?

    What about age? Chris Pronger was a great D man and he still has a season or two left in him but Jbo could play for another decade easy. Pronger will not.

    What about injury status? Jbo has the NHL record for iron men on D. JBo’s style of play, which probably is another of your fuzzy, wuzzies in your tummy that make you think he is bad is positional and not the “exciting” hard checking hockey you want to watch, cause you “know” the game.

    The fact is that by publishing this list I don’t care how much hockey you have watched you don’t know the game. Jbo although overpaid would be snapped up by any team in the NHL and would be a top 2 and he would eat major minutes on any team in the NHL, even the Hawks.

    - Bill
  12. 12.

    Regehr made JBo look good, because he covered up a lot of his mistakes; shuddering to think about this upcoming season; This guy NEVER hits, coughs up the puck and doesn’t shoot enough. How many times has the other team come in to score when JBo is supposed be covering in front of the net. I would take Keith Aulie over him right now. Sure he can skate, but so can a lot of defencemen. Way overpaid.

    - Anne
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