Not all NHL records receive admiration and praise, and holding the streak for most games played without a postseason berth is certainly among those. Former Panther Jay Bouwmeester has long been branded as the league’s iron man, not having missed a game since the 2003-04 season, but that commendable endurance has never translated into anything past April.
A former All Star blue-liner for the Cats, Bouwmeester was recently sent from Calgary to play under esteemed head coach Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues. Historically known as a defense-oriented team, the Blues gave up a first round pick in the upcoming draft, D Mark Cundari and G Reto Barra in return. On paper, the deal seems to favor St. Louis as they sit in sixth place in the West and fight to remain in the playoff position up only four points on Phoenix in ninth.
It was much to the enjoyment of Panthers fans last season as the Cats finally tasted some form of playoff success after a long 12 year wait, while the Flames tanked and the dark streak continued on another year for Bouwmeester. He was among the top defensemen to ever suit up for the Panthers, and the perception by which Calgary acquired him is likely what made another failed attempt at the playoffs a bit more gratifying. [Read more...]