• July 3, 2022

Bouwmeester, Byfuglien Linked to Flyers in Trade Talks

JayBoIt shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has watched the Philadelphia Flyers over the last two fifteen months that their defensive core needs improvement.

Two names that have been regularly linked to the Philadelphia Flyers in trade talks are defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Jay Bouwmeester. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is the latest reporter to address the rumors.

Flyers fans are probably most familiar with Byfuglien from his days with the Chicago Blackhawks, when he was used as a forward against the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals. He’s always been a defensemen first, though, and has been very good with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets have now won five of their last six games, leapfrogging the Carolina Hurricanes as the top team in the Southeast Division. I doubt he would be moved at this point, considering how vital he is to the team and how well they’ve been playing. It would take a monumental slide in the standings to see a trade happen this season.

I also don’t think he’d be moved in the offseason, unless the offer was that substantial. While the Jets aren’t a team that pays up to the cap, they have a lot of space next season such that retaining him isn’t an issue. Without Byfuglien, their core is just Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart.

Jay Bouwmeester, on the other hand, seems like a prime candidate for trade deadline material.

The Calgary Flames are sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference with 26 points (one point behind the Flyers). While the Flyers are ranked an unimpressive 24th in goals-against-per-game, the Flames are even worse at 28th place.

Bouwmeester is an interesting player. In each of the last three seasons, he’s been used as a top pairing defenseman taking on the toughest competition. His average time-on-ice has never dipped below 25:00 (it’s 25:18 over his whole career), and he’s typically utilized on the ice for more defensive zone draws than in the offensive zone (i.e., he isn’t getting sheltered minutes).

For the Flyers, he would fill their needs as a puck moving defenseman. He averaged 41.75 points per season when he was with the Florida Panthers, with that production dropping to 27.3 points per season with the Flames.

Best of all? He hasn’t missed a single game in the last eight seasons. For a team regularly hampered by injuries, having a player with that kind of track record is key.

With all that said, Bouwmeester hasn’t been all that “great” in the role he’s been put in. Many fans balked at the contract that Matt Carle was extended by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Carle put up better production, faced the same level of competition, and had a comparable iron man record in terms of consecutive games played over the last few seasons.

The real question, then, is the asking price. The Flyers aren’t the only team interested in Bouwmeester, but it helps that they’re in another conference. Last August, it was reported that the Detroit Red Wings were interested in Bouwmeester as well, with the asking price being along the lines of forward Justin Abdelkader and a first round pick (according to The Hockey Guys).

Undoubtedly, the asking price for the Flyers includes one of their young forwards- Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier or Matt Read. If any of those three are moved for Bouwmeester, though, it would be a mistake. The potential of Schenn and Couturier, along with the versatility of Read, are worth more to this club than JayBo and his $6.68 million cap hit.

If the Flyers can move defenseman Braydon Coburn for Jay Bouwmeester in an even trade, though, it would be advantageous for both clubs. Clearly both defensive cores need a shake-up, and Coburn is two years younger with a more cap friendly contract.

One advanced metric for gauging players is “CorsiRel”, which identifies whether more shots are taken on a team’s goaltender if the player is on the ice than if he is off. Over the last four seasons, Coburn’s “CorsiRel” has measured +7.9, +0.3, -2.0, to finally -9.2.

With Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann on the roster, Coburn’s role is also diminished. He’s a solid all-around defenseman, but he hasn’t excelled in any one particular area.

Acquiring Bouwmeester wouldn’t solve all of their problems, but assuming the Flyers could extend him beyond next season, he would at least be a solid replacement for Kimmo Timonen after his inevitable retirement.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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  • Josh can you or anyone else Answer on why the Flyers year to year cannot delvelop their own Defenseman in their MInor League SYstem..
    We read these same type of Articles year after year saying the FLyers have to part with Young,Promising Players and Draft Picks to acquire decent NHL Defenseman.. WHy has this glaring weakness been addressed by Ed SNider and Co over the last 20 Years.. Until this is answered, there is no hope for a Stanly Cup.. Flyer do a good job of developing WIngers but suck big time in Drafting,Developing Defenseman and Goalies and am I tired of the same lame-ass excuses.. When is it going to change Mr Snider, who is responsible and accountable for the Flyers in Scouting/Player Development..

    • No one is accountable for anything in this fraternity. It’s nice that they have such loyalty to former players and personnel, but there’s never a negative word and nobody is ever responsible for anything that goes bad.

      • Which is exactly why I disdain Ed Snider and his good old-boy/player network living off the hard work & sweat from Fans for over 40 Years because of a glorious Run in the mid-70’s with Shero, Parent, Clark & Company.. and the real sad part in my opinion, are the dumb-ass Fans who slurp this mediocrity and Poor Player Management and Player Development up year after year and the local media nad fans sit on their asses the entire time..
        The Flyers have become the Yankees & Lakers of the other Professional Leauges but without any Post-Season Success… What a Joke they really have become and no one says boo and continues to give them a pass and I will tell you the real reason why…. It’s beacuse the Players and Majority of the Fans (98 %) are White and that’s a shame I even have to bring this up, but it’s the reality.. If there were Black Athletes in Hockey, then you would read,hear about how the players are not focused, have too many of their possee hanging around, did not work hard enough in the off-season, have too many babies from multiple women, etc,etc … It’s sad but true and 90% of these Hockey Players are not even American, nor from anywhere around the Philly area, but those Flyers Fans think they can do no wrong.. It’s a Social Dicatomy for sure .. But hey, that’s Philadelphia for you in a nutshell…

        • I was with you until the needle scraped across the record on the speculation on the white guys. I think the “party boy” allegations that followed Carter and Richards were just as lively as those around AI when he was here. The truth is that nobody talks about that stuff until you start missing the playoffs or perform poorly over a long period of time… like now.

          Strange thing is that everyone is focusing on players not working hard when I think the problem is a combination of the coach being as stubborn with imposing his system on whatever lineup he has as Andy Reid was with his offense. And if you’re really into Lavy’s system (I’m not), then the GM and the scouting department need to be ripped up for allowing Carle to walk and getting nothing but dregs

          Bottom line is we’re stuck in limbo now. The team is trapped in a never-ending circle of self-defeating free agent pursuits and trades to get better and we will not succeed this way.

        • Paulman- most fans never played the game of ice hockey, they don’t know the systems and responsibilities the players are trying to play. When watching hockey they just follow the Flyers players on the ice closest to the puck. In Football, Basketball, and Baseball on TV the viewing public follows the offensive player with the ball. (Not in Hockey) It would be like you being thrown into a Cricket tournament tomorrow. (Blissfully clueless)

  • the biggest issue with flyers FO is they are as anxious to win as the fans. Everytime they get close they feel a big trade which usually means giving up picks or top prospects is the reason they cant develop anyone. they continously have nothing in the cupboard. They need to sit tight a few deadlines and they will have players ready to go. I will continue to say about this years draft, 1st pick jones, 5 or worse pick goaile (furcale) or a dman (mcbabbs nephew is a legit top 10 pick).

    • Agree. Getting a marginal improvement (and I don’t know enough about Bouwmeester’s offense, but Coburn doesn’t exactly stink when it comes to moving the puck up ice… at least he hasn’t for most of his career) isn’t worth it. And I’m tired of all these draft choices moving away.

      Now that Gust has been sent back down to the AHL, we have no Defenseman on this team from within the organization. Everyone is a free agent or trade. It’s an embarrassment that we can only improve this team thru free agency and trades.

      • I disagree, the FAct they have not won since 1975 and still sell out every games proves that SSNider & Company continue to pull the woll over the Fans and Local Media and get away with it since no calls them out on anything… The same lousy ass excuses but this Organization, “Yes, we need more consistent Goaldtending”, “Yes, we need more athletic Defenseman”, “They came on strong, we’ll be better next season” etc,etc and still there is never outrage like there is with the Eagles/Philies and even the dreadful 76ers when they fail to Win,..
        Why is this and expecially since 90% of the Fans or Local Media probably never even played Hockey ..
        Is it because the Players and Fans are 98% White and are simply satisfied with a competitive Team and just enjoy the Sport of Hockey, or Civic Pride or something.. It’s the rumbling 40 Year repuation of the Broad Street Bullies that make Fans and City make them feel they are tougher than other Fans or Cities.. Why is this Free Pass a every Year incident with this Organization, it’s Fans and Local Media ..
        The Season ends and a week later, the Sport and the Teams misgivings and deficiencies are forgotten about until Fall Camp Begins for Hockey.. Meanwhile the Eagles lose and it’s the end of the world, it’s all the local Media nad most fans talk about the entire 6 Month Off-Season, Why This?? Why That?? This Player sucks, This Coach Sucks, We need to go out and get this Player, that Player, The Coach is a bum, this Player makes too much $$, they should Pay this Player more $$$,,,
        An interesting study of Psyche of Sports and it’s hold Psychologically on it’s Fans, Media and City and the way these things get manipulated but their Owners and Marketing Depts…

        • I think they want to win and I think these guys are likable because so many running the FO have been fan favorites – and THAT is what gets them their deference in the media and elsewhere.

          It’s an interesting study, for sure. But I can’t see any logical reason why they would put forth the effort to try to trick fans into thinking they have a chance each season. That’s a ton of work…

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