James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Throwing Bouws

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Quick note: Brian Rosenbaum is running a trade deadline-related Rotoworld chat between 5-6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It will be a great way to get instant analysis of that (hopefully?) crazy day’s events if you want to make moves on the fly. Don’t miss it.

 

***

 

A few trade dominoes dropped on Monday, including one that is fairly significant.

 

With all due respect to Robyn Regehr (going to the Los Angeles Kings) and Michal Handzus (returning to the Chicago Blackhawks), the St. Louis Blues’ acquisition of Jay Bouwmeester is the move that will almost certainly have the largest direct fantasy influence. It remains to be seen if this move actually benefits Bouwmeester fantasy owners, however.

 

(One thing that no longer remains to be seen is how to pronounce his last name, at least if an old pronunciation guide is correct. It’s BOH mih stuhr.)

 

Let’s take a look at how he might fit in.

 

LITTLE BOW WOW*

 

Bouwmeester topped all Flames players with an average of a little more than 25 minutes per game this season. Not a whole lot of those shifts came during glamour time - aka the power play - as he only logged about 90 seconds on average (good for just 10th overall).

 

Those hoping for a big bump for Dennis Wideman will probably be set up for a disappointment because he's already leading the team with 3:45 PP time per game. (Maybe Mark Giordano gets a boost, however?)

 

While the bland defenseman has had a good season overall (15 points in 33 games, plus that workload), things have slowed down recently. He finished his Flames career on a five-game pointless streak, registering a -4 rating in his last game on March 29.

 

Maybe the trade rumors weighed on his mind, but either way, it’s clear that a change of scenery is the best thing - in real hockey terms, at least. After hitting the 40+ point mark in three of his last four Florida Panthers season (plus a nice 37-point campaign), he's topped out at 29 points in Calgary.

 

If sturdiness is a concern, do note that he came into this season with a perfect attendance ribbon (all 82 games played) in all of his last seven seasons.

 

THE CLIMATE IN ST. LOUIS

 

To some extent, it seemed like the St. Louis Blues had redundant strengths on defense: two gifted right-handed offensive defensemen named Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk. While there is a clear difference between where the two are in the grand scheme of things for the team - Pietrangelo is averaging about three and a half more minutes per game - their PP time is nearly identical.

 

Is that likely to change? Maybe. The handedness could open up some possibilities for St. Louis, even if Bouwmeester doesn’t blow you away with his scoring instincts and abilities.

 

Like Bouwmeester, Shattenkirk has seen a red-hot start slow down considerably, although the 24-year-old does have two points in his last two games. After collecting 15 points in his first 19 games, Shattenkirk had just five points in 14 March games. That included a pointless streak that lasted eight contests.

 

Big picture, I’d expect Shattenkirk to still get plenty of power play opportunities, but I’d be a little worried. Overall, I’d guess Bouwmeester settles into his Flames role of doing a lot of high-end heavy-lifting while two offensive specialists get the better man advantage chances.

 

Summary: Bouwmeester’s value probably won’t change significantly, although being traded - and playing for a better team - might give him at least a temporary boost. We’ll have to wait and see about the ripple effects for guys like Shattenkirk and Giordano, too.

 

Jump for assorted fantasy musings.

 

* - I know I just said that it’s pronounced BOH, but I had to get that dumb pun out of my system. I hope that’s OK.

 


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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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