Oh, you don't like how I put that? OK, I'll put it this way: he's far below what his production should be for his salary and for what the Wings would need to put out in order to receive him. His numbers in Florida are irrelevant. How sought-after he was when his previous contract ended is irrelevant. What is important is the present stage of his career, and in this present stage of his career he has been unable to put up the offensive numbers expected of him in Calgary. He has, as such, been considered a dud there. His acquisition was meant to make Phaneuf expendable, and in this he has thus far been a failed project.
And whose numbers should improve when they go to Calgary, you ask? Certainly the numbers of someone going from a bottom feeder to a quasi-contender should at least remain consistent even if they don't rise.
sure he is overpaid. sure he has not lived up to the hype in calgary. but answer me these:
what defenders on our roster are better than bouwmeester?
what other top pairing defenders are realistically available?
to me the answers to those question are kronwall and probably no one.
bouwmeester to me is a top pairing guy. sure everyone likes to complain that all he does is eat minutes. but when he is on the ice, so is the opponents top line. aside from this past year, he has had a decent plus minus, which means when he is on against those top lines, its an even matchup. to me thats saying something considering the bad teams he has played on. and while calgary is a quasi contender, do you have any idea who he has played with? this past year it was chris butler. i would imagine most have never really heard of him. he played a year with regehr who is at least decent, and his first year in calgary was with giordano who at the time was a nobody. it was the good year they had together that catapulted him into top 4 status.
and if you really think what happened in florida is irrelevant, this conversation has zero value. those years provide context into what he is capable of. and if you can't recognize that, you have no interest in hearing anyones opinion but your own. everyone loves to talk about how players benefited over the years from playing with lidstrom; that fact gave context to the numbers players put up. its the same situation here.
bottom line is that jay bouwmeester has spent the last 7 years playing top pairing minutes, usually putting up top end offensive numbers, and playing well enough defensively that he has had solid plus/minus numbers when he is normally without top quality linemates.