How so? Bouwmeester's contract only had one more year left. Also, there is no single player available that will turn this team into a contender overnight.
If that player doesn't exist, then why give up assets for Bouwmeester when we've got so many puck movers already?
Jarnkrok and Ouellet are promising yes but outstanding? Time will tell. The thing about Jay Bouwmeester is, the guy has never played on a good team, Flames gave away Phaneuf for basically nothing after a few months and he played tons of minutes this season for Calgary according to Flamesfans without a doubt their best defenseman. Guy has 1 year left on his contract and would have easily become the Wings best defenseman, watch him blossom alongside Pietrangelo now, also Dreger mentioned the Wings management is crushed they didn't get him.
So even the higher ups thought highly of this guy and Bouwmeester would have been a great mentor for Dekeyser and Smith.
The Flames traded away Phaneuf after getting Bouwmeester, yes, though it was for other reasons, and the Flames got hosed on that trade (as usual). Whatever the case, Bouwmeester's acquisition was meant to make Phaneuf expendable, and it has failed in this regard. Bouwmeester, since arriving to Calgary, has not at all played up to expectations. Phaneuf has contributed far more to Toronto than Bouwmeester has to the Flames.
As for being the best defenseman on the team---does that really mean much when one is playing alongside the likes of Brodie, Wideman, Giordano, Butler, Smith, and Sarich? All of those guy are either past their prime or were not really great to begin with.