CALGARY, AB -- For Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester the NHL playoffs seem to be an elusive goal.
Bouwmeester started his career in 2002 after being drafted in the first round by the Florida Panthers. After playing for seven years without the playoffs in Florida it seemed like a trade to the Flames would end that drought.
Unfortunately it hasn’t.
Despite a strong team this year, the race for the playoffs was just out of reach and Bouwmeester didn’t quite reach his playoff goal.
Despite the setback, Bouwmeester is looking forward to the offseason this year and is planning on playing for Canada in the Ice Hockey World Championships.
“Yea, I’m going” said Bouwmeester when asked if he will be playing.
“It will be good; I’ve been in the past but haven’t been in a few years.”
Bouwmeester has been in the Ice Hockey World Championships three times and finished in the top three each time. He has won the gold twice in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
“It’s a lot of fun once you get over there,” said Bouwmeester.
“Obviously everyone would rather be in the playoffs but its some competitive hockey and it’s good to go over there and hopefully have a chance to win.”
Again donning the maple leaf, this is a chance for Bouwmeester to play in those championship games that have eluded him for the 717 games he has played in his professional career.
It’s not as though Bouwmeester isn’t contributing as the Flames workhorse finished the season with a time-on-ice average of 25:58—the highest of any player on the team.
For someone who currently holds the longest current ironman record of 588 games played it seems as though he might be ready for a break in the offseason, but for Bouwmeester he’s just not ready for hockey to end.
“I didn’t really have a whole lot else going on,” said Bouwmeester.
“I think just, I wanted to play more hockey and that’s kind of the gist of it.”
A quiet player Bouwmeester isn’t one to talk much about what he expects in the future.
“There are things every year so that’s just the reality of things,” said Bouwmeester “What exactly is going to take place I don’t know, I can’t sit here and speculate a couple days after the season ends. Time will tell.”
“It’s not a real fun time right now and you sort of worry about that stuff later."