Suffice to say, it won’t be quite as emotional a return as Jarome Iginla experienced recently. When all was said and done, Bouwmeester’s 279-game stint in Calgary was deemed a disappointment, the smooth-skating defenseman with the big contract failing to help the Flames to a playoff spot in the three full seasons he spent with them.
Now signed long-term in St. Louis, Bouwmeester isn’t saddled with the same expectations he had upon joining Calgary after six seasons with the Panthers. On the Blues, the quiet 30-year-old gets to play more of a supporting role alongside Norris candidate Alex Pietrangelo. The two may actually end up paired for Team Canada at the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
“I’ve kind of done it before with Florida,” Bouwmeester said when asked about his return to Calgary, per NHL.com. “Once you’ve been through it, it kind of is what it is. It’s nice to see a lot of people, familiar faces, guys that work for the team, that sort of thing. It’s been three years and a bit here. You make a lot of friendships.”
With three goals and 21 assists, Bouwmeester is on pace for a career-high 56 points.
Tonight is also his 800th career regular-season game in the NHL.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.