Florida Panthers Must Deal Jay Bouwmeester

Aaron BrenkerCorrespondent INovember 10, 2008

Early in the season, offense has been hard to come by for the Florida Panthers. The loss of Olli Jokinen has had a horrible effect on the Panthers' offense.

With scoring being imperative in the new NHL the Panthers must rectify the mistake of acquiring defensemen rather than forwards. The best way for the Panthers to acquire a talented forward would most likely be to deal star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

As good as he has been in the past it seems the trade rumors are taking it's toll on Bouwmeester's play, and it seems he has no desire to stay in Florida.

Rumors have spurred that the Rangers are willing to trade Brandon Dubinsky and Petr Prucha for Bouwmeester, but this was reported by the anonymous blogger Ecklund so it can quickly be dismissed. Some teams that may have interest in Bouwmeester could be the Flyers, Rangers, and the Senators.

The Panthers desperately need a center, as injuries are further thinning the Panthers' forwards. Injuries to Kamil Kreps and Rostislav Olesz are causing players such, as Gregory Campbell and Brett McLean to play out of position.

It is imperative for GM Jacques Martin to make a trade, as soon as possible. If he waits until the deadline, he will be lucky to get high draft picks and prospects for the all-star defenseman.

Whether the Panthers acquire another forward or not, the offense must improve if this team wants to climb out of the Eastern Conference cellar.