Panthers not shopping Bouwmeester
Sources say the Panthers haven't given up hope of signing Jay Bouwmeester and GM Jacques Martin is hopeful the addition of former Kitchener Rangers coach Peter DeBoer will convince the young star the club is going in the right direction. "As far as I know Bouwmeester is not the guy that Jacques Martin is offering up," said a league executive yesterday. "Bouwmeester is the guy they've got to build that team around. I haven't heard his name being offered around in a trade, not even once." Instead, the group of blueliners Martin is trying to deal is a lot less attractive to NHL GMs. The indications are anybody can have Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who is scheduled to make $3.35 million the next two seasons, for just a draft pick. If teams don't want to spend that kind of cash for Van Ryn, then Karlis Skrastins and his $2.4-million contract is also available, as is 30-year-old Ottawa native Cory Murphy, who will make $875,000. After all, the Panthers have 12 defencemen under contract.