Before Tuesday night, Jay Bouwmeester of the Calgary Flames already owned one NHL record: Most consecutive games played by a defenseman, set in March 2011 with 486.
He broke another record in the Flames’ 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild, but not exactly one to pop bottles over: Jay Bouwmeester is now the NHL player that’s competed in the most regular-season games without ever appearing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last night was Game No. 735 for J-Bouw, meaning that he’s passed former Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals center Guy Charron (734 games without a playoff appearance) into sole possession of this dubious mark.
We live in a world where Jared Boll (one game) has a more extensive playoff résumé than Jay Bouwmeester.
Keep in mind that Bouwmeester doesn’t hold the record for most games without a playoff appearance. Olli Jokinen, his Flames teammate, went 799 games before he broke through with Calgary in April 2009. So hey, there’s hope.
From the summer of 2011, here’s Bouwmeester on the record (via The Hockey Writers):
“When people bring up you’ve played a long time and not in the playoffs, it’s not something you’re proud of and want to change it,” he told the Calgary Sun over the summer.
“Every year, it’s harder and harder to watch (playoff games). This year, I didn’t watch a whole lot of the playoffs until the end, and that’s because I know a bunch of the guys on Boston and wanted to see them do well in the last series.
“It sucks every year you’re not in the playoffs, and it does wear on you.”
It’s not Bouwmeester’s fault the Florida Panthers were atrocious from the time they drafted him third overall in 2002 until his departure in 2009. It’s also not his fault the Flames haven’t made the playoffs since his arrival there, although he clearly had more control over that destination than the previous one.
It would be his fault, however, if there were a playoff team that wanted his services and he put the kibosh on it with a no-trade clause. Which, frankly, would be nonsensical for him to do, unless he plans on continuing on with the Flames through a rebuild.