CALGARY - Another season and another chance for Jay Bouwmeester to be rid of his dubious distinction.
The Flames defenceman has now skated through eight NHL seasons, and 635 games, without seeing a playoff tilt, including the last two seasons with the Flames.
The perception may exist Bouwmeester lacks fire, but rest assured that lack of success burns him.
“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 said Thursday before partaking in the team’s charity golf tournament.
“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.”
Flames teammate Olli Jokinen played 799 NHL games before skating in the post-season in 2009.
The record for most career games without a playoff encounter belongs to Guy Charron, who played 734 contests.
Bouwmeester can’t take a much bigger on-ice role in terms of ice time after last season, in which he averaged nearly 26 minutes per game.
However, the departure of Robyn Regehr will put more on the plate of the soon-to-be 28-year-old blueliner.
“It’s a loss, for sure. He’s a guy that was here for a long time and a real big part of the team, on the ice, off the ice, in the room, that sort of thing,” Bouwmeester said. “When you lose a guy like that, it’s tough, but it does happen. It happens to every team. It’s opportunities for other guys.
“Other guys have to fill the void, not so much on the ice, but in the room with the leadership. I think every year, guys’ roles on the ice and off the ice change, and as you get older there’s more responsibility.
“I’m more of a veteran guy on the blueline and that’s something that comes with it.”