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Florida's play making Bouwmeester's decision that much tougher

Updated: January 4, 2009, 5:34 PM ET
By George Johnson | Special to ESPN.com

Peter DeBoer may be in his baptismal season as a head coach in the NHL. But he fully understands how frightfully hard it is to unearth a 30-minute-a-night, all-situations, entering-the-prime-of-his-career, build-your-team-around defenseman.

And how, sometimes, it's even more hellish hanging on to him.

Listen to the Florida Panthers' bench boss gush about Jay Bouwmeester and, well, there haven't been reviews this luminous since Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker.

"Jay ...

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