The two players that lead the Carolina Hurricanes (8-7-0, 3-2-0 home, 5-5-0 road) in scoring one month into the 2010-2011 NHL season are the oddest pair. They each have six goals and nine assists, tying them for the top spot with 15 points each. One of the players is Eric Staal, the ‘Canes current captain, and a former 100-point scorer, Stanley Cup Champion, and NHL All-Star Game MVP. Of anyone on the Hurricanes‘ current roster, Staal would be the most expectable choice for team leading scorer. The other player, Jeff Skinner, is just the opposite. Only 18 years old, he was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and a surprising one and that, considering he was ranked far lower than seventh and the ‘Canes were supposed to be looking for a defenseman. However, he’s already had
Don’t look now Toronto Maple Leaf fans, but your beloved Buds (you know, the team that got off to such a good start this season) is now in a position that is all too familiar for management and fans alike, a lottery position, a.k.a, 25th spot. As Maple Leaf fans always seem to do, the 2009-10 season in which the Leafs pooped the bed on more nights than not was forgiven over the summer. Fans of the Blue and White have an uncanny ability to forgive and forget, an ability that, in the eyes of many NHL fans, is laughable. Heading into the 2010-11 season expectations were high for our beloved Buds. Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made several key additions late last season (Dion Phaneuf, J.S. Giguere, etc.) which gave fans hope that this team was finally turning
With the news of Claude Giroux’s three-year $11,250,000 contract hitting the airwaves today many Philadelphia Flyer fans are jumping for joy. At just 22-years old, Giroux is quickly establishing himself as a legitimate NHL super star. Averaging just under a point a game this season (seven goals, seven assists in 15 games), Giroux looks poised to destroy his 2009-10 totals which saw him post 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 82 games. As much as the 2009-10 regular season is viewed as Giroux’s coming out party, the 2009-10 playoffs in which Giroux scored ten goals and 21 points in 23 playoff games let everyone in hockey know that this 22-year old kid was/is the real deal. Giroux’s new contract looks to be an extremely affordable one that, if Giroux continues to develop, should turn out to be a steal. That
When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke pulled off a seven-player deal that included bringing defenseman Dion Phaneuf over from the Calgary Flames many Leaf fans were thrilled. Blessed with a reputation for big hits, big presence and a big shot, Phaneuf looked to be the answer to the Maple Leafs struggles, even if there were rumors that Phaneuf had “flamed” out in Calgary. Phaneuf’s first steps into the Maple Leafs locker room included a memorable moment in which he headed straight for the stereo, cranked up the tunes and made his presence felt. For many, it marked the turning point in the franchise- this was going to be Dion’s team, come hell or high water. In his first game action with the Maple Leafs Phaneuf played a rugged game that saw the future captain of the Buds register
Well, you wanted parity in the NHL, you got it. Take a look around at the standings in the Eastern and Western Conference if you’re wondering what I’m talking about. Fourteen games into the season and the top eight teams in the East are separated by five points (20-15), the bottom eight by six (15-9). The standings change on a daily basis and it only takes a brief winning streak to go from a non play-off spot to the top five.
Numerous rumors are circulating that it’s just a mater of time before Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla is traded. Given Iginla’s sub-par performance last season and subsequent slow start to the 2010-11 season I can understand the Flames wanting to shop Iggy, but with three years left on his contract at a cap hit of $7 million, does any NHL team really want his services? Complicating matters is the fact that Iginla owns a no movement clause. That said, Iginla does not strike me as the kind of player that wants to remain in the fold if he is not wanted, so I do not foresee that NMC being an issue. Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports wrote earlier in the month that Iginla would agree to a trade, but only if the Flames make it public that any move is