Leader. Inspires. Chief. Guide. Encourages.
Just a few words to describe our captain, Eric Staal.
No joke, I am intimidated to write this post. I have tremendous respect for this athlete, so I hardly think a Feature Friday article can accurately portray those feelings…but what the heck, here it goes.
#12 was drafted by Carolina in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in the 1st round, 2nd pick. The 6’4” 205 lbs center is the deserving owner of a Stanley Cup ring and Olympic gold medal. On January 20, 2010, Staal was named team captain in place on Rod Brind’Amour. A year later on January 18, 2011, Staal was named the captain of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. Talk about a treat for Raleigh’s caniacs.
The Thunder Bay, ON native bleeds heart on and off the ice. He is an intelligent, patient player who persevered through an injury late in the 2010-11 season as the team strived for a chance at the playoffs. Although the Canes fell short in those dreams, Staal has a long list of impressive records, achievements, and plays:
- 2005–06: Won Stanley Cup with Carolina Hurricanes
- 2007: World Ice Hockey gold
- 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011: NHL All-Star Game appearances:
- 2007–08: All-Star Game MVP
- 2008: World Championships (silver medal)
- 2008–09: Carolina Hurricanes’ franchise record for most hat tricks in a single season with four.
- 2009: Historical goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at New Jersey with 32 seconds remaining in regulation.
- 2010: Olympic gold
- Most Goals, Game: 4 – (March 7, 2009 in a 9-3 win at Tampa Bay)
- Most Assists, Game: 4 – Oct. 29, 2005 in a 5-3 win at Pittsburgh
- Most Points, Game: 6 – (March 7, 2009 in a 9-3 win at Tampa Bay)
Mr. Staal is married to wife Tonya, and has a son named Parker. Of course, you can’t mention the Staal family without giving a shout out to brothers Marc, Jordan, and Jared. Youngest Staalsy, Jared, plays for the Charlotte Checkers. I’m all for growing the Staal clan in Carolina hockey.
I, along with many caniacs, feel blessed to have #12 as our fierce leader. We look forward to seeing more of this next season:
Ah, Bruins burn…record set…
(Facts courtesy nhl.com)