I started writing Icing on the Cake posts back in May to celebrate Jeff Skinner’s birthday. I continued to write the player tributes afterwards for every Hurricane and Checker as it was a great way to reflect on upon their careers, be thankful they play in Carolina, and bestow them with some well-deserved gifts (even if they are fake).
Keeping that in mind, I’m thrilled today is Zac Dalpe’s birthday! I started attending Checkers game at the end of last season and made it to nearly every playoff game. I remember thinking, “Man, that #19 is mighty impressive,” and after he earned 19 points (with some crazy clutch tallies in there I must add) in 16 post-season contests…I was sold. So, it is my pleasure to walk down Dalpe memory lane with you…
The 6’1” center was racking up the accolades since Junior B. In 2006-07, Dalpe earned 73 points (30g, 43a) in 52 games and appropriately named MVP of the Stratford Cullitons. He played for the British Columbia Hockey League the following season to claim 27 goals and 36 assists in 46 contests with Penticton and named Rookie of the Year.
The birthday boy joined The Ohio State University for the 2008-09 season (cue the marching band), and apparently red (scarlet) is a lucky color for him. In 37 games, Dalpe totaled 25 points (13g, 12a) and was appointed to the CCHA’s All-Rookie Team. He was also Rookie of the Week on three occasions and boasted three game winners.
In his second season with the Buckeyes, he played in 39 games and led in goals (21), points (45), and +/- rating (+15). Zac was also second in helpers with 24. He was voted OSU Team MVP by his peers, donned the title Player of the Month in January, and the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The Paris, ON native was drafted by Carolina in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (2nd round, 45th overall). The 22 year old made his professional debut for Albany (AHL) on March 20, 2010. He had his first goal on the 24th and a hat trick on the 27th of the same month. Dang, the boy didn’t mess around.
The River Rats relocated to Charlotte, NC as the Checkers for the 2010-11 season. The talented forward clinched 23 goals and 34 assists in 61 games. This would also be the year Dalpe would play in 15 NHL games and gain his first NHL point (10/7) and goal (1/1).
This season has been a frustrating one for Dalpe supporters. He has played in roughly 35 minutes over the course of five games. Fans are anxious and frustrated with his lack of ice time as it is definitely deserving. Before Caniacs could form a full pitchfork and torch protest, Zac was injured and has not enjoyed a puck drop since October 14th. However, he has started to skate in practice again (yay!). Now seems like a good of a time as any to dish out those fictitious presents.
- First and foremost, I relieve him from his current injury and grant him flawless health for the rest of the season. Heck, since these are all make-believe gifts I might as well go all out. No more injuries for the remainder of his long career!
- I have a pair of magical chop sticks for my next gift. Each time he slides them between his fingers, fresh sushi of his choice will instantly appear before him.
- He appears to be a good family guy with a talented little brother. Therefore, I shall wiggle my nose and Ben Dalpe will be picked up by Carolina in the next draft. Staals, Sutters, and Dalpes…oh my.
- A rescue black lab puppy to greet him when he gets home from road trips. Of course, the pup will come completely trained and a dog sitter will be on staff to care for the little fuzz ball whenever Dalps is away.
- Since #22 works so hard (and I firmly believe in work hard, play harder) I grant him a day to hang out with his favorite band, enjoy a concert VIP style, and get to party rock star style afterwards.
- I may have a mystical Cardiac Cane wand, but I am not a coach or a GM so I will refrain from gifting TOI and rearranging some wires in Mo’s head. Just sayin.
Zac Dalpe is an obvious hard worker and his dedication is sincerely appreciated. He is so nice and friendly with his fans (be sure to follow him on Twitter @ZacDalpe22). We wish Dalps a very happy birthday with a year full of laughs and celebrations! Let’s Go Canes!
*All information and statistics via nhl.com and ahl.com