We’ve all done it. While watching another NHL team there has been a player that’s impressed us, one that wins us over. Whether it be because of scoring ability, defensive skill, team leadership, or just overall playing ability, we’ve probably all said, “Why can’t that player be on MY team?”
Since it’s Saturday, I’m going to tell you the sixteen players I would love to see playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. Of course since it’s my world, it’s a perfect world and we wouldn’t have trade away any of our beloved current team members. We wouldn’t worry about salary caps. Nor do we worry about these players wanting to come here, because it’s awesome here so why wouldn’t they? And in this dream world there would be instant chemistry between all the players!
And with that, I would welcome any one of these players to the Hurricanes with open arms:
16. Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers – Why this current Lady Byng finalist? Simply because I think he’d be an awesome team guy to have in the locker room.
15. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins – Because he’s the only Bruin I can stand. I guess he’s an alright player too.
12. Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks – Why not bring some more beautiful to Raleigh? He’s a left winger with 69 points this season. Imagine him with Eric Staal, then wipe up the drool. Because of all the goals they’d score people!
11. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals – All I can say is, why didn’t we find this kid first? I don’t want him in our division!
10. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning – It’s not that I’m the biggest fan of Stamkos, because I’m definitely not. But let’s put it in black and white, 97 points this season, 91 last season, 95 the previous. Stamkos practically carries the Lightning on his back, which is probably why he’s a nominee for the Hart Trophy this year. He scores goals and he’s young and would likely fit in well, as long as he doesn’t get jealous that Justin Faulk’s flow is better.
9. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils – We’ve all heard the rumors. Parise will be a free agent this summer and he’s made it very clear he wants to win and boy couldn’t Carolina use that? Well he’s now only got to climb over two more teams to win the Stanley Cup. They knocked off the Philadelphia Flyers with hardly a blink of an eye. His points are not too shabby either.
8. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche – Landeskog is a former teammate of Jeff Skinner on the Kitchener Rangers. I like to reunite people okay! He was third in points this season on the Avalanche and is nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy this year. Plus he’s Swedish we don’t have one of those yet.
7. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes – I’m stuck on the idea of Smith being Cam Ward’s backup. He’s tough as nails and he’s also HUGE. I can see him being the guy who can give Wardo a few nights off now and then.
6. Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers – Del Zotto reminds me of a feistier version of Justin Faulk. He’s incredible offensively, and in three years or less, I can see Faulk at his level. Two D-men with these same characteristics? Incredible. Honorable mention: Dan Girardi
5. Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins – Again I’m aware of the rumors, and we’d be crazy not to like it, if it weren’t for the idea of losing one of our great players in the process. I like Jordan’s size combined with scoring ability. He tends to be more physical than some of the forwards currently playing for the Canes. Can you imagine him centering with Skinner on the wing? Maybe that would finally offer some protection for Skinner.
4. James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins – Yes I’m aware James Neal has signed a billion year contract with the Pens (more like 6 actually), but remember, perfect world here. Neal filled a huge gap for the Penguins with Sidney Crosby out for most of the season. He makes a difference in just about every game he plays and racked up 81 points this year. Also, I really want to take him furniture shopping.
3. Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers – Who on the Rangers would I NOT like to see playing for the Canes is the better question. The Rangers physicality is practically unmatched by any other NHL team, and yes part of that is due to the expectations of coach John Tortorella. But Callahan is not a big guy, and he’s doing his part both offensively and defensively. And the shot blocking? The Canes would be unstoppable if someone was blocking shots like that in front of Cam Ward. Honorable mention: Brian Boyle
2. John Tavares, New York Islanders – Who can deny the chemistry that Tavares had with Jeff Skinner this and last year while playing for Team Canada? Who can deny they’ve thought “Why aren’t those guys playing together in the NHL?” Tavares was a #1 target for most teams this year because he was on fire, with a total of 81 points this season. He was the bright spot this season on an otherwise unspectacular Islanders team.
1. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers – I absolutely despise the Flyers. I was raised a Rangers fan and the legendary rivalry did not, and still has not escaped me. It took me a long time to be sold on Giroux, but I have to put my pride aside and admit that he is just absolutely SICK. And I mean sick as in he makes scoring goals on any goalie in the NHL look like taking candy from a baby. But with 65 helpers this season, he’s raised the game of his teammates more than anything. He’s literally handing, or passing, his teammates opportunities to score that he could take for himself. Not to mention the fact that he’s fast and he’s physical. He’s a deadly hockey combination and many would say the best player in the NHL currently (not just coach Peter Laviolette who is obviously President of #28’s fan club). I bet I’m not the only one who was surprised that Giroux was not a finalist for the Hart Trophy. Before the Flyers were eliminated from the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils in the second round, talk started about Giroux being named Captain next year.
Still not convinced? Here is 15 minutes of Giroux scoring goals and making assists that probably made all those goalies want to wet their pants. (I’m sorry to say several of these were against the Canes.)
Topics: Boston Bruins, Braden Holtby, Brian Boyle, Brian Campbell, Calder Memorial Trophy, Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Claude Giroux, Colorado Avalanche, Dan Girardi, Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Florida Panthers, Gabriel Landeskog, Hart Trophy, James Neal, Jeff Skinner, John Tavares, John Tortorella, Jordan Staal, Justin Faulk, Kitchener Rangers, Lady Byng, Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, Mike Smith, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, P.K. Subban, Patrice Bergeron, Patrick Sharp, Peter Laviolette, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Callahan, Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Team Canada, Tomas Kaberle, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Zach Parise