Nearly a decade ago, Martin St. Louis had a pretty good year. He was 29-years-old and playing on a darn good hockey team. He climbed from being very much not a point-per-game player to far more than that. He led the NHL in scoring at the end of the regular season (right when it was at its pre-lockout slogging worst – 94 points got the job done), edging out Ilya Kovalchuk, Joe Sakic, Marcus Nasland and a 25-year-old Marian Hossa. He scored 24 points in 23 playoff games, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, then he hopped on a Pegasus and flew to Mount Money where he was greeted by Victoria’s Secret models on clouds of fluffy cotton candy. If my memory serves me correct, anyway.
But he didn’t get fat and happy and watch his stats go in the tank as so many NHLers do once their age begins with the number three. He’s played in 613 NHL games since (only missing seven games, including a run of five straight 82 game seasons), and scored 651 points in those contests. The Lightning have only been back to playoffs three times since The Year, but it certainly hasn’t been for a lack of him contributing.
But all NHL players enter into decline eventually (oh humanity, you cruel beast), and 37 seems like about the time you’d expect to see some. Or like, lots. But nutrition and training have changed over the years, and we’re seeing more and more older players maintain value into their later years. Teemu Selanne was nearly a point-per-game guy last year over age 40, Jaromir Jagr is still doin’ it to it, and Patrick Elias remains a viable offensive threat. And if there’s anyone who seems to be into fitness and nutrition…
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Sam Page of the Nashville Predators blog “On the Forecheck” has passed along a fantastically comprehensive piece we’re proud to present to you today. We hope you enjoy.
- by Sam Page
Here’s what’s been more or less written 100 times about the trade the Predators and Capitals made at the final hour of the NHL trade deadline:
The Nashville Predators traded Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Filip Forsberg. Nashville, with their worst regular season record in ten years, looks unlikely to make the playoffs (Editor’s note: it’s official after last night, they’re mathematically eliminated). Erat, drafted by the Predators in 1999, has played with the team his entire career, but requested a trade when it seemed the team was destined to miss the playoffs for just the second time in nine years.
Washington hopes that Erat, freed from the notoriously defense-first system of Predators’ coach Barry Trotz, will be more productive offensively. Nashville hopes Forsberg, the eleventh-overall pick in the 2012, will live up the potential that caused NHL Central Scouting to rank him the second-best forward in last year’s draft behind Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov.
No deadline trade seemed more explicable. Capitals GM George McPhee, his own team struggling to make the playoffs, traded to save his job. For a Nashville team ever-strapped for goals (even Erat had managed only four this season), getting a potentially elite sniper in Forsberg was too good to pass on.
Yet, as much as pundits and fans for both teams have called it an overwhelming win for Nashville, it’s a trade no Preds fan would ever expect them to make, and a residual reluctance tinged all of GM David Poile’s post-deadline interviews.
For any close observer of the team, it’s a franchise-defining trade both potentially and literally–potentially because Forsberg could transform the team, literally because every facet of the deal is imbued with the Predators’ complicated history. Read the rest of this entry »
The KHL’s leaderboard is peppered with NHL players who felt like staying in shape and earning some dollars instead of sitting on the couch getting fat during the lockout. Because of that, the list of the top-10 scoring leaders includes Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Alexander Ovechkin and Predator-of-yore Alexander Radulov.
None of those fine gents, however, sits first in points. That honour belongs to Sergei Moyzakin.
Moyzakin was drafted in the ninth round (263rd) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, and like most Russian picks Columbus has made, he didn’t pan out for the organization. More specifically, he didn’t suit up for a single game for them. Read the rest of this entry »
theScore caught up with Paul Bissonnette for our own little episode of “Cribs,” and we think it’s safe to say you’ll be surprised when you see how BizNasty lives.
He’s not exactly a minimalist, but you might have expected something different: Read the rest of this entry »
There was a stretch of hockey during the Kings Stanley Cup run, specifically during the Phoenix series, where Dwight King was scoring all teh goalz. He had four in three games, and all the sudden a lot of fans, myself included, found ourselves having a “Wait, who’s that guy” moment.
I laughed him off a bit (I’m sure there’s podcasts that’d back that up), because he’s kinda of a goofy looking, big hulking dude who, at a glance, you would think is an enforcer. I mean, he’s huge.
Still, he kept doing things that made me sit up and take notice in playoffs. If you recall the third goal the Kings scored on their now-infamous Three Goal Powerplay in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, he comes up the ice with a lot of speed for a guy who’s 6’3″ and some 234 pounds, drives wide, puts the puck under the d-man’s stick (that’s the part that gets me – skills), and gets the puck to the dangerous part of the ice. Then Trevor Lewis puts it home, and King has one of his two assists in the Cup-clinching game. Read the rest of this entry »
I may have mentioned this in the past, but our video team is pretty exceptional (did you catch Alfie Rises?). This week they’ve put together a piece on the Subban family, and it’s pretty darn cool too.
Enjoy getting to know them:
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6'3", 202lbs, 67 points in 62 games in the OHL. Pic from David Bebee of the Waterloo Region Record.
With the NHL draft looming, last night I spent some time trying to learn a little bit more about the names we’d be hearing tonight. In the process, I stumbled onto a TSN video about Radek Faksa, an 18 year-old Czech prospect who’s predicted to go fairly high in the first round.
What a story.
Faksa is from Opava, a city of 60,00 people located in a poor region of the Czech Republic, just minutes from Poland’s border. He has two siblings, and with divorced parents, all three lived with their Mom. He was an exceptional hockey player.
Opportunities for a talent like him in a town like that were almost nil. His family was barely scraping by, and all he wanted to do was be a hockey player.
Well, people had noticed his unique gifts, and one option arose.
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