The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.
For the past few weeks, all that I have been able to do is drive by the PNC Arena and look into an empty parking lot and think about what could have been. These past two weeks were to be the culmonation of something new and exciting in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Being a hockey fan in North Carolina has its perks but it also has many drawbacks. First of all, the die-hard hockey fans in the area have migrated here from another state. Most of them enjoy it in its purity whenever possible. I pride myself on being a real Carolina Hurricanes fan but this week has been tough for me.
I was a major New York Rangers fan before North Carolina got a team. I have been a fan...
Canes fans should be excited as momentum is building in Carolina for the first time since 2006. The Canes were awesome that year and had a team full of talent that kept the fans on the edge of their seats all season in route to a NHL championship.
The Hurricanes appear to be headed down the same path in the 2012 – 2013 season as the rebuild process is starting to look like Jim Rutherford has rekindled his magic touch. JR appears to have succumbed to the pressures of finishing last in the division last year and has been wheeling and dealing to put a better product on the ice for the upcoming season.
For the fans, it is just in time as patience was wearing thi...
With a one-year deal worth $7 million, Alex Semin is headed to Raleigh to frustrate the living bejesus out of Carolina Hurricanes fans join Jordan Staal as part of a new-look offense for the Carolina Hurricanes.
It's a good deal for both parties. Semin, by hook (not the two-minute variety, with which Semin is very familiar) or crook gets his money and the team is only on the hook for one year. Not a bad deal for a boom-or-bust guy like Semin, even if he is coming off a bust season.
Now just where does that leave the Capitals?
They're not exactly up a creek with no paddle because it was pretty clear that Semin wanted to leave from season's end...
It was a landmark trade that shipped one star center in Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a draft pick, prospect, and new third line center Brandon Sutter.
Sutter was the key piece to this deal as Pittsburgh needed another center to replace Staal’s role. Unfortunately, many fans are looking at this as if Sutter will be replacing Staal. But, that's just not possible.
Jordan Staal played 431 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins tallying a total of 120 goals (.28PPG) and 128 assists. His 13 shorthanded goals in his career make him one of the strongest and deadliest penalty killers in the game.
There was a lot going on Friday night and Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Penguins hosted the draft, they made the trade of the draft, and they selected twice on Friday. It was an extremely busy day, so it now finally sinks in that the Penguins really made a few huge moves on Friday.
On Staal – The 6’4 225lb center who was drafted second overall in 2006 was one of, if not the most, underrated center in the NHL. Staal has only truly played with top six talent once in his career consistently and he scored 29 goals.
Over the past two seasons he was on pace for over 60 points and 30 goals. Staal is one of the best penalty killers in the l...
It was early May when the rumors started to flow; the talk of Jordan Staal being traded and Pittsburgh making a major move or two. Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma said changes will be made and they weren't kidding.
Just before the 2012 NHL Draft got underway; the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Jordan Staal to Carolina. In return, they received Brandon Sutter, prospect Brian Dumoulin, and the 8th overall pick in the draft that became Derrick Pouliot. Overall, the value sent to both teams can be considered very fair, but Pittsburgh was not done dealing.
It was just a few hours later when the Penguins selected another defenseman in the 2012 draft, at number...
Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little and in the Carolina Hurricanes case, they had to give up a lot to get what they wanted.
Carolina fans are excited that Jordan Staal will be re-united with his brother Eric to help anchor the Hurricanes through the next few years. Talks began as soon as Jordan turned down a 10-year contract extension on Thursday.
Pittsburgh had to figure that Jordan was waiting for his contract to end so he could sign with Carolina so they were proactive and decided to get something in return.
The Penguins were fortunate enough to add some firepower to their roster by getting the number eight pick from Carolina (they chose D...
General manager Brian Burke has limited options to bolster the Toronto Maple Leafs’ center position.
Much like goaltending, which is another priority this off-season, the market is bare. If Burke wishes to ensure better odds for a playoff berth next season, the goaltending and center positions will have to be addressed.
How exactly that can be accomplished remains to be seen.
This year’s unrestricted free agency crop lacks depth across the board, but particularly so at center, with Olli Jokinen being the top among the list.
So, who’s available in the trade market? Well, none other than the oft-rumoured Jordan Staal, of course.