As we turn the page into 2007-08, I compiled a little round-up of how our old friends did in the NHL last season in 2006-07. If I missed anyone, call me a moron and point it out in the comments.
Artists formerly known as Mighty Ducks of Los Angeles by way of Anaheim California USA
Ric Jackman- 24 games played, 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points (traded from Florida). Jackman’s a good offensive defenseman, but not good or consistent enough to stick in a team’s regular lineup. Still, Jackman scored a huge playoff goal in the Stanley Cup Finals that he was only participating in due to Pronger’s suspension.
Sebastien Caron- Caron played 28 measly minutes for Anaheim in one regular season appearance, as he was their 3rd goalie acquired from Chicago’s organization. But I remember seeing him celebrate the Stanley Cup win, so he makes the list.
Jon Sim (77gp, 17-2-29) Sim continues to be a pesky player with a penchant for chipping in key goals at opportune times. When he’s playing good hockey, look out, Jon Sim will eat your soul.
Johan Hedberg- 21 gp, 9-4-2, 2.89 GAA, 89.8% Hedberg is a reliable veteran backup goalie in Atlanta, and he’ll always be adored in Pittsburgh for the magical 2001 playoff run.
Glen Murray (59gp 28-17-45) Yes kids, once upon a time Glen Murray wore Pittsburgh black and gold, but it’s been over ten years. He’s on the downside of his career, but still firing away goals.
Shean Donovan (76 gp, 6-11-17) Spare piece forward traded to Ottawa. You gotta love his speed and intensity, but pretty much a dime-a-dozen lower line winger
Andrew Ference (54 gp, 2-10-12) If you haven’t read about Ference’s humanitarian exploits over at NHL.com, you owe it to yourself to see how this young hockey player who has it all is giving of himself in Africa and trying to make a difference. Hey, it is summer.
Wayne Primeau (51gp, 7-8-15) A good guy and a hard-nosed center who won’t give you much offense, but will help you defensively.
Patrick Lalime, 12 gp 4-6-1, 3.07 GAA, 89.6%. Such a great start to his career with the Penguins in 1997, so unexpected for him to reel off such a long unbeaten streak, holdout and then fade into obscurity.
Sergei Zubov (78gp, 12-42-54). For whatever reason, Mario reportedly didn’t like Zubov, so out the door he went. Over a decade later he’s still a solid point producer and actually reliable in his own zone.
Stu Barnes (82gp, 13-12-25) Scrappy and likeable, it’s hard not to smile thinking of what a career Barnes has carved out, despite lacking size or scoring ability
Matthew Barnaby (39gp, 1-6-7, 127 PIM). At his wife’s urges, Barnaby has retired due to concussions. Like Barnes, he didn’t have size or much scoring, but punched his way through 800+ games. I believe Barnaby’s in an elite, if not obscure club of 300 points and 2500+ PIMS. Not many enforcers make it to 300 points (Domi fell short, Brashear will too) and not many non-enforcers (Tkachuck make it to 2500 PIMs. Marty McSorely, Tiger Williams are in this club, and Gary Roberts is but 7 PIMs away. I have more research on this for another day.
But yeah, I loved Barnaby. I loved how he stood up for teammates, fought anyone and scrapped until the bitter end. I understand he’s polarizing to opponent’s fans, but he gave an honest effort every night.
Nolan Baumgartner (13gp, 0-3-3). I wish history would allow me to omit the 2003-04 season.
Detroit Red Wings
Robert Lang (81gp, 19-33-52) Everybody’s favorite Czech adult video star was a whipping boy for Detroit fans for his inconsistency. But in my mind Lang will always reside as a pirate-looking gentleman that centered one of the greatest 2nd lines in recent history with Marty Straka and Alex Kovalev.
Mikael Samuellson (53gp, 14-20-34) Acquired in the Kovalev salary purge, the Pens threw in Samuellson to Florida in the draft-day trade to jump up and nab Marc-Andre Fleury. Dude must have turned on the old light bulb during the lockout, now he’s a key component in Detroit’s lineup, scoring 79 regular season points in the past two seasons.
Matt Hussey (5gp 0-0-0) Hooray former WB/S Baby Penguin fringe NHL player alums! There are plenty of you!
Toby Petersen (64gp, 6-9-15) He’s diabetic and announcers will let you know this as often as Detroit, the site of Super Bowl XL, was the hometown of Jerome Bettis. Things got so dire injury wise, Edmonton had to use Petersen as a defensemen some. This would be like making out with a dude when the clock strikes midnight on New Years, because you don’t have any chicks at your party…Which is to say, not ideal.
Petr Nedved (19 1-4-5) Nedved’s signed with a Czech team and looks to have finished an overall disappointing NHL career, compared to the talent he had for the results he got at the end of the day. But his career Supermodel Banged stat sheet is legendary.
Noah Welch (2gp 1-0-1) One day Noah Welch will be able to tell his grandkids he was once considered fair trading value for the legendary Gary Roberts. This will be the day that the family finally agrees Old Man Welch needs to be put in a nursing home.
Los Angeles Kings
Tom Kostopolous (76gp, 7-15-22). Tommy K signed with Montreal now, he’s starting to carve out a NHL niche Pittsburgh never really let him grow into. Moving on.
Dominic Moore (10gp, 2-0-2) Perfect style player (smart, not great offense but reliable) for Minnesota, I like Moore, but I like Talbot more than Moore.
Alex Kovalev (73gp, 18-29-47) Like former linemate Bobby Lang, Kovalev’s often the victim of fan outcry. Fans always rode him hard, like when they implore him to shoot. Like he doesn’t know! Still, it’s hard to think someone as purely skilled as Kovy could only score 18 goals in 73 games.
Ramzi Abid (13gp, 1-4-5) Knee injuries have took a toll on his career. Al-Jazeera probably wanted to cover the Stanley Cup playoffs because they found out there was a hockey player named Ramzi Abid. Terrorist-esque.
New Jersey Devils
Dan LaCouture (6gp, 0-0-0) He’s on Anaheim now, which is good, personally I like LaCouture and I do not like New Jersey. He’s another dime-a-dozen hard working lower line grinder.
New York Islanders
Andy Hilbert (81gp, 8-20-28) Pens fans whined and moaned when they let Crosby’s linemate walk. Turns out, Hilbert might not have made Sid what he was as a rookie after all!
Richard Park (82gp, 10-16-26) Richard Park only scored ten goals? It sure seemed like every time I turned around he was scoring one against the Penguins. Park was the antidote to Ryan Malone, if you will.
Randy Robitaille (50gp, 6-17-23) This guy was basically Andy Hilbert before there was a Andy Hilbert. A smallish, skill player that doesn’t really have enough pure skill to hack it full-time in the NHL, so he bounces around a lot.
Eric Boguniecki (11gp, 0-0-0) If Eric Boguniecki was a beer, he’d be Jon Sim Light. That would not make for a tasty beer.
New York Rangers (aka Pittsburgh’s old Czech players)
Jaromir Jagr (82gp, 30-66-96) His rookie year he scored 27 goals. For the next 15 years (and counting) he’s scored at least 30 a year. One day we’ll look back on his career and wonder how Jags could be so under-appreciated. Greatest.European.Ever
Martin Straka (77gp, 29-41-70) Good player, good guy, it’s nice to see the Waterbug do well, even if it is in Manhattan.
Michal Rozsvial (80gp, 10-30-40) Another remarkable transition once he left the ‘Burgh. Hard to believe a couple seasons ago the Pens had to choose between Melichar’s shoulder and Roszival’s knee on which to keep and which to drop. Sad to know they choose Melichar.
Darius Kasparaitis (24gp, 2-2-4) The Rangers hide him in the AHL so his salary won’t count against the cap. Shame, the league needs more personalities like Kaspar’s. When you think Darius K, you think Game 7, 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals.
No ex-Pens, an ex-con though
Daniel Carcillo (18gp, 4-3-7) The Pens might regret trading Carcillo. I saw him play in Phoenix a couple times, and they were giving him good ice time for his first taste of the NHL. He’s a very fast player, but also takes too many dumb penalties. He’s immature and a time-bomb, not unlike Billy Tibbetts, you know, minus the whole raping thing and running from the cops multiple times thing.
The Scum of the Earth (aka Philadelphia Flyboys)
Eric Meloche (13gp, 1-2-3) Another fringe alum of Wilkes-Barre that never stuck in Pittsburgh.
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Ville Nieminen (14gp, 0-0-0) These numbers don’t tell the whole story, Niemenen was 2nd in the NHL in Finn-glish (the hybrid of Finnish/English) trash talking though, just behind Jarkko Ruutu.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Andre Roy (51gp, 1-2-3, 116 PIM) If the NHL instituted soccer sized nets, Roy would go from a mud enforcer to a leading scorer, because finally all those errant slapshots would be find goal net, not glass or fan protection net.
Karl Stewart (7gp, 0-0-0) Karl Stewart changed teams as quicker than Lindsay Lohan piled up DUIs. He’s about as relevant too, but with less of a rack and no fun coke addiction.
Toronto Maple Leafs
JS Aubin (20gp, 3-5-2, 3.43 GAA, 87.6%) Aubin is terrible and, for no reason, one of my least favorite hockey players. Thus, I couldn’t be happier he spent time in Toronto, sucking it up for those fine folks.
Markus Naslund (82gp, 24-36-60). Yeah, yeah, Naslund’s had himself a nice little career but once Alek Stojanov pans out it’ll be like Cam Neely times 1000.
Bryan Smolinski (20 4-3-7) Smoke, along with guys like Tomas Sandstrom, Petr Nedved, Glen Murray, made Naslund expendable for the Penguins since they already had Francis, Jammer Jagger and Mario. Smolinski, more than the others, when I hear his name, I think of giving up Naslund. They say time heels all wounds but sometimes it just doesn’t.
Kris Beech (64gp, 8-18-26) If he would just spell it ‘Chris’ like a normal human being, somehow Beech would have been an all-star. Now he’s struck out with three organizations and will never likely establish himself in the NHL. The lesson is as obvious as it is simple: don’t be a jackass kids, spell your name right.
Matt Bradley (57gp, 4-9-13) This guy being in the league for 57 games is a testament to how far Washington still has to go on the road to respectability.
Rico Fata (10gp, 1-1-2) I’d rather write another joke about making out with a dude again than see Rico Fata suit up for my team 10 games.
That’s it! That’s the list! Leave a comment if I missed someone and I’ll feel dumb