As part an effort to keep the cross-conference hockey talk rolling during these dog days of August, the various SB Nation hockey blogs are having some short Q&A's with a member of the opposing conference, so this evening we'll hear from our barbecue-loving brethren, with Bubba from the Carolina Hurricanes blog Canes Country.
Follow after the jump for the skinny on Carolina's franchise player, a defenseman who might make a good fit for Nashville, and the recipe for building a successful hockey market south of the Mason-Dixon Line...
A: Even though Staal is relatively young, I'm not sure I would say that he has "untapped potential". So far his best year was in 2005-06, (45G 55A) and that might end up being a career best, who knows? One thing the center can do is improve his consistency. He can get into a rut at times and go several games in a row without scoring a point. Then he will break out with a few multiple point games. As he matures and gains experience, he should be able to even out the highs and lows in his game and be more consistent. His point totals should go up accordingly.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with continuing to score 30-45 goals every year, but Staal could improve on his ability to set up his teammates. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to deliver in every situation and perhaps when he gets older and wiser, he will be able trust his linemates better and will attempt to set them up more often.
As far as his ceiling, I believe that his 100 point year is a good target for him. Staal does not have the luxury of having another elite scorer on his line, but if he ever did? Watch out.
#12 / Center / Carolina Hurricanes
Oct 29, 1984
|2008 - Eric Staal||82||40||35||75||15||50||14||1||8||0||372||10.8|
Q: The Preds have a spot available for a veteran, relatively cheap defenseman to play on the 2nd or 3rd pair, and the power play is in desperate need of help. How might Dennis Seidenberg fit that need, and what does it say about him as a player that Jim Rutherford has publicly cut him loose?
#4 / Defenseman / Carolina Hurricanes
Jul 18, 1981
|2008 - Dennis Seidenberg||70||5||25||30||-9||37||2||0||1||0||129||3.9|
A: Personally, I would love it if the Hurricanes and Predators were in the same division and obviously it makes sense geographically. I attended the draft there in 2003 and really had a great time. But there is no way I would want to sacrifice our budding rivalry with the Capitals. Perhaps if Bettman ever expands the division to six teams? :-)