Tuesday, April 30, 2013
It Has Begun ...
... meaning the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the greatest time of the year for hockey fans, that is. (Well, that and the NCAA Tournament—and for others up north, the Memorial Cup and the World Junior Championships.)
There'll be a number of former American college-trained skaters involved before Lord Stanley's silver chalice is raised sometime in June, by at least a few players who last plied their amateur trade in the NCAA, some of whom are now captains and would thus get first crack at taking the Cup hand-off from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Off the top of my head (and with a bit of help from Yahoo), here's one former college player per each of the 16 teams participating in this year's NHL tournament, with position and Division I school (I'm trying to list 16 different schools).
We'll see who's left standing—and celebrating—when all is said and done.
Anaheim Ducks - Dave Steckel, F, Ohio State
Boston Bruins - Jay Pandolfo, F, Boston University
Chicago Blackhawks - Jonathan Toews, F, North Dakota
Detroit Red Wings - Jimmy Howard, G, Maine
Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick, G, Massachusetts
Minnesota Wild - Zach Parise, F, North Dakota
Montreal Canadiens - Brian Gionta, F, Boston College
New York Islanders - Matt Moulson, F, Cornell
New York Rangers - Derek Stepan, F, Wisconsin
Ottawa Senators - Cory Conacher, F, Canisius
Pittsburgh Penguins - Chris Kunitz, F, Ferris State
San Jose Sharks - Dan Boyle, D, Miami (Ohio)
St. Louis Blues - David Backus, F, Minnesota State
Toronto Maple Leafs - Phil Kessel, Minnesota
Vancouver Canucks - Mason Raymond, F, Minn-Duluth
Washington Capitals - Jay Beagle, F, Alaska Anchorage
(Looks a tad weighted towards forwards, doesn't it?)
We'll see who the heroes are in two months time. Drop the puck.