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'10 for 10' No. 2: A Sugar Bowl upset uplifts a program, a conference and a state

Written by Craig Meyer on .

 

In this college football desert of July, and with this upcoming season marking the 10th anniversary of West Virginia’s 2005 team that won the Sugar Bowl, I’ve decided to count down the 10 most important Mountaineers games of the past decade.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll work from 10 to one, with one entry appearing every few days. Lists like this are arbitrary by nature, but the hope here is to find the games that had the biggest impact on the West Virginia program both at that time and well into the future. So, before we get going, a disclaimer: these aren’t necessarily the best, most compelling games, but rather the ones that had the most profound role in steering the Mountaineers to where they are today.

We’re one away from the top, so let’s get to No. 2:

West Virginia 38, Georgia 35; Jan. 2, 2006

Slaton Sugar Bowl

(Photo: Matt Freed / Post-Gazette)

As the calendar turned to 2006, most everything pertaining to West Virginia was in need of some – or really any – good news.

The school’s football team was about to play in the Sugar Bowl, but it did so as a sizable underdog, both to its opponent and its own history as a program. In the game, it was representing a beleaguered conference, one whose guaranteed place in the BCS was becoming an increasingly debated topic. Perhaps most pressingly, it took to the field that night playing before an entire state that had greater concerns than the game that was about to take place.

A win against Georgia would mean something more than just receiving a trophy and being the lead story on SportsCenter. With the 38-35 victory, the Mountaineers discovered that was clearly the case.

Playing the SEC champion in what amounted to a home game – because of Hurricane Katrina a few months earlier, the game was moved from its traditional site in the Superdome to the Georgia Dome – West Virginia raced out to a 28-0 lead in the game’s first 16 minutes, an unexpected onslaught driven by a three-headed offensive threat of freshmen Steve Slaton (who finished with a Sugar Bowl record 204 rushing yards), Pat White and Darius Reynaud.

The initial shock would wear off as Georgia clawed back into the game, cutting the deficit to 31-21 by halftime and getting within a field goal on two separate occasions.

But on the final one of those instances, holding on to a 38-35 lead, the Mountaineers reversed all of that negative momentum and secured the win with a single, and unmistakably ballsy, play. With the ball at the Georgia 48, with a fourth-and-six and 1:45 remaining, West Virginia was forced to punt and give the Bulldogs a chance to force overtime.

Or so it seemed. Punter Phil Brady took the long snap and began the same motion he would on a normal punt. But after that movement, and as both teams dashed up the field toward the returner, Brady tucked the ball under his left arm and ran, sprinting four yards past the first down marker to seal the upset. In the long history of West Virginia football, it’s undoubtedly one of the quintessential, or at least most memorable, plays.

“The fourth and sixth, really there was a little bit of debate but it wasn’t much,” Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez said after the game. “It was kind of a consensus thing. The coaches in the box said, ‘Hey, let's do it.’ Butch [Jones, then the team’s wide receivers coach who also coached the punt team] said ‘Let's do it’ and I said ‘Let’s do it, it looks like it’s there.’”

West Virginia entered the game with a better record than Georgia and was only four spots behind the Bulldogs in the BCS standings, but given the climate of the time, the victory was a shock, a reverberation that uplifted the entire Mountaineers program.

For all of its historical success, West Virginia entered the Sugar Bowl with a 1-11 record in its previous 12 bowl games and it had never won a bowl game that comprised the BCS at the time (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar or Orange).

The win, however, wasn’t just about the football team that raised the trophy; it was about its conference, too. Following the defections of Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC in 2004, the Big East was viewed as a feeble league, one widely seen as undeserving of a spot at the proverbial table with the best conferences in the sport. That perception was only strengthened the season before that fateful Sugar Bowl, when an 8-4 Pitt team was waxed in the Fiesta Bowl, 35-7, by Utah, the first team from a non-major conference to appear in a BCS bowl.

The Big East, at least from a perception standpoint, never achieved wide-ranging respect before its ultimate death in 2013. But West Virginia’s win in some way helped legitimize the league’s status as a BCS participant, something that ignited a brief period in which schools like West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers and even South Florida emerged as national championship contenders.

And then, of course, there were the non-football implications. On the same day the Sugar Bowl was played, there was an explosion in the Sago Mine in Upshur County, W.Va. The disaster, the worst in West Virginia since the 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster, trapped 13 miners for about two days and forced then-governor Joe Manchin to rush home from Atlanta to tend to the situation.

As Chris Dufresne wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “one of the proudest moments in state history was about to collide with one of its most tragic.” While the state was forced to endure the horror that gripped it, the Sugar Bowl provided a brief reprieve and gave it a proud moment at a time when it needed it the most.

The win was as important as any in school history, not simply because of what it did for the West Virginia football program, but because of how it impacted those beyond it.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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Saad brings the Stanley Cup home again - 07-29-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Gibsonia native Brandon Saad's summer has been interesting. In the span of a few weeks, he won the Stanley Cup then was the centerpiece in a blockbuster trade which sent him to the Blue Jackets.

Today, the power forward celebrated the Stanley Cup, which he has won twice with Chicago, at the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township with approximately 200 members of the United States Air Reserve stationed there.

For Saad, who frequently reads books on the military, spending part of his day with the Stanley Cup with members of the military was important.

"This is something I'm into and giving back to the true heroes," said Saad."I'm a big fan of them. It's just been a great day."

During the event, Saad spoke with local media about his summer, the trade, his hometown of Gibsonia and about joining the Blue Jackets.

---

What  has this summer been like with the Stanley Cup then being traded?

"It's been a roller coaster of emotions. Obviously, with winning, you're on a high. Then, getting traded from the only team I've been on, that's something new. A new experience for me. I'm going to an exciting team in Columbus. So I'm looking forward to that. And obviously, my day with the Cup is another notch in the belt."

The Penguins were rumored to have pursued you this offseason. Did you pay any attention to that?

"You hear rumors all the time. Knowing I was getting traded, I know the Penguins were in the mix. It's always fun to play in the hometown city."

What's different with your second day with the Stanley Cup celebration?

"I think the first time around, it's really a whirlwind with a lot going on. The second time around, it's something you can plan out better and know what you're getting and know the experience and be more relaxed. This time around, it's something I'm going to enjoy more."

Gibsonia has had a good run between you, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker and United States Women's National Team defender Megan Klingenberg.

"There's been a lot of success. Obviously, Neil with the Pirates there, being a fan of Pittsburgh, I see him. Then I pretty much watch that whole [World Cup] with Klingenberg. It's a special day for her and Gibsonia."

Is the pressure on Walker to match the championships you and Klingenberg have won?

"There's a lot of pressure but he's doing a [heck] of a job so I know every year I have fun watching him and one day the Pirates are going to bring one home."

You were drafted in 2011 by the Blackhawks along with defenseman Adam Clendening who the Penguins acquired in a trade yesterday.

"Clendening, I played with for a few years, so we're close buddies. Him coming to my hometown, it's pretty exciting. So he's looking forward to that."

Is it odd not wearing a Blackhawks jersey or shirt during this celebration?

"It's emotional when you get traded. It's still to celebrate your championship with your day with the Cup. But at the same time, it's a new team, it's a new start and I'm looking forward and I'm looking forward to playing with Columbus."

It probably doesn't hurt going to a team like the Blue Jackets who are seen as being on the rise.

"Oh yeah. Anytime you're going to a new team with a lot of potential and a lot of skill. I'm really looking forward going there and getting the season started."

You had a lot of success playing on a line with forwards Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa in Chicago. What do you anticipate it might be like playing in Columbus with someone like all-star forwards Ryan Johansen or Nick Foligno?

"Well there's so many good players in the league, I think the biggest thing is going in and getting that chemistry. Playing with Toews and Hossa for a few years, the more we played together, the more we developed that relationship and kind of knew where each other was at. Columbus, like you said, with Johansen and Foligno, they've got a tremendously skilled team. Going in there, it's really just getting the time together and figuring each other out."

They seem to have a lot of players who play a similiar game like you. Foligno, Scott Hartnell, Boone Jenner and others all go to the net and play a power forward type of game.

"Definitely. I know playing against them last year, they played that hard-nosed and get to the net. That's how you have success in this league. So I'm looking forward to being a part of it."

With the Blackhawks, you played the Penguins once or twice a season. With the Blue Jackets in the same division, you'll play them five or six times a season.

"It's exciting. I know playing Columbus, I'm going to have a lot more family and friends being able to make that short trip. Obviously, it's always fun coming home playing in front of more family and friends. We play them more often. It's definitely going to be fun."

After you won the Stanley Cup in June, you and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman each said you wanted to get a contract done to stay in Chicago. What happened between then and getting traded to Columbus?

"You see with other players being traded and moved too, that's the way the league is now with the cap crunch, it's tough to keep a championship-winning team. The business side of it it, it's terrible but it's part of the game. I realize that. This is my first time going through that process. At the end of the day, I'm happy to be in Columbus but you see with other players being moved too, it's part of the game these days."

You weren't the only key player from the Blackhawks to leave. Forward Patrick Sharp, defenseman Johnny Oduya and others have gone elsewhere.

"It's tough. I think going in after we won, we all knew we were tight with the cap and that someone was going to go. You never know who it's going to be but you just try to enjoy that week and the parade and the relationships you formed and celebrate the championship."

As a restricted free agent, was signing an offer sheet something you seriously considered?

"I mean it's part of it. I really didn't know talking with my agent going into it. He dealt with that. I just waited for the phone call. I know that's part of the business and it didn't happen. It's part of the game."

(Photos: Seth Rorabaugh/Post-Gazette)

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Empty Netter Assists - Penguins deal Sutter; Add Bonino, Clendening, Fehr - 07-29-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins traded Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round draft pick to the Canucks in exchange for forward Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick. Additionally, they signed former Capitals forward Eric Fehr (above) to a three-year contract worth $2 million.

-Commentary: These moves make the Penguins deeper and more flexible with their salary cap.

-"I know my 90-year-old grandparents watch every game and they stay up. I'm happy they get to watch me a little bit earlier." Bonino, on playing for an Eastern Conference team after exclusively being a Western Conference player in his career.

-The Penguins gave Fehr a three-year contract for the first time in his career.

-"The time I spent down there [in the AHL] was definitely valuable. It allowed me to see how much I improved in my game. And the time I spent in the NHL really opened my eyes and allowed me to know I could be an everyday guy and I'm good enough to play at this level and be successful." - Clendening on making his NHL debut last season.

-“He’s got high-end intangibles. We have some young players that are going to make our team in the next few years. Along with the Bo Horvats and some of our other young players, Brandon will be the leader of that younger group.” - Canucks general manager Jim Benning on Sutter.

-The Canucks are already trying to sign Sutter to a long-term contract extension.

-Sutter speaks:

-Benning speaks:

-Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon manned a Tim Hortons drive-thru in their native Nova Scotia for a commercial:

-Today would've been the 80th birthday of former Penguins and Pittsburgh Hornets forward Billy Harris. An all-star with the Maple Leafs, Harris was acquired by the Penguins in a trade which sent Bob Dillabough to the Oakland Seals early in the 1968-69 season. "Hinky" ended his 13-year NHL career by appearing in 54 games for the Penguins and scoring 20 points. Harris retired in the 1969 offseason. He died Sept. 20, 2001.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Flyers signed forward Sean Couturier (right) to a six-year contract extension worth a total of $26 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.75 million, Couturier's new deal will have a cap hit of $4,333,333. Couturier, 22, appeared in 82 games last season and scored 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists).

-EN Says: The eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Couturier is clearly a big part of the Flyers' future. Primarily used as a third-line shutdown center in his career to this point, the Flyers and Couturier would like to see him take on a more offensive role. If Couturier can take on a second-line role and reach the 20-goal mark on a consistent basis, this deal will be a bargain.

-Capitals defenseman and former Penguin Brooks Orpik underwent wrist surgery. He is expected to be ready for the team's season opening game.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres re-hired former Penguins forward Randy Cunneyworth as head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

-The Sabres signed defenseman Brendan Guhle, a second-round pick in last month draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Maple Leafs signed forward Mitch Marner, a first-round pick in last month's draft (No. 4 overall), to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Maple Leafs are scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with restricted free agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier today.

-The Senators are scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with restricted free agent forward Mike Hoffman Thursday.

Central Division

-The Blackhawks hired former forward Jamal Mayers as a community liaison.

Pacific Division

-The Canucks re-signed restricted free agent forward Sven Baertschi (right) to a one-year contract worth $900,000. Coming off an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $894,166, Baertschi, 22, appeared in 18 games last season and scored six points (two goals, four assists).

-EN Says: Baertschi is a former first-round pick of the Flames (No. 13 overall in 2011) who was traded to the Canucks last season who has never quite found his footing in the NHL. This deal offers him a chance to prove he belongs at the NHL level.

Norris Division

-Former Capitals/Devils/Maple Leafs/Ducks forward David Steckel has joined the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of Germany's DEL.

-Former Sabres/Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder has joined TPS of Finland's Liiga.

-USA Hockey named Pittsburgh as one of five finalist cities to host the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament. The other cities are Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis and Tampa.

(Photos: Marianne Helm/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images)

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Penguins deeper, more flexible after dealing Sutter - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Penguins swung some moves today with the aim of getting deeper among their bottom six forwards and gaining some flexibility with their salary cap.

Center Brandon Sutter (above) and a 2016 third-round pick were sent to the Canucks in exchange for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a 2016 third-round pick.

That trade freed up enough cap space for them to sign center Eric Fehr to a three-year contract worth a total of $6 million.

We posted all the main numbers and figures as well as video highlights of the Penguins' new players here.

-EN Says: Today was a good day for the Penguins. They essentially dealt one third-line center for two players capable of playing third-line center.

After being unable to dress a full lineup for several games at the end of the last regular season due to salary cap constrictions and injuries, the Penguins needed to find a way to spread the wealth among their bottom six forwards.

“When you look at the structure of our salaries and our cap,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “It's important to get those bottom-six [forward] cap hits in better shape and that's what we were able to do with these two deals.”

With a salary cap hit of $3.3 million, Sutter costs nearly as much as Fehr ($2 million) and Bonino (1.9 million). Even if you ignore the possession numbers, which don't favor Sutter and reflect well on Fehr as well as Bonino, the basic statistics will tell you a lot about getting bang for the buck in this deal:

Player Games Played Goals
Eric Fehr 75 19
Nick Bonino 75 15
Brandon Sutter 80 21

That's 34 goals to 21. Is 13 more goals - as well a whole litany of other tangible and intangible attributes - worth $600,000 of a salary cap hit? We say yes.

For as much hype goes into the fact that Brandon Sutter is a member of hockey's esteemed Sutter family, it's hard to say that he plays much like his father or uncles who played a rough-and-tumble game throughout most of their careers.

Sutter is skilled. He is a strong skater and he is more than confident when he's out there. But as a third-line center, it's difficult to really say he hounds opposing centers and clamps down on them the way a Ryan Kesler or Patrice Bergeron do. Forget Olympic players like Kesler or Bergeron. Can anyone say Sutter plays a shut-down game the way a Sean Couturier does?

To us, this goal by Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, who at one-time was a Selke Trophy candidate, against the Penguins and Sutter last season is a perfect illustration of why Sutter was never a a true shut-down center while with the Penguins:

When Sutter was acquired by the Penguins in 2012 as the primary return for Jordan Staal, the expectation was that he would be a step or two behind Staal in terms of how he performed the duties of the third line. While Sutter's offensive production came at a similar clip to Staal's, the defensive end of his game just never reached those heights.

That said, Sutter did score seven short-handed goals in the past three seasons with the Penguins. No other player for the Penguins scored more than one. He was a vital component to a penalty killing unit which was one of the best in the NHL over the past three seasons.

Had Sutter had more stable linemates during his time with the Penguins, his offensive numbers could have been better. Sutter was saddled with a revolving door of linemates, particularly in 2013-14. When he had a chance, he was dangerous with those far side wristers from the right wing:

Sutter had a knack of coming through in key moments in the playoffs the last two seasons.

As Canucks general manager Jim Benning said:

"By acquiring Brandon Sutter, to me he's a foundation piece for our group going forward. He can play a good two-way game. He brings his speed. He goes to the net hard. I thought the playoffs for Pittsburgh last year, he was really good. He's a playoff player. When the games mean something, that's when he does his best."

Interestingly enough, Sutter was never even that strong in the faceoff circle with the Penguins.

 

Season Faceoff
wins
Faceoff
losses
Winning
percentage
2014-15 688 671 50.6
2013-14 549 601 47.7
2012-13 382 379 50.2

That's not awful... but it's not great either.

That's a good way to describe Brandon Sutter's time with the Penguins.

Another aspect of this deal is the fact that Sutter is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. It will be his first contract as an unrestricted free agent and he would be due a considerable raise. Instead of risking losing him as a free agent, the Penguins dealt him for assets sooner and not later.

The biggest question mark with regards to these additions is Fehr and his health. He had surgery on his left elbow to repair torn ligaments and will not be able to start the season. The time frame for his recovery is four to six months. He could start playing anywhere from mid-November to mid December.

While Fehr does give the Penguins some size at 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, he's not exactly renowned for playing a physical game. That said, he does go to high traffic areas and will score dirty or garbage goals.

A key aspect of adding Fehr (right) is that he is a right-handed shot and faceoff draw. With Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Bonino all left-handed, Fehr will likely take most if not all of the team's right-handed draws. While he did start his career as right winger, he has been used as a center primarily in recent seasons. Fehr was second on the Capitals last season with 863 faceoffs and won 52.0 percent of them.

Primarily playing on a strong third line with Joel Ward and Jason Chimera the past three seasons, Fehr is also a regular penalty killer. He averaged 1:23 of short-handed ice time last season.

With Fehr a question mark to start the season, the Penguins may have to rely on prospect Oskar Sundqvist, a right-handed draw. Sundqvist, who has never played in the NHL, is considered one of the team's top prospects. Given his limited exposure to North American hockey, spending most of the season at the AHL level may benefit his long-term future.

Bonino is intriguing. In 2013-14, he broke through as a full-time NHLer as he played in 77 games and scored 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). Last season, he had less chances on the power play with Vancouver, but he still managed to produce 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) in 75 games. Six of of his goals were game-winners. Not too bad for someone who saw a decrease in power-play time.

While Bonino did take a ton of faceoffs last season (1,245) he didn't have a great success rate (47.4 percent). He led all Vancouver forwards in average short-handed ice time with 1:57.

How the Penguins managed to get Clendening included in a deal is a head scratcher. Sutter for Bonino and upgraded draft pick would have sufficed. Getting Clendening included was a coup. He has a world of talent. He has been a prolific scorer at the AHL level. If he had not been on teams which strong depth at the position at the NHL level, he might have had a more regular role in the NHL by now.

Defense is his biggest issue. He's still learning how to play in his end. The offensive instincts are there. He may have a tough time cracking the Penguins' lineup out of training camp, but he gives them another option to turn to in the event of injuries with the bottom pairing. With Brian Dumoulin, Tim Erixon, Ben Lovejoy and Rob Scuderi, the Penguins won't have any shortage of options for the team's bottom defensive pairing.

The fact that the Penguins were able to get the third-round pick they got from the Sabres as compensation for hiring former coach Dan Bylsma and upgraded it to a second-rounder is a nice little bonus.

The salary cap is once again a concern. Rutherford said his team is "up against" the cap. According to General Fanager, the Penguins have $2,807,084 of cap space but that total does not include the salary cap hits of forward Sergei Plotnikov ($925,000) and Derrick Pouliot ($863,333). Assuming those two are indeed on the NHL roster to start the season as well as someone like forward Scott Wilson ($655,000), that would leave the Penguins with less than $500,000 of salary cap space to start the season.

Ultimately, the Penguins made themselves deeper and more flexible in a myriad of ways with today's moves. They opened last season with borderline NHLers such as Zach Sill and Craig Adams on the fourth-line wing. Next season, they will have the likes of Bonino, Fehr, Sundqvist as well as Beau Bennett, Scott Wilson and Bryan Rust battling it out for a role on that line.

(Photos: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Elsa/Getty Images)

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Clendening on the move again - 07-28-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Like Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening (above) has been traded twice recently. 

Both players were part of a trade today which sent Brandon Sutter to the Vancouver Canucks.

Unlike Bonino, Clendening will likely be set to start next season at the AHL level.

A second-round pick of the Blackhawks in 2011, Clendening has spent most of his three-year professional career in the AHL. He made his NHL debut last season appearing in 21 games between the Blackhawks as well as the Canucks and scored four points (two goals and two assists).

Last season, Clendening appeared in 49 AHL games between Rockford and Utica and scored 18 points (two goals, 16 assists). In 2013-14, Clendening played in 74 games with Rockford and led all AHL defensemen in scoring with 59 points (12 goals, 47 assists). He was a first-team all-star at the end of the season.

Earlier today, he talked about joining the Penguins and described his career.

---

What was your reaction to today's trade?

"Pretty, pretty shocked to be honest. You're not the last person to ask me that. It definitely was a little bit of a surprise. I just got to Vancouver to start training to start working with their team and their guys here. A couple days in here and I'm heading back east."

You've been traded twice since January. What has the past year been like in that regard?

"A little crazy to say the least. But I've been lucky. I've gone to places that tend to have an interest in me and want me to be a part of things going forward so that's always a plus rather than being forced out of town."

You were a second-round pick by the Blackhawks in 2011 and have spent most of your professional career in the AHL. You made your NHL debut this past season. How would you describe your professional career to this point?

"I think it's good. I've had a lot of success in the [AHL] and developed my game down there thanks to the Blackhawks. I do really still appreciate the way they treated me down there and taught me the game and allowed me to develop. I finally got a chance with them and chance with [Vancouver] towards the end of the year last year. The time I spent down there [in the AHL] was definitely valuable. It allowed me to see how much I improved in my game. And the time I spent in the NHL really opened my eyes and allowed me to know I could be an everyday guy and I'm good enough to play at this level and be successful. It was nice to be a part of that too and have both teams give me the opportunity to see that."

What do you know about the Penguins?

"I don't really know much about the organization. I know they have a lot of good talent in the room to say the least. They probably got now three of the top guys in the league. That's always nice to have in your dressing room. You look across and you see [Sidney Crosby] and [Evgeni Malkin] and Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz, it's always nice to have those guys on your side."

The Penguins have plenty of younger defensemen like Brian Dumoulin and Tim Erixon who could make a push for some playing time on the team's bottom defensive pairing. What do you anticipate training camp will be like in terms of competition among the defensemen?

"I think it will be high. Obviously, everybody wants a job. It's hard to be an NHL player these days. There's competition everywhere. It's also nice because everybody's young. Everybody's hungry. It's not like you can't take a spot. It's a level playing field. You're not fighting an uphill battle or anything like that. It's a great opportunity and it's nice to know it's in your hands. The better you play, the better off you are."

How do you describe yourself as a player?

"I like to think of myself as a two-way guy. Most people label me as an offensive guy. A guy that can move the puck out of his own end, make a good first pass. A pretty good skater. Play on the power play for sure. That's what I've done growing up, even in the [AHL] and in Chicago and in Vancouver. I've played on the power play wherever I've been. A right shot, which kind of helps these days. Not too many of them these days. Solid definitively. I wouldn't say I'm great by any means but I can get the job done. Basically, a puck-moving guy that can play on the power play."

(Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

 

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