or, 5 Players Expansion Teams Should Steal (For My Benefit As A Fan).
With the NHL realignment being finalized, everyone has noticed the space left for two potential expansion teams. Speculation is already running rampant over locations (I’ve done a little myself), but what I have yet to see anyone mention is – who is going to play for these teams?
After doing a little brainstorming, I’ve put together a list of five players that I want expansion teams to steal away from their current teams purely for my own selfish reasons as a fan.
First up – Ryan Kesler. As a Blackhawks fan, I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to hiss and recoil at the sight of a Canuck (possibly make the sign of the cross, draw the drapes…am I taking this too far?), but there is just something that I enjoy about Kesler off the ice. He’s not too shabby on the ice, either, as long as he’s staying healthy.
P.K. Subban. I really cannot express to you how delightful I find this guy. He’s got a great personality (as we all saw during the lockout – if CSN doesn’t already have a contract drawn up and waiting for the day that he retires from hockey, I’ll be shocked), and if he misbehaves a little on the ice sometimes, his numbers more than make up for it. He’s had a hell of a season so far, despite starting late because of contractual disputes. Mostly, though, I just want to get him away from the Montreal media and to a city that will love him like he deserves.
BOBBY LU! I know, I know, another Canuck, but guys. This dude is the most delightful troll in hockey. Tell me I’m wrong. I dare you. And when he’s on his game (note the conditional ‘when’), he’s not a terrible goalie! Basically, I want him out of that Canucks sweater so that I don’t have to feel guilty about loving him.
Paul Bissonnette is another guy that I want stolen by an expansion team (the Seattle Easter Eggs, the Toronto Mooses…oh come on, guys, it’s funny) simply because I’m super against the team he’s on now but I really like him as a person. Sure, he’s….abrasive sometimes…but he seems like a really great guy. Added bonus: he doesn’t often score, but get someone to publicly comment on his not-scoring and he’ll surprise the hell out of you and go on a three-game point streak.
Okay, hear me out before you make me turn in my Penguins Fan Card on this one. It really is more of a hockey reason and less of an I-don’t-want-to-hate-you-anymore reason. Essentially, I want to see what Claude Giroux can do away from the Flyers’ system. They play a dirty, physical game, but Claude is first and foremost a skill player. He’s got a pair of hands on him that makes goalies cry and other forwards drool with envy. You can bet I’m going to be watching closely at the Olympics next year to see how he plays for someone who isn’t Laviolette.
(And Danny Briere can come too – these two are an unbreakable unit like Carter and Richards, right?)