Point Shots: Here Begins the ‘Eric Staal To Toronto’ Rumours; What Can Kane Teach Crosby?

What Can Kane Teach Crosby?

You know why Sidney Crosby’s the best player in the world?

Because he’s terrified he’s not.

via CSN Chicago:

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby recently revealed to NHL analyst Barry Melrose that he sought out Kane’s stick-handling coach this past summer and worked with him during the offseason.

But why would the guy who leads the league in scoring go see someone else’s stick-handling coach?

“Patrick Kane has more room than anybody on the ice,” Crosby responded.

NOTE: Last week, Sid tossed some props to Jamie Benn, who he called the NHL’s most underrated player. He seemed genuinely envious of Benn’s talents, too – “He’s big. He’s strong. He’s tough,” Crosby said, simply.

(Kane also said Benn was the league’s most underrated, by the way.)

It’s good to see Crosby admitting where he needs some help. Because really, for all the points he racks up, Sid could really use a stickhandling lesson…

Come Get It, Vey

New Canuck Linden Vey was on TSN 1040 radio on Wednesday morning, enlightening Brother Jake and Dave Pratt on what icing is. (Kidding.)

Vey has broken out in his albeit still-fresh time in Vancouver, and after a multi-point preseason he scored his first-ever NHL goal last Saturday in a 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers. Playing third-line centre between Brad Richardson and Zack Kassian/Chris Higgins is a handful of responsibility for a relatively un-hyped rookie, but Vey’s also getting time on the Canucks’ first powerplay unit – he’s done an excellent job playing the point on that five-man cycling fest so far, bridging the gap between the Sedins and Vrbata up front and Alex Edler or Kevin Bieksa at the backend.

“Especially playing the last few years in the States, coming here to a market where the fans are so supportive and so crazy about the team, it makes coming to the rink and playing games a lot more exciting,” Vey told the morning show hots.

Vey was brought to Vancouver from the L.A. Kings organization, where he had been buried in the AHL behind a ridiculously deep stable of centres. So it’s understandable that he’s running with this new chance in VanCity.

Just one thing, though…

Right now, the Canucks are winning and Vey has been aces. But when they lose, those two adjectives Vey gave them – so supportive and so crazy – tend to mix, and the potion isn’t always pretty.

Well, the kid has answer for that, too…

“I mean, for me, I try not to think about (the pressure) too much,” he said. “For me, it’s just part of the game. You go out there and you’ve gotta do a job.

“There’s no better feeling than coming to the rink and playing hockey for a living.”

Quit Staaling

Toronto: If you can, you should.

I mean, the idea of this whole ‘Eric Staal getting traded to the Maple Leafs’ thing is sooooooooooo the Centre of the Universe, anyway.

No other team (or fan base, or media hub) thinks to itself, “Yeah, this guy is the captain of the Hurricanes, won a Cup with them, signed a long-term deal with them, convinced his brother Jordan to come play with him there, and genuinely loves Carolina… BUT WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO BE A MAPLE LEAF?!?!

(Leafs Nation did this with Steven Stamkos a little while ago, too, but I’m genuinely worried that Stamkos would leap at the chance to play with the Maple Leafs, so I’m not ready to mention that hype as misguided yet.)

To get Staal into a Buds jersey, word is Toronto would have to offer up a 1st-round pick, either Tyler Bozak or Nazem Kadri, and probably Jake Gardiner. It’s essentially the same deal they reportedly put together for Roberto Luongo, but plus a first-round pick. (Well, that’s a big piece, actually.)

Then, they – or the Hurricanes – would have to convince Staal to waive his no-trade clause.

It could get messy…

Carolina, if they would even want to deal away their captain (and why would they, really?) would have to risk pissing off their spouse by asking him to consider an open marriage. Well, not an open marriage. It’s more of a, “Hey, if we see someone hotter than you, do we have permission to leave you for them?”

And Toronto has to do the same with Gardiner and Bozak/Kadrid – all three of them have been involved in trade rumours before, but it’s an awkward, awful vote of non-confidence, isn’t it?

But still… WHAT IF!?!

And really, Eric Staal is a monster. Sure, his points have dropped off a little in the last couple years, but have you seen the team he plays on?

And… have his points even dropped off?

The Hurricanes are awful in nearly every way, and Staal continues to produce at a near point-a-game pace.

Conventional wisdom has suggested that he fell off the map last year – but he still put up 61 points in 79 games, somehow registering 40 helpers on a team basically devoid of any ability ability to finish (Jeff Skiner, you’re exempt from that insult). The year before, Staal finished sixth in league scoring with 53 points in 48 games (during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign) – and the Hurricanes were awful, tying Calgary for the fifth-worst record in the NHL.

But forget the points. You don’t need to know them to see how great this guy is.

Staal is a centre and a dominant two-way one, at that. I know there are a lot of Torontonians who love what Bozak does with Kessel, but is Bozak really better than Eric Staal? Is Nazem Kadri?

Jake Gardiner would be a throw-away in the deal, because I’d imagine that first-round pick will be a great first-round pick, considering how the Leafs have sludged through the first week of the season.

Sure, it’s early. But it’s never early in Toronto… these guys haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 47 years, and they don’t appear to have anyone with a clue of how to get one in 2015.

It was early in 2006. It’s late now.

Make the deal, Toronto.

That is, if you can.