GDB 32.0: CALDER SHOWCASE

This is the Hall of Fame edition of the Calder trophy and tonight in San Jose there is a good chance we will be watching the 2011 winner of the Calder. Logan Couture, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall are 1st, 3rd and 4th respectively in rookie scoring and along with the Canes’ Jeff Skinner and Capitals’ John Carlson they are the five front-runners.

Since 1980 the winner of the Calder trophy has become a elite level player in the NHL, excluding a few exceptions. Bryan Berard never became a dominant player, although a serious eye injury was a major factor in his development, Barret Jackman (2003) is a steady but unspectacular D-man and 2004 winner, Andrew Raycroft, morphed into a backup. The rest had good to great careers.

Here are the winners since 1980. 

1979–80 Bourque, RayRay Bourque Boston Bruins D 18
1980–81 Stastny, PeterPeter Stastny Quebec Nordiques C 24
1981–82 Hawerchuk, DaleDale Hawerchuk Winnipeg Jets C 18
1982–83 Steve Larmer Chicago Black Hawks RW 21
1983–84 Tom Barrasso Buffalo Sabres G 18
1984–85 Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins C 19
1985–86 Gary Suter Calgary Flames D 21
1986–87 Luc Robitaille Los Angeles Kings LW 20
1987–88 Joe Nieuwendyk Calgary Flames C 21
1988–89 Brian Leetch New York Rangers D 20
1989–90 Sergei Makarov Calgary Flames RW 31
1990–91 Ed Belfour Chicago Blackhawks G 25
1991–92 Pavel Bure Vancouver Canucks RW 20
1992–93 Teemu Selanne Winnipeg Jets RW 23
1993–94 Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils G 21
1994–95 Peter Forsberg Quebec Nordiques C 21
1995–96 Daniel Alfredsson Ottawa Senators RW 22
1996–97 Bryan Berard New York Islanders D 19
1997–98 Sergei Samsonov Boston Bruins LW 18
1998–99 Chris Drury Colorado Avalanche C 22
1999–00 Gomez, ScottScott Gomez New Jersey Devils C 19
2000–01 Nabokov, EvgeniEvgeni Nabokov San Jose Sharks G 25
2001–02 Heatley, DanyDany Heatley Atlanta Thrashers RW 20
2002–03 Jackman, BarretBarret Jackman St. Louis Blues D 21
2003–04 Raycroft, AndrewAndrew Raycroft Boston Bruins G 23
2004–05 No winner because of the
2004–05 NHL lockout
2005–06 Ovechkin, AlexanderAlexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals LW 20
2006–07 Malkin, EvgeniEvgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins C 20
2007–08 Kane, PatrickPatrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks RW 19
2008–09 Mason, SteveSteve Mason Columbus Blue Jackets G 21
2009–10 Myers, TylerTyler Myers Buffalo Sabres D 20

Most of them became dominant players, so tonight’s game could showcase a glimpse of potential greatness amongst Couture, Hall or Eberle.

Hall and Eberle have played together for the majority of the season, while Couture has had different wingers throughout the season, but he has still found a way to lead the Sharks in goals with 17 and many reports have him as the early MVP candidate on the Sharks. Couture is a typical Shark forward; big, strong and skilled.

He and Joe Thornton are quickly becoming one of the best 1-2 centre tandems in the league, and with Thornton seeing a lot of the other team’s best D-man, Couture has been able to develop nicely. The reality is if he keeps scoring like he has been he will start to see some tougher competition moving forward.

BRULE OUT

Gilbert Brule didn’t make the trip out west and will be seeing a doctor to find out what is ailing him. It sounds like it is more of an illness than an injury. With Brule out, Ryan Jones will move up and play with Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano while JF Jacques draws back in and will skate with Colin Fraser and Zack Stortini.

The top two lines and defence pairings will remain the same and Nikolai Khabibulin looks to be starting in goal.

Since the lockout the Oilers are 5-5 in San Jose, but the Sharks have beaten them twice this year at Rexall Place. The Sharks size, skill and their faceoff efficiency has given the Oilers fits this year. The Sharks are the 2nd best faceoff team in the league at 53..% while the Oilers are 28th at 45.1%.

THE HANDS WILL TELL THE STORY

GAME DAY PREDICTION: A four day break, with a bad sweater party in between and a date in San Jose results in the Sharks 3rd straight win over the Oilers. The Oilers will keep it close but give up an emply netter and lose 5-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: We will witness some sweet hands from both squads that will result in a few highlight reel goals. Linus Omark will score again and a two-game goal scoring streak will have some Oiler fans believing that Ales Hemsky is expendable. It was cause a great debate in the post-game comments here in the Nation.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Upon realizing that Sandis Ozolinsh is getting his own bobblehead as part of the Sharks’ 20th anniversary celebration, Ryan Whitney plays with some extra push in his stride. If he can register five more assists without scoring, he’ll enter into the NHL record book for most assists to start a season without a goal, and becomes a passing machine tonight.

Whitney connects on 32 consecutive passes, which he later declares is an Oiler record for most consecutive passes in a road game, registers two assists and is named 2nd star in the loss.

After the game, Gene Principe informs Whitney that he actually needs four more assists to own the record by himself. Whitney calmly looks at Geno and says, "Fine," and then stares straight into the camera and says, "Mrs Gene Principe, your husband hasn’t bought you a Christmas gift yet, and is planning on getting you a fake Versace purse in LA."

Then he turns to Gene and says, "Doesn’t feel good to have your dreams crushed on live TV does it GENE…DOES IT." 

Instantly Principe’s blackberry starts ringing and we hear his wife’s ringtone, "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin…Principe is clearly rattled, more about the ringtone, and quitely tosses it back to Sportsnet connected. Back at the desk, the conversation turns to what is the worst ringtone a guy can have when his lady calls. 

  • I’m sick of people calling for the Ginger to come up. I need some stats please, if any one can provide. Since Omark and O’marra were called up; What is OKC record, How is their PK doing, How many points does the Ginger have in these games?

    Please and Thank You

    • The 'Real' Ron Burgundy

      I completely agree, enough with this Reddox talk. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen him before, and besides his energy level he does not bring any skill that we don’t already posess to the table. I know OKC has a good penalty kill, but I’m pretty sure you need at least 8 skaters to sucessfully kill a penalty. Besides, if he were up here where would he be placed on the penalty kill depth chart? Top four forwards? Top Six? I would assume that against an NHL powerplay Renney would shelter him and control his PK mins, leaving the theory that he could help our PK a mute one. I also wonder how much of his offensive output was riding the coat-tails of Giroux and Omark.

      I’m not Reddox bashing here, just not sure what is warranting all this Red Ox love lately

      PS I like Bass Pro Sports

  • Cervantes

    JFJ has to do something, anything, useful tonight, or I can’t believe Renney will allow him to stay up any longer. The Oilers could desperately use someone like, I dunno, REDDOX, an energy 4th liner, PKer, and useful hockey player, over JFJ, who seems to think that if he’s utterly invisible on the ice, maybe the coaching staff will forget about him and he can keep collecting NHL paycheques.

    Even without Hemmer and Horcs, the Oilers don’t have an absolutely awful team. I can’t imagine Renney is happy being stuck with Struds, JFJ, ans SMac as his fill-ins.

    Also, is VDM still out? Weren’t we promised a callup instead of the skating own-goal machine that is Strudwick?

  • The 'Real' Ron Burgundy

    Finally a game, that was a painful 4 days. Does this time of year get any better… Oliers, World Juniors, Christmas Presents under the tree(hopefully google tv)

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Fistivu for the rest of you!!!

    • Wax Man Riley

      One of my favorite times of the year. Probably my favorite, because I get dinner after dinner after dinner, right above the day the playoffs start (where we get awesome hockey every night for 6 straight weeks), and opening day of the season.

  • Milli

    oh man do I hope it is a good game! Kids will be in bed, wife will be somewhere….And I’ll be firmly in my basement bar…hopefully enjoying a great game!!!

  • I’m gonna go ahead and say Taylor Hall, with the help of Eberle and Gags, take this game over tonight. Yes he has been the best player on the ice some nights, both teams included, but tonight’s game is his. 3-1 Oilers… Hall with 2 and an assist and the “Blackjack” Line puts up all points for the Oil. Whitney of course with another assist.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Is it just me, or will winning the Calder just put unneeded pressure on our boys next year. They will already be hearing about the ‘Sophmore Slump’ in every interview they do…do they also need to hear that they have to live up to the Calder trophy? I don’t think so. I would rather have Hall and Eberle juuuusssst miss winning the trophy, so they have something to prove next year.

    In other news, batten down the hatches tonight…we are screwed. Sharks 7-1. SuperComputer prediction, so you KNOW it is right.

  • Dr. Oil

    Honestly, the way things are going, Kevin Shattenkirk may have the inside track on the Calder. He’s been nothing short of phenomenal, and is on the higest-scoring team in the NHL (even despite all their injuries).

  • oilbaron

    I read on here recently regarding Couture’s “eligibility” for the Calder. I believe it was in a brownlee article, but could be wrong. I totally agree with what was said regarding it. It was stated in the article that the amount of games he played last year, was 1 less than the league minimum in regards of being eligible for rookie of the year. Than he played in all those playoff games. I think just having that experience last year is a step up on all the rookies this year and in a certain way is an “unfair advantage” in a way. The people that vote for the Calder should take that into account, as said in the article.

      • Wax Man Riley

        No you don’t vote Hall over Eberle for having a couple more years of experience. We are talking NHL experience, not age.

        25 NHL games is 25 NHL games, and that cannot be discounted. 15 playoff games is like 30 regular season games. That right there should have him taken out of the equation. In reality he has 40 games of NHL experience. That is half of a season and nothing to balk at.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            That’s the way I see it too. To me it’s no different then a guy like Omark who has professional development under his belt or if it’s a guy that has 20 NHL games under his belt. The league sets a standard and that’s it.

          • Wax Man Riley

            Hey, Couture is a very good player. He is the goal scoring leader on a team with some really good goal scorers. You definitely cannot take that away from him. If he wins it, he will deserve it I’m sure. If he is a 35-40 goal guy, then you cannot discount that.

            I just heard Gregor say that he spoke with a couple guys that are in on the voting, and they will take his 40 games into account.

  • smiliegirl15

    It’s travesty that couture is still considered a rookie. With 25 regular season and 15 playoff games he shouldn’t be considered for the Calder. That being said not to take away from what he has accomplished so far this year but one should also compare how good the team he is playing with vs other Calder candidates including Skinner in Carolina.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Canada vs. Sweden on at 5:30 (Lander, Larsson),
    Oilers vs. Sharks on at 8:30.

    Me vs. couch for the entire duration! In the words of Kenny Powers; responsibility, you’re ****ing out!

  • Good game in store for us tonight. I will say it first. Oilers keep pace with the Sharks for the first 2 periods and win 5-3. Whitney scores into an empty net and breaks the streak.

  • Bucknuck

    I love your not so obvious prediction. Poor Gene, I can totally see him rattled, but you bet he would still be wearing a smile and a friendly expression.

    I think the Oil get beat pretty badly tonight, but that Ryan Whitney continues to get assists even so.

  • Ender

    Game Day Prediction: This has accident-scene written all over it. You know it won’t be pretty, but you just can’t look away. Back to the Blowouts continues in San Jose with a 5-1 ‘Tank-job’.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: Heatley will be chuckling every time you see him on camera. The same thought running through his mind, over and over . . . “Man, I still can’t believe they were serious . . . ”

    Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Evgeny Nabokov, dressed in full gear, has to be escorted out of the Sharks dressing room later this afternoon. A member of security will be overheard saying “Nabby-man, we can’t keep doing this . . . you’ve got to let it go. It’s over, dude.”