Carolina Hurricanes winger Anthony Stewart at an informal skate on August 23, 2011. (photo by Jamie Kellnerat RCI)
Anthony Stewart is another player who followed an unlikely path to Raleigh. The winger was a restricted free agent with the Winnipeg Jets this offseason, but was never tendered a qualifying offer by his former club. Come July 1, that made him an unrestricted free agent.
Once the Carolina Hurricanes found out that Erik Cole would not return, they went looking for a replacement and ended up signing Stewart to a two year deal. It won't be easy, but the youngster will be given the opportunity to at least be one of the spare parts to help fill the gap left by Cole's departure.
The Quebec native was originally drafted in the first round by Florida in 2003, but the Panthers did not qualify him after the 2009 season and the Thrashers acquired him at that time much like the Canes did, as an unqualified free agent.
The winger has a big body which he uses to his advantage, but he has been mostly inconsistent up to this point in his career. We asked Laura Astorian, (Hildymac) a former Atlanta blogger for her take. See what she had to say after the jump.
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From Laura Astorian:
As Laura mentions above, Stewart started off last season red hot and the Thrashers looked like they were playoff bound until they hit the skids in the second half of the season.
Before last season, the winger had minimal NHL success, ( two goals in 59 games with Florida in 2008-09) and just mild AHL success. When the Thrashers first acquired him, they assigned him to Chicago where he scored 12 goals and 19 assists in 77 games. But he did step up and light the lamp nine times in 13 playoff games for the Wolves.
Here is the Fantasy Sports Services scouting report for Stewart:
Anthony Stewart is a player who still has a ton of unrealized potential, but can he put together a complete, consistent season for the Hurricanes? He will be another interesting story to follow this training camp and throughout the season.
(You can follow Stewart on Twitter at @Astew22)
(A big thanks to Laura for taking the time to provide her feedback. She writes now for St. Louis Game Time)