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Eric Staal Named to All Star Team

Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal was named to the 2008 All Star team earlier today. Staal has played extremely well the past few weeks for the Canes and certainly deserves the honor. He'll be the only representative from Carolina this year. Congratulations Eric!

Will Staal ever be in line for a huge contract like Alexander Ovechkin signed yesterday? The 13 year, 124 million dollar deal is unbelievable, but very few are questioning whether or not Ovechkin is worth it. In my opinion, if you are going to tie up that much money on a single player, it might as well be for him.

There have been several recent mid-season signings, which leads to a question. Carolina General Manager, Jim Rutherford has a policy of waiting until the season is over to negotiate contracts. In this day and age of poached RFA's and with the importance of protecting a team's major assets, should Rutherford change this policy?

It seems as though most other teams negotitate whenever they wish. Also, he might be able to sign future unrestricted free agents like Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman for a cheaper price now, than he would at the end of the year. It might be worth a shot. What do you think? Sounds like a good subject for the next poll.

Speaking of polls, the current one on the right is asking which defenseman would be the best trade deadline acqusition for the Canes. Rob Blake has the pedigree. John-Michael Liles seems to be on the top of management's wishlist. Aaron Ward is a known commodity. The other guys aren't too shabby either. Who do you choose? (One vote per IP address.)

In the previous poll, we asked if people had an opinion as to why so many Carolina players were injured year after year. The number one response was that the players got beat on more because there was no enforcer to protect them. Personally, I don't think that reason is too outrageous.

First off, do you really want your regular lineup guys playing the role of enforcer all the time? Not only do you lose the likes of Mike Commodore, Tim Gleason, and Scott Walker for 5 minutes at a time for the initial penalty, you also risk losing them to injury. Perhaps a known tough guy would take that additional pressure off of these players so that they could concentrate on their primary duties?

Of course another aspect to this is that other teams will take pot-shots at your star players because there is no fear of retaliation. (Matt Cullen). I'm starting to come around to agreeing that there might be validity to that argument as well.

The 2nd most picked answer was that Laviolette's system is prone to causing more injuries. I agree that the puck pursuit and constant forecheck system is harder on players than Coach Mo's old trap system, where most players stayed at the red line and clogged up the middle of the rink. I prefer not to go back to the trap though.

The Hurricanes have taken today off to get some rest. There was no day off for Brandon Nolan though as he was sent back to Albany this morning. I hope they at least sent him first class!