Today’s Daily Cup of takes a shot at casting current Carolina Hurricanes players as 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes players. The matches are not perfect obviously, but I think certain characteristics do match up.
Hoping people chime in with many more.
Teuvo Teravainen as Ray Whitney (the playmaker)
Ray Whitney was a passing and playmaking wizard from the wing. He had physical ability too, but his assist totals were driven by how well he thought the game and how well he could identify or if necessary create passing lanes for scoring chances. That same descriptions is Teravainen in a nutshell.
Jordan Martinook as Ray Whitney (the leader)
Ray Whitney did not wear a letter on the 2006 Stanley Cup champions, but he was one of many secondary leaders on that team. On one hand, Ray Whitney was a prankster and jokester. He was known for photo-bombing Tripp Tracy EVERY GAME during his pre-game interviews and had a well-earned reputation for in the locker room as well. But the other side of Ray Whitney was a fierce competitor and a leader whose seriousness carried extra weight because it was utilized when necessary. Martinook is similar in that he is an affable person by nature and fun/funny but has that same ability to lead by example in taking every shift seriously on the ice.
Andrei Svechnikov as Eric Staal
There are some obvious differences like position and to some degree style of play, but there are also some interesting similarities between Eric Staal and Andrei Svechnikov. In 2005-06, Staal was entering his third season as a professional (he spent the second in the AHL during the lockout) just like Svechnikov is in 2020-21. Both players were also drafted second overall and were the consensus best forward available in their respective drafts. And both players have an incredibly high ceiling offensively. Staal scored 100 points that season. Is that a pace that Svechnikov could read if he puts it all together?
Alex Nedeljkovic as Cam Ward
The more appropriate Nedeljkovic to Ward comparison might be better reserved for the 2021-22 season if Nedeljkovic gets the nod as the #2 goalie next year. …but let’s go with it anyway. Cam Ward entered the 2005-06 season as a reasonably promising but not incredibly well-known prospect. When the season started, he figured to be play 15-25 games as a backup and not play a huge role in how the season turned out. But when Martin Gerber was injured in the first game of the season, Cam Ward was suddenly the starter. He won his first start in thrilling fashion stoning Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Ziggy Palffy in the shootout to win. Nedeljkovic had four starts and two wins entering the 2020-21 season, so it was not his first for either, but his first win this season was a shootout win with a perfect 3-for-3 stops. Based on his play so far, Nedeljkovic seems like a long shot to reach the levels that Ward did in 2005-06 but then at the time Ward was equally a long shot.
Jordan Staal as Rod Brind’Amour
Well before the 2005-06 season, Rod Brind’Amour had built a reputation as an elite defensive centerman. But his scoring production was definitely more second line than first and was declining coming into the 2005-06 season. In the 2003-04 season, he had only 38 points in 78 games. But after the season lost to the lockout, Brind’Amour found a higher gear scoring 70 points in 78 games during the 2005-06 season. He was suddenly a do-everything center who marked the other teams’ best, played on both special teams, scored in bunches and took as many face-offs as Head Coach Peter Laviolette could get him on the ice for. Fast forward to 2020-21 and the early-season similarities for Jordan Staal’s season are uncanny. Staal similar built a resume as an elite defensive center and had been in a bit of a decline in terms of scoring production in recent years. Also like Brind’Amour, he plays roles on both special teams and borrowing a page from Laviolette’s book takes extra face-offs. Both players are also the team captain as well.
I got a bit of a late start on this, and may find my way back for a part 2. But that also leaves the door open for many more fun comparisons of 2020-21 Canes players to 2005-06 counterparts.
What say you Canes fans?
1) What are your thoughts on the couple comparisons that I put out there?
2) What player comparisons would you add to the list?