I saw this on another team board and figured it would be a fun thing to do here. It should spark some conversation and plenty of opinions. Seeing as in a Poll there can only be 15 options, I'll start with the most obvious 15 choices and go from there as we move along.
I'll let the poll remain open for 3 days, if it is too short or too long of a period, we can adjust. It would be nice if you're going to vote, give a reason or two why you chose who you did. We'll try to get a little life into what is a quiet time of year.
I'll keep the rankings updated at the beginning of each pole.
Cam is my favorite player, and you build from the goal out. Plus I think Ward has a chance to be one of the best (if not the best) at his position...I don't think Staal will ever be in Hart/Ross/Richard talk with the Crosbys and the Ovechkins of the league still around.
I went with Cam. Half on what he's proven and half on what I think he will prove this year and years to come. He's one of the top goalies in the league and is capable of reaching the top. I love Staal but if I had to choose one to start a team with, I have to go with Cam.
Cam Ward. When he's on his game, the Canes win. Plain and simple.
Of all the injuries that led to the way the playoffs ended this past season, the biggest by far was Ward. Put a healthy Ward in net against the Pens and things would have been different. You wouldn't have seen all the soft goals he gave up in that series. While the Canes may still have lost, it would have been a lot closer.
I agree with the others here, though. Staal is easily #2, and then there's a gap. Probably a grouping of Ruutu and Whitney, maybe LaRose? Gleason? Mostly those for bringing it every night. Really tough to rank them after the first two. Would be nice to be able to pencil in Brind'Amour at #3, but we'll have to see how things go for him this season. Also would be nice to see a D step up clearly into the mix, as well.
Goes against my nature to follow the crowd, but had to go with Cam. Staal is the face of the Canes, as well as he should be, but I think the team goes the way of how Cam performs on those nights he doesn't get much help. He just seems like an old soul back there, years ahead of his age.
If Ward keeps elevating his game then it would be hard to go against Cam, but so far there's no question in my mind it's Staal. Just looking at last season where Cam arguably gets the nod in being a better player (at least in the playoffs) I still stay it's Staal. People are right, he's not on Crosby's level but there's nothing anybody can tell me that would convince me that Staal is an overreated player. Nothing. I don't buy the sentiment that he lazes through games more than the average player, nor do I think he's going to top out at the 75-80 point range. But regardless, talk about right now; take him out of the lineup and replace with an above average center with his linemates and you get an offense that's painful to watch. by painful I mean non-existent. you replace Cam with an above average goaltender and we're still left with a team that, while maybe not in the playoffs, is at least sniffing them. Without Staal, you think we make the playoffs? No chance.
Disclaimer: in NO way is this a rant about Cam Ward. It's not. In a way it's an unfair comparison and I do believe that Cam is about to absolutely take off and not look back, in which case you take the elite goalie. But on this team, these past few years, the question is most valuable...not best. In my eyes, it's Staal.
Hard choice, but I gave a slight edge to Cam over Staaly. They both have a great ability to crank it into another gear as the stakes get higher, but Cam's performance during the stretch run and into the playoffs just blew me away as a spectator.
Hard to pick against either one though, and I'll pick Staal next at Number 2.
I'm glad you started this poll. Number 3 is going to be a fun discussion.
Cam is the foundation piece of this team. Without him, the defence looks worse, the PK is average, the offence doesn't dominate enough to overcome a mediocre goalie. The team plays better when he's on. No contest.
I flipped my biased coin today, and it landed on Staal.
There is definitely no wrong answer to this one. I believe this is the single most underrated aspect of this team. We possess two, top flight, cornerstone, franchise players for years to come. Very, very, very few teams have that luxury. No uppercut intended to the location of the team, but if the tandem of Eric Staal & Cam Ward were in Calgary or New York for an example, I really feel they'd be looked at as true superstars across the league and one of the elite 1-2 tandems a team could possess.
I find myself asking this question. How would this team survive in February if they were sitting 6-7th in the Conference and Eric Staal were to go down with a season ending injury? And how would this team survive in February if they were sitting 6-7th in the Conference and Cam Ward were to go down with a season ending injury? Tough question, and I hope we never have to find out the hard way.
You honestly mise well flip a coin for this one. It's really a topic where you can pull a lot of straws to make an argument, but you could just as easily make the argument for the other side. It can go both ways just as easy in my opinion. Does Carolina make a successful run such as they did this past season without Staal? I doubt it. Does Carolina make a successful run such as they did this past season without Ward? I doubt it. Does Carolina make it out of rounds 1 or 2 without Staal? Not very likely. Does Carolina make it out of rounds 1 of 2 without Ward? Not very likely.
To me, they're equally valuable for what they bring to this franchise. I could have added an 'equal' choice for this poll and it would have likely taken the cake.
After about poll number 3, these threads will get interesting.
I thought it was about MVP in the 1st round playoff series against NJ.
Don't ask me why i thought it that way. I've been having a lot of Sarah Palin moments lately.
EDIT: I see i wasn't alone.
Well, I guess it was an honest mistake. I don't really see how you guys interpreted it that way as there is absolutely no mention of round 1 or the playoffs for the matter in the OP. I just thought you guys were trying to skew the vote and make it a Rory Fitzpatrick type situation. No harm no foul. But you guys should say who your real vote is for then. I think Cam would still be winning but it might be closer.