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Eric Staal: Is he playing too much hockey?

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01-29-2010, 06:55 AM
Boom Boom Anton
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Eric Staal: Is he playing too much hockey?

Ok..I realize this question may seem dumb..but reading a thread on the main board, a couple of comments from Vagrant and Cptjeff got me thinking.


The comments were basically that since the lockout, no player has played more hockey games than Staal (regular season, playoffs, WJ, pre-season, etc..). Whether or not someone else may have played more isn't really relevant, the net is that Staal has played a ton of games over the past 4 years. The wear and tear became most evident this year as he missed games really for the first time in his career.

After a game against the Wings last year where Staal played a ton of minutes, I remember Babcock in an interview said that he was very impressed with Staal, but that the Canes were going to kill him if they keep playing him that much (or something to that effect).

Eric Staal is a big, strong, young franchise player and is absolutely critical to the longterm success of the Canes (both on the ice and the fact that his contract will take up a large chunk of the cap).

So the question to the board. Do you think the amount of hockey he is playing (and the minutes/style he plays) will cause him to wear down faster over the course of his career? Will he continue to perform at or above a ppg level and not miss many games 4 or 5 years from now? Or do you think he will start to drop off sooner because of the wear and tear?


EDIT: I am not suggesting that there is some sort of alternative where he can play less hockey......just wondering what other's thoughts are on the impact this will have on him long term.

Last edited by Boom Boom Anton: 01-29-2010 at 07:02 AM.
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01-29-2010, 08:20 AM
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I think after this year he won't think twice about taking a game or two off if he's not 100%. That should hopefully keep him relatively fresh for the whole season.

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01-29-2010, 08:27 AM
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Staal no longer has one of the leagues longest Iron Man streaks going like he has the past 2 seasons. I think even he realizes that the team would probably be in better position now had he taken a week or so off after getting hurt early this season rather then having to miss about a dozen games after it was further agitated. I doubt he'll be as likely to "play through it" in future seasons if he gets a similar injury. But I'd also bet that he has quite a few more 82 gamers in him. I mean it's not like the guy is Gaborik or something.

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01-29-2010, 08:36 AM
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Just looking around.....dont mind me

Jordan has our longest iron man streak going too, they must have really ate thier wheaties in that family.

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01-29-2010, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ncpuckhog View Post

After a game against the Wings last year where Staal played a ton of minutes, I remember Babcock in an interview said that he was very impressed with Staal, but that the Canes were going to kill him if they keep playing him that much (or something to that effect).
Well, he actually said that Staal would be "dead by December" if we played him every night like we did that game. We all know how Staal's season went after December, so Coach Canada got his plateful of crow there.

As for whether Staal has seen too much ice-time in the past, it's a tough question. I myself have no idea what it's like to be a professional athlete and all the intense training and working out that's required. So of course I don't know how their bodies feel waking up in the morning game day after game day. You read past comments from Rutherford about thinking there should be no or a very short preseason, that these athletes are ready to go pretty much from the start. Or that teams should roll just 3 lines in the future, and you get the impression that they're all ironmen in tiptop physical condition that could Forrest Gump their way across America 5 times over.

Then you see effects like Staal's couple of breaks this season has had on him, and you realize everyone needs a vacation sometime. The offseason doesn't count in the midst of an 82 game season. Hopefully Staal or the team won't hesitate as much to have him sit for a game or two in the future; for a while it was almost the stuff of horror films to try and imagine the team without Staal, simply because we were very unaccustomed to it.

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01-29-2010, 03:28 PM
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I don't know the dynamics of who's telling who when Staal is going to play, but I do think he needs to heal up on occasion. How many times have we seen him hurt some in game, then come back the next game and seen his play suffer for a few weeks for something that would be a game or so for most?

I would like to see the coaches encouraging him to rest his body if he's hurt. I think that with the ironman streak over, he'll be more inclined to do so.

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