Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Thanksgiving in Canada is here and it is just around the corner in the United States, so here is a list of reasons National Hockey League teams should give thanks as they enjoy their dinners this year.
The Anaheim Ducks should be glad they rid themselves of Todd Bertuzzi so that people can like them again. Yeah, right. With a defensive crew that includes the likes of Chris Pronger, they will be looked upon as more feared than friendly – and I don’t think they mind.
Kovalchuk? Kozlov? Schneider? Thorburn (okay, I had to add his name!)? No, the Atlanta Thrashers are thankful for Tobias Enstrom – the best defenseman in the league that nobody has heard of.
The Boston Bruins have to be thankful that Patrice Bergeron has returned from his concussion woes. Even if they will be holding their collective breath each time a player from the opposing team sneezes.
The Buffalo Sabres have to count their blessing that they still have one of the youngest and most talented teams in the league. They would be even more grateful if the front office had added some winning experience to the roster.
With one of the best forwards in Jarome Iginla, one of the best defensemen in Dion Phaneuf and one of the best goaltenders in Miikka Kiprusoff the Calgary Flames are plenty thankful.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Cam Ward are certainly grateful for an improved defense that includes Joe Corvo, Frantisek Kaberle and Joni Pitkanen.
The Chicago Black Hawks are positively ecstatic that they have a group of talented, young stars that actually provides promise for a winning season.
There is no question, as Joe Sakic enters the twilight of his career, the Colorado Avalanche are celebrating the existence of Paul Stastny.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a team of extremely talented players, not withstanding the emergence of Pascal Leclaire as a top goalie, yet the league overlooks them. This is something to give thanks for.
With two of the most agitating players in the league in Steve Ott and Sean Avery, the Dallas Stars will be glad that other teams will dread seeing their name on the schedule.
The Detroit Red Wings, well, they don’t really have anything not to be grateful for.
The Edmonton Oilers will be giving thanks for a well-rounded team of experience and young talent that just may surprise this season.
Read next week about the remainder of the league’s teams.