Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Western Conference Hottie: Matt Stajan (Calgary Flames)

IMPORTANT HOCKEY STUFF: Traded on the spur of the moment to take the Center spot on Jarome Iginla’s line which had pretty much been a revolving door this past season. He’s pretty much a passer, and not a shooter. Sporting 87 goals and 136 assists in 445 NHL games, Stajan is known as a puck-dealing centre. The big question was whether or not his dishing would mesh with Iginla, largely known as a shooter. And just how long might it take to develop that often-mentioned chemistry? "I think," surmised Stajan, showing wisdom beyond his 26 years, "you have to be yourself. We are all hockey players and we have been around the game and teammates for our whole lives. It's a new group but all I can do is be myself, get to know the guys and let things take care of themselves. We'll get more comfortable as we go."

At the age of 20, Stajan was able to make the Maple Leafs' roster. In his first full NHL regular-season, he was selected to the NHL All-Star Young Stars team as a forward after Atlanta Thrasher's Garnet Exelby had to step out of the game due to an injury. Stajan had two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in the game.
While the 04–05 season was canceled due to the lockout, Stajan played for the St. John's Maple Leafs, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

During the 05–06 season, Stajan tied Marián Hossa for first place with eight shorthanded points (four goals, four assists). On September 13, 2006, the Leafs signed Stajan to a two-year deal worth $1.75 million.

On July 7, 2008, Stajan re-signed with the Leafs inking a two-year, $3.5 million deal.  During the 08–09 season, Stajan passed a career high on an assist with his 40th point of the season in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 19, 2009.

REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: Brought to Calgary as the result of a rather “tag your it” type of trade last year, he should really appeal to those ladies who prefer the “tough guy” type of man. "It all happened so fast," he said of the lightning fast trade that brought him to Calgary. "The one thing is hockey and that's what we are focusing on right now. The family stuff...will take care of itself."  Beyond that he’s 6’1, 200, blond blue eyed (at this point I’m not even going to say anything, you’ve all got me figured out anyway). In addition to being a tough guy Stajan proves he has a softer, sentimental side. He wears the uniform #14 which he selected in honour of his uncle Robert. Robert wore #14 during his basketball career before dying of cancer at the age of 22. Leafs legend Dave Keon, who played for the Leafs during their last Stanley Cup victory in the 66–67 season, also wore #14. Keon distanced himself from the franchise during the Harold Ballard era, and held a grudge because his number was never retired. Stajan stated that if the Leafs wanted to retire the number, he would immediately surrender it. (toss a little class in the mix as well).

And last but not least, for some of those personal tidbits, the video below...

and some dirt is dished about everyone involved in that trade.

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