Put your NHL general manager’s hat on for a moment and ponder the following question. Would you sign the last player taken in the draft to a five year $21.25 million deal?
No? What if I told you that that player scored 30, 21 and 27 goals consecutively in the three full seasons he’s played in the NHL? What if I told you that player has 163 points in just 287 career games? What if I told you that player is just 26 years of age and may not have played his best hockey yet?
You get the picture and, by now, you know the player. It’s Patric Hornqvist. On Draft day in 2005, nobody is projecting that the 230th pick will be a 30 goal-scorer in this League. But they would have projected the kind of game he would play, if given the opportunity – hard, straight ahead and relentless.
According to David Poile, “We are not in the playoffs today because of Patric Hornqvist. We absolutely missed his play with the injuries that he had.” Without a doubt, there is a great deal of truth in that statement. A healthy Hornqvist (not to mention Wilson, Bourque, Fisher, Gaustad and Yip) would have led to a different outcome. So by locking down Hornqvist, you secure on your roster a player that, when healthy, is sure to be a difference maker.
Mike Fisher may have said it best, “We have to get back to our identity of being a real hard team to play against, outworking teams, finding ways to win and being a playoff team.”
I believe that inking Hornqvist starts you down that path.
See you around the rink.