5 Veterans Putting on a Show Early in the 2013 NHL Season
There are a number of veteran NHL players putting on a show in the early part of the 2013 season.
These veterans understood how important it was to come into the lockout-shortened season in shape and ready to go because every goal and every victory is extremely important in a 48-game schedule.
Let's look at five veteran players who have started the year strongly.
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning star Martin St. Louis ranks second in the league with five points and has scored in both of his team's games to start the season.
The veteran winger scored two goals against the Washington Capitals on Saturday and added another in the Lightning's 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday.
St. Louis has scored 25 or more goals in nine consecutive seasons, and even though there are only 48 games this year, scoring 25 goals for the 10th straight year is a realistic possibility for the 37-year-old forward.
The Lightning should be a much improved team this season, and if there's one player whom head coach Guy Boucher can rely on every game to be productive offensively, it's St. Louis.
Jaromir Jagr, Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars winger Jaromir Jagr played in the Czech Republic during the lockout, and watching his start to the season, it's clear that the time he spent overseas has benefited him greatly.
Jagr is 40 years old, but he is playing like a player in the prime of his career through two games. He has two goals, two assists and a plus/minus rating of one.
The Stars need Jagr to step up while the team tries to sign star forward and restricted free agent Jamie Benn to a new contract, and thus far, he has risen to the challenge for his new team.
Saku Koivu, Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks forward Saku Koivu has been fantastic through two games, scoring one goal with four assists.
Koivu had two assists in the Ducks' 7-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on opening night, and had a goal and two more assists on Monday night versus the Calgary Flames.
The 38-year-old center is playing in his 17th NHL season but he's still performing at a high level, and since he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, Koivu might be playing for one last contract.
If this is going to be the final year of his NHL career, Koivu will want to leave the sport as a top player, and not someone on the decline. At the moment, Koivu is proving that he can still excel in a top-six role.
Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
Another veteran forward who has been impressive this season for Anaheim is Teemu Selanne.
The Finnish winger has fans all over the league and the world, and since this might be his final season in the NHL, a lot of fans are making sure they see at least one Ducks game before the year ends.
Selanne has two goals and two assists this year and looks like he's in great shape despite being 42 years old and playing in the 20th season of his NHL career.
The Ducks have been a surprise team in the Western Conference, winning their first two games and leading the entire league in goals scored with 12.
If Selanne continues to be productive offensively, Anaheim should contend for a playoff spot this season.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Some people were critical of the Phoenix Coyotes for giving captain Shane Doan a four-year, $21.2 million contract in the summer despite the fact that he's 36 years old, but the veteran winger has looked sharp in his team's first two games of the season.
Doan scored a nice goal off a backhand shot against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (video above), and also has an assist through two games.
Not only has Doan created scoring opportunities in the attacking zone, he's playing good defense, providing his team with great leadership and delivering huge hits all over the ice. Everything you would expect from Doan, he's giving his team.
The Coyotes will contend for a playoff spot this season, and Doan's performances will be a major reason why.
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