Kukla asked a question on his blog the other day, and I felt inclined to respond. Here is what he asks:
I have one question for you today. What NHL player do you look at as having a breakout season this year? You know the type of player I am looking for, maybe he scored 15 goals last season, but you expect 30-35 from him this year. Maybe it is a defenseman, someone who was considered to be a No. 4 or No. 5 dman, but all of the sudden shows the ability to be a No. 2 guy and becomes a force on the power play or penalty kill.
The NHL player I most want to have a breakout season, that is not on my team, is Jason Blake. He had an extremely tough last season, and I’m sure being in the “center of the universe” didn’t help much. The poor guy was diagnosed with leukemia, and undergoing treatment. He managed to get a total of 52 points, (15 goals 37 assists). Because of his leukemia Blake will always hold a special place in my heart. My Uncle died in February of 2007 of leukemia. Well, of complications from the treatment, so when I found out about Blake, I automatically felt a connection to him.
The player on my team that I would like to have a breakout season. That’s easy. All of them. They all need to improve in one way or another. We have to be better as a whole in order to succeed. Pazzy needs to stop a few more pucks, Norrena needs to close his five-hole, Modin needs to stay healthy, Nash needs …well I can’t think of anything, and everyone else has their flaws.