Ah, Stecks, we’ve had you on our team for so long, it’s gonna be weird not seein’ you in Caps red. Now you’re going to be in Devils’ red, at least the color will be familiar! And now you are in the same division as Sidney Crosby, how fortuitous is that, Danger Dave?
Many people don’t realize Dave Steckel is a mountain of a man, but I think Sidney Crosby can attest to this fact. You may well remember the 2011 Winter Classic game on 1/1/2011, where Stecks’ 6’5” 217 lb. body unintentionally collided with Sid and, according to Mr. Crosby, is a factor in his current concussion condition. (Say that 3 times fast). Many NHL players, including current Penguins, came to Stecks’ defense, acknowledging that Mr. Steckel is not a dirty player and it was obvious to them and the NHL; when the collision was reviewed after the game; that the hit was indeed deemed unintentional and not a punishable offense. But, Danger Dave is probably still on the Pens Most Wanted list. And it may be debatable as to what Dave would consider his crowning achievement; the hit to Crosby or his game winning OT goal in the playoffs in May of 2009 against the same Penguins, but neither probably endears him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Low and behold, he’ll be facing the Penguins this coming Friday, March 4th, and again on March 25th and April 5th. And he probably thought he was done with them for the regular season, eh?
In case you don’t know, Stecks was originally a 1st round draft pick by LA, but after 4 years at Ohio State, he never signed with them. He joined the Caps in 2005 as a free agent and except for his first two seasons played in both Washington and Hershey; his whole NHL career to date has been as a Washington Capital. This season, Stecks has 11 points in 57 games (5 goals, 6 assists). His career as a Cap has resulted in 23 goals and 53 assists in 291 games, but we know his talent as a center is his best asset. In his four full NHL seasons, Stecks ranked among the top seven on draws, last year being his best with a 59.2% overall.
One thing I’ll always remember Dave for as a Capital was his interaction with the kids who came to watch him play. Warm ups at Verizon, Dave always tossed pucks over the glass to the kids in the crowd. Every time. Gotta love that about him.
We’ll miss you Stecks, and I know we all wish you well, but we’ll be seeing you again on March 18th. Good luck with the Devils.