Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/17/07 at 05:30 PM ET
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
But for all of the veteran experience, what may prove most telling is the infusion of youth that is starting to shape the Western Conference. The Stanley Cup champion Ducks must now rely on the continued development of two 22-year olds—Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry—to fuel their attack. The Blues added Paul Kariya, who will be 33 in October, to the veteran duo of Tkachuk and Weight, but equally important is the emergence of winger Lee Stempniak, 24, as an all-around player, as well as the ability of 2006 top overall draft pick Erik Johnson to make a seamless transition from patrolling the blueline for the Minnesota Gophers to doing likewise at the NHL level.
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