Friday, July 18, 2008


Thanks to the NHL Frozen Moment, which needs it's own RSS feed, I was reminded of the most exciting pickup by the Minnesota Wild this offseason - Owen Nolan.

Here's the thing about Owen Nolan: He's a Brit. Not only that, he's one of two active British players. The other one? Daniel Taylor, who has played all of 20 minutes backstopping the Kings last year, letting in 2 goals on ten shots (including letting in the first shot) in the third period, letting Dallas turn a 5-1 steamroll into a 7-2 blowout and giving himself a career GAA of 6.

With so few British players in the NHL, and Owen Nolan having had a long and illustrious career, you'd think that he is one of the best british players ever. You would be correct. He's second best in Games Played, Goals, and Points behind Steve Thomas. Nolan is also second overall British player in Penalties in Minutes, to another Steve - this one's Smith.

Steve Thomas played with Toronto, Chicago, NY Islanders, New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago, Anaheim, and Detroit between 1984 and 2004, when he retired at the age of 40. Nolan? He's only 36 this year, and just signed for 2 years. He's gotta get 40+1 goals in 167+1 games to best those totals...and he's also 124 assists behind Thomas.

As for national team aspirations? Both Thomas and Nolan have played for the Canadian National team, but not at the same time. Also, no mention of Owen Nolan is complete without this:

It would of course be wrong to mention British players without mentioning Ken Hodge, who won two Stanley cups with the Boston Bruins after coming over as a part of the deal for Phil Esposito. Remember when that used to happen? Me either - it was over 10 years before I was born.