By: Melissa Esing (Off_thePost)
Throughout the 2013-2014 NHL season, I’ll be posting player features each Friday. This week, we’re going to take a look at Craig Adams.
Craig Adams, 36, is a Stanley Cup winner with both the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009) and the Carolina Hurricanes (2006). Adams was the last to ever be drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1996. He was chosen as a 9th round, 223rd overall pick. His NHL debut came in 2000 as a Carolina Hurricane. In January 2008, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional pick in the draft. His Blackhawks career was short lived, as he was claimed off waivers by the Penguins in March 2009. In July 2013, he was re-signed to a two-year contract which will run through the 2014-2015 season.
There are a few undeniable positive assets about Adams. Without a doubt, Adams is durable and consistent. He always puts forth immense effort. The way he plunges himself at other players and puck-blocks, it’s almost as if he has no care in the world about potential injuries.
He also has ridiculous penalty kill capabilities.
It’s not very often that you see Adams marked as a healthy scratch, so he’s no stranger to being a regular in the lineup. His defensive efforts can usually be seen physically. No but seriously, he can rock a mean black eye. The man can fight.
With the good comes bad. In a way, his age works against him. While he doesn’t seem to show it, he’s at that point where it’s time to question how much he has left in him. He’s not necessarily showing signs of his age, but I think the question of time is lingering in the air.
He’s a veteran to the game, and while still very valuable, he’s hit the peak of his career for quite some time now.
Also, out of the three goals he scored throughout the 2012-2013 regular season, two of them were empty-net goals, showing that he lacks offensively. On the other hand, you can look at this from a different perspective. It does prove that he has earned enough trust to play at the final moments of games.
Thus far in the 2013-2014 regular season, we’ve seen quite a change in Adams compared to last season. He’s scored three times within five games this season.
When it comes to off the ice, Adams appears to be a good man all-around, and a good friend. Perhaps one of his greatest assists came from aiding in the release of a close friend’s brother from imprisonment in Venezuela. Tim Tracy, brother of Carolina Hurricanes’ broadcaster Tripp Tracy, was in a mess of a situation. Tripp knew that Adams had a connection that would be the only hope in rescuing his brother, his father-in-law, Paul Cellucci. According to Tripp, Adams deserves credit for the kind act of helping out a friend in need.
Personally, I think that Adams is a little bit underrated. On the other hand, it’s so easy to be overlooked when you don’t have flashy or outstanding stats and you’re on the same team as stars such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, etc.
Although underrated, the Penguins clearly saw the consistency they needed and wanted in Adams since they decided to keep him for another two years.