Dr. Hockey Podcast Review: Scoutin’ it Out with Yan Stastny

Dr. Hockey, Dr. Jay Calvert here, and on the precipice of the 2018-19 NHL Season, I am reporting after just returning from the neon strip of Sin City. So, set yourself on the bench, put on the foil (“every game!”), and double down on your NHL knowledge with this week’s great Podcast. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I was broadcasting via video skype, while my co-host, Dr. Jason Berkley was on the horn from his abode wearing only his Dr. Hockey Tube socks…. not to worry he placed hockey tape over the camera port to keep this a family podcast.

First thing, about “Vegas, baby, VEGAS!”, They are Golden Knights crazy there! (The Golden Knights are my pick for the 2019 Stanley Cup Championship, BTW), I even had one super fan that inspected my Dr. Hockey ball cap and spoke to me to make sure I was “one of them”.

I assured him that I was in Vegas for a digital marketing conference, and I was an authentic Vegas/ NHL puckhead, not a member of the bandwagon. (only a town with as many “artificial” people roaming the strip as Las Vegas could have a bandwagon in one season ha-ha!)

But I digress, this episode is not about the celebrity and shimmer of Las Vegas, this week our headliner is former NHL forward, Yan Stastny!

Besides being the son of Hockey Hall of Famer, Peter Stastny, and the brother pf current NHLer, Paul, Yan had a nice career playing with the Oilers, the Bruins, and the Blues. He also played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for a couple of seasons as an amateur, before being drafted into the NHL.  And now, by coincidence, he has just been hired by the LAS VEGAS Golden Knights as a regional scout.

And guess what? The Golden Knights acquired his brother Paul in the off season! So, Vegas is now a Stastny family affair!

When the fact came up, that in the past, both Yan and Paul had both played for the Blues, it Inspired Jason to do a quick scouting report on the current version of the St. Louis team, so if you want to know what is going down in Bluesville give the podcast a listen.

One thing that Jason nor I, could get over, was why that a team that was right in playoff mode, the Blues, made a mysterious decision to TRADE Paul to the Winnipeg Jets at last year’s trade deadline, in hindsight the move was not good, as it weakened the Blues into a non-factor and built the Jets into a final four team in 2017-18. And when Paul became available this off season, Vegas scooped him up like a Hold ‘Em pot they won on the river, to help aid their current skate for Lord Stanley!

Vegas adding both Stastny and ex-Hab, Max Pacioretty, are strong moves for the 2018-19 campaign through the brutal Western Conference.

Speaking of tough teams in the Western Conference, what about the Anaheim Ducks? I predict they will as fly as far as Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf take them, if those two show up and lead, then the Ducks have the young fire power to be right there, but if they phone it in, no dice. Then the Ducks will go down in flames.

At this point, Red Wing Super fan Dr. Jason tried to brag that Detroit is 4-0 this preseason, which I of course, gave no relevance, which is what the Wings will be this season, irrelevant.  Although Jason seemed happy to be winning the pre-season Cup, (BTW there is no preseason Cup) What are ya gonna do? Detroit Jason is gonna Detroit.

My suggestion was that I get a Wing’s jersey with Berkley (Dr. Jason’s last name) on the back, HA!

This sent Jason off on a diatribe on wrong jersey guys, you know they fan who buys a jersey that is so tight it looks like a fitted shirt, or a fan with a throw back jersey with the name of legendary Sid Abel, misspelled as Able, and the horror of a Tampa Fan wearing a Lightning #19 Yzerman jersey! All irrevocable sins in motor city Jason’s eyes, AND a MAJOR penalty in Dr. Hockey’s eyes as well.

Then our guest, Yan Stastny, joined the Podcast. He was happy to officially announce he had retired in July, and been hired as a scout for the Vegas Golden Knights. Yan said his body had finally told him “no”, when it came to actually playing anymore professional hockey, and he was content that the summer of rest was rejuvenating his body.

Yan told a funny story about when he went to a team doctor to get an opinion on his injured shoulder, and the Doc was concerned about his OTHER shoulder, which actually felt fine. The Doc said, “ummm, you may be here for the one, but this other shoulder is a disaster!” Yan said the body and mind can do amazing things when it’s focus is to play professional hockey!

As a Physician, I told Yan he will be amazed how the rest will make his body feel, like he had been able to sip from a fountain of youth!

Yan then said becoming a professional scout and watching from up high in the arena as opposed to ice level was an incredible new perspective on seeing the game unfold, and much more effective to be able to concentrate on plays and on each player’s involvement in the them, either correctly or incorrectly. So, if you have a budget, that puts you up in the rafters, in the cheap seats, (as I had when I was doing my residency in Pittsburgh) don’t look at them as bad seats, look at them as training to becoming an NHL scout!

In a way the higher the seat, the more you can actually appreciate the game and it will educate you on the principles of hockey.

Then Yan put on his scout/team evaluation cap and gave great previews on the Golden Knights and the rest of the Pacific Division.

Yan gave an inside look into his new role in the Golden Knight’s personnel department, and that he knew of a big Vegas deal, even before his brother Paul did, Paul was at a concert in Denver, and it was he, Yan, who actually broke the news to his brother that Vegas had #67! (Max Pacioretty) and Paul had a new line mate. Yan thinks it was a HUGE pick-up for Vegas, and Paul and Max had actually played together before in the Olympics with solid power play success.

Yan also explained that Vegas is so tough because they have 4 lines that can come at you, the Golden Knights first 2 lines are both #1 lines. They’re lethal!

Yan then gave a great explanation in the difference in scouting NCAA players and players who are playing pro hockey in juniors. Very informative.

When previewing the Sharks, especially after San Jose Acquired former Sens Defenseman, Erik Karlsson, Yan correctly wondered what the Sharks would do with 2 All-Star defense men (Brent Burns and Karlsson) that are BOTH right handed shots. Who gets to snipe from the right point on the power play? An interesting conundrum. But a good problem to have, and all of us though the Shark will be right there until the end.

Yan LOVES the Los Angeles Kings acquisition of Ilya Kovalchuk, I thought maybe 20 goals for Ilya, but Yan says he sees 30, maybe 35. Yan thinks the Kings are right there, but I say only if the REAL Kings show up ( Goalie Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar), I have to see it to believe it 100%. Which I will since I am a King’s season ticket holder.

This Podcast is completely loaded with Pacific Division info, so if you are a left coaster, make sure you hear it from top to bottom!

When wrapping the Podcast up Yan announced that his family is expecting a rookie (a NEW baby!) so, his roster at home will grow from 3 kids to 4! And he regaled us with a recent trip to the golf course with his rug rats, and how he actually spent the most time raking the sand trap (where his kids were playing), that hitting with his driver. I, myself, had to quit taking my kids to the golf course, as it was a disaster, Hey I am Dr. Hockey, NOT doctor golf course ha-ha!

And since it is “Game On Eh!” we are all about the action ln the ICE, well and maybe the Neon Strip, where Yan and the Golden Knights will be scouting out a Vegas Cup!


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