Posted by: kristagolden | February 5, 2012

Man of the Day 2/4: Matt Stajan

Matthew Stajan

Born December 19, 1983 (age 28) in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Center for the Calgary Flames

Here’s another case of keeping your enemies close. First of all, fun fact: Matt is of Slovenian descent and has dual Canadian and Slovenian citizenship! Matt played midget hockey in with several teams before the Belleville Bulls picked him in the2000 OHL Priority Draft. After a sophomore season with the Bulls that brought him 85 points in 68 games, the Toronto Maple Leafs picked him in the 2002 NHL draft; after the next season in the OHL, he was called up to the AHL (the St. John Maple Leafs) three days after his last Bulls game and got an assist. The next day he played in his first NHL game with the Leafs and scored his first goal against the Ottawa Senators. So, to review: he went from juniors to AHL to NHL in a weeks’ time!

A very pretty pas de deux.

Matt made the roster right out of training camp for the 2003-04 season, and with the exception of the lockout season, he stayed with the Maple Leafs (during the lockout, he played with their AHL team) for seven seasons. At one point he tied Marian Hoss for shorthanded goals, and in the 2008-09 season he had 55 points, second only to Jason Blake. During the next season, he, Jamal Mayers, Niklas Hagman and Ian White were traded to the Calgary Flames for Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie. Calgary signed him to a four-year contract. This season hasn’t been the best as he missed 14 games with a sprained ankle, but he’s come back ready to play.

Matt and Nikolai Kulemin discuss street directions. "So you turn right at the intersection..."

– Krista

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