Anthony Stewart Jersey

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Hockey seems to be a family affair with Anthony Stewart of the Atlanta Thrashers and Chris Stewart of the Colorado Avalanche.

Both brothers are slowly but surely starting to earn respect around the NHL.

Considered a poor addition to the Atlanta Thrashers by a number of critics on the blogosphere initially, Anthony Stewart is on track to have his best NHL campaign ever, having already scored eight goals this season. If he keeps at the same pace, he will score 20 goals this season.

Interestingly, Stewart’s brother Chris is the leading scorer on the Colorado Avalanche, having already tallied 11 goals and 14 assists in 23 games prior to injuring his wrist in a fight with Kyle Brodziak with the Minnesota Wild.

Before the injury he was pacing to produce 31 goals and 40 assists in 65 games.

The knock on Anthony Stewart was supposed to be his inability to make plays at the major league level, yet he has shown the ability to score goals and deliver body checks while contributing tenacious defense at his forward position.

Stewart along with the rest of his Thrashers teammates are playing well together, jelling as a team and producing wins and respect around the league. Some Colorado Avalanche followers were a bit surprised to see Chris Stewart maintain the team’s top scorer status with the likes of Paul Statsny in the lineup.

The Stewart brothers had an interesting pathway to the major leagues.

Chris was the second of seven children born to Norman Stewart, an immigrant, and Sue, his Canadian-born mother. Chris and Anthony grew up poor but fell in love with hockey. Both skated with the North York Jr. Canadiens, and showed enough promise that their hockey fees were subsidized. Chris also played football, and seriously considered playing it throughout his high school years even though he loved hockey.

Chris Stewart walked away from hockey at the age of 16. He shifted his focus to football and track, and tried to earn a college scholarship rather than an Ontario Hockey League draft spot.

He felt the enormous financial pressure of playing hockey and decided that football was less expensive and less of a burden on his family’s limited resources. When Chris returned to the Frontenacs, he eventually made captain just as his brother had previously.

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In an inevitable move, the Boston Bruins announced Sunday that veteran defenseman Steven Kampfer has been placed on waivers. The Bruins hope Kampfer will clear waivers and can be reassigned to AHL Providence, but the team is taking a risk by exposing the 10-year pro.

Kampfer has been held scoreless in four games so far this season, but recorded six points in 35 games with Boston last year and added another point in three playoff games.

The decision to waive Kampfer was inevitable not due to his play but due to the roster crunch in Boston. Kampfer, who began his career with the Bruins in 2010, returned to the team before last season as part of the trade with the New York Rangers for Adam McQuaid. Kampfer was seen by many as a throw-in, but ended up playing a crucial role in 2018-19.

Beginning the season as the Bruins’ eighth defenseman, Kampfer was the only one who did not miss time due to injury in a season that featured 12 different defensemen for Boston. Kampfer was also the only one of those 12 not under team control beyond the end of the year. That changed in June, when the Bruins’ first move after the Stanley Cup Final was to re-sign Kampfer to a two-year, $1.6M deal. The length and non-minimum value of the deal was a nice reward and promise of commitment for Kampfer’s hard work that season.

However, the contract was likely created with impending waiver exposure in mind. The Bruins knew that with seven bona fide NHL defenders under contract — Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, John Moore, Matt Grzelcyk, and Kevan Miller — and the emergence of Connor Clifton, the odds that Kampfer could stick on the NHL roster all year wwere slim.

The Bruins hoped the extended term or slightly higher cap hit could dissuade teams from claiming Kampfer to serve in that same valuable depth role. Last week, when Clifton lost his waiver exemption and Moore returned from injury, it became clear this theory would soon be tested.

With Miller still working toward a return to health, top defensive prospect Urho Vaakanainen playing well in a recent NHL stint, and veteran Alexander Petrovic excelling in Providence, the Bruins could survive the loss of Kampfer if he were to be claimed. However, the team could potentially need him next season, after the likely free-agent departures of Miller and Petrovic and possible retirement of Chara.

Kampfer’s hard-working style and defensive awareness paired with considerable experience makes him a valuable asset, even if he is not getting regular ice time. For that reason, more than a few teams will entertain making a claim, especially contenders with depth concerns on the blue line.