Yes, I know, he’s gone now. Jeff Halpern has moved on to play for Tampa Bay now.
I was so happy when Halpie came to town. He’s a pretty one, and he’s a defensive guy. I knew he was my kind of player. Plus, he has a degree in economics from Princeton! Princeton is one of those schools where even the athletes are smart.
His senior year at Princeton gave him confidence that the NHL was just a phone call away.
The 1998-99 varsity recorded the most hockey wins in school history and shared the Ivy League title with Yale. Halpern was team captain and leading scorer. He was co-winner of the university’s Roper Trophy, for athletic and scholastic achievement.
So we have smart, hot, and a good penalty killer. There’s really nothing else on my list of things to look for in a player.
Halpie was captain of the Washington Capitals when he left as a free agent to sign a 4-year deal with Dallas in the summer of 2006. He wanted to be on a team that had a chance to do something in the post-season and he came about a month short.
When he was here, he solidified the checking line. He helped make the penalty kill tops in the entire league. He donated his lower-bowl season tickets to injured soldiers. He did whatever he was asked to do and for his trouble he got traded to the lowliest team in the league. Now the poor guy is stuck in Tampa Bay for two years.
Since the Lightning, of course, didn’t make the playoffs, he played for the USA in the World Championships. Unfortunately, he blew out his ACL and will probably miss a good chunk of the beginning of next season with the Lightning.
Hopefully, when he’s back up and running, he and Mike Smith and Jussi Jokinen will have helped Vinny Lecavalier pull their team up off the ground. I really hope they all do well there. I miss Halpie.