Former Capitals center David Steckel is heading to Toronto. The New Jersey Devils sent last season’s faceoff leader (62.3%) to Toronto for a 4th round draft pick today, mere months after acquiring him from the Caps at the 2011 trade deadline. The 6’6, 215 lb Steckel is expected to give the Leafs much needed size and faceoff upgrade, as their top 3 pivots average 190 pounds and 48% on faceoffs. Steckel, 29, is set to earn $1.1 million in each of the next two seasons and should solidify the Leafs’ 4th line and penalty killing unit. The Caps face Toronto for the first of four meetings this season on November 19.
The Milwaukee native was originally a first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Kings in 2001, but he never suited up for them after graduating from Ohio State. After a season with the Kings’ AHL team in Manchester playing for Bruce Boudreau, Steckel signed with the Caps as a free agent in August 2005. In all, Steckel played 291 games for the Caps over 6 seasons, scoring 23 goals and 58 points and winning 2,129 of 3,623 faceoffs (58.8%). Steckel also played in 24 playoff games, scoring 4 goals and 7 points. He will best be remembered for his time in D.C. as a Penguin-killer, though, because of these two events.
Steckel scores his 3rd goal of 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals in overtime of Game 6
Steckel inadvertently obliterates Sidney Crosby during 2011 Winter Classic