Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 29
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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(Photo Courtesy of Philadelphia Flyers)

TRADING PLACES: Darroll Powe chases down the puck during his career for the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL. Last month, former Princeton University standout Powe was traded by the Flyers to the Minnesota Wild. Powe scored 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists in 81 appearances for the Flyers this past season and has tallied 43 points in his three-year NHL career.

Former PU Hockey Star Powe Heading North; As Flyers Move Him to Minnesota Wild in Trade

Ed Benkin

Darroll Powe is known for taking care of business on the ice, tirelessly conditioning himself so he can make the most of every shift as a National Hockey League player.

Over the last three years, the former Princeton University star’s on-ice focus helped him become a valuable contributor for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The bruising 5’11 212-pound center became a regular, distinguishing himself as a valuable penalty killer as the Flyers made the Stanley Cup finals in the 2009-2010 season.

But last month, Powe, 26, got a taste of the business side of the game when he was traded to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a third-round draft choice.

The move was one of many changes that the Flyers made to their roster after a season that ended in a second round sweep at the hands of Boston.

While Powe was startled by the deal at first, he realizes it could be a blessing in disguise.

“It’s definitely started to settle in,” said Powe, who scored 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists in 81 appearances for the Flyers this past season.

“It’s my first experience with a trade, so it takes a little while to let everything settle in and let the dust settle. But the more time has gone on, the more I get excited about this opportunity in Minnesota.”

The Flyers parted ways with such players as Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Ville Leino, and Dan Carcillo. Many believed Powe would remain in Philadelphia since he was well-liked by the organization and considered to be a valuable part of the team’s nucleus. However, most players are expendable in the world of the NHL, especially with a salary cap in place.

Although Powe would have preferred to remain in Philadelphia, he realizes trades come with jobs in pro sports.

“It’s an unfortunate part of the game,” added Powe, a 2007 Princeton graduate who hails from Kanata, Ontario.

“You build a relationship with the team and you’d love to stay, but there is a business side to it. It was my first trade, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.”

Powe is heading to a team that missed the playoffs last season but has the potential to get back to the post-season in 2012. The Wild have acquired established players such as Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi during the off-season and Powe is excited about his future in Minnesota.

“I have to just go in there and play my game,” said Powe, who has a total of 43 points and 130 penalty minutes in his three-year NHL career.

“There might be more of an opportunity for me to play some slightly different roles than I played in Philly. I look forward to that challenge.”

While Powe is looking ahead to his time in Minnesota, he is one of many players who were surprised to see the massive roster shake-up in Philadelphia.

“It’s definitely been a big summer for the Flyers,” Powe said. “Those are some big parts of that team and organization that got shaken up. It doesn’t happen too often, but I guess in today’s cap, it’s become a necessity for some teams.”

Powe isn’t the only person with Princeton connections changing teams this summer as former head coach Guy Gadowsky recently left the Tigers to take the head coaching position at Penn State. Powe played three seasons for Gadowsky at Princeton and he knows the dynamic coach will be missed around Baker Rink.

“It means a coach did a great job when so many people are disappointed to see him go,” said Powe, who served as team captain during his senior campaign and tallied 60 points in his Princeton career.

“Everyone is really excited for Guy and the opportunity he has this year. We know he’s going to do great there but at the same time, it’s tough to see a quality coach and person leave Princeton.”

Powe is hoping his recent playoff experience will work to his advantage in his opportunity with Minnesota. Going through the playoff wars in the NHL makes players tougher and Powe is hoping he can set an example for other players to follow.

“Playoff experience has never hurt anyone,” Powe said. “I think Minnesota has a great thing going. If I could use some of that experience to help out in Minnesota, I’ll try and do that.”

Powe will return to Philadelphia on January 17 when the Wild take on the Flyers. It will be a night of mixed emotions for Powe, and he admits it will feel strange coming out of the visiting locker room at the Wells Fargo Center.

“That will obviously be my first experience playing against a team I once played for,” said Powe. “It will be a different feeling, but one I will probably enjoy as well.”

Knowing Powe, he will put those feelings aside and will take care of business when he hits the ice.

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