Center Eric Staal was given a sheriff's hat after his three-point game in the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) November 11, 2016
Staal told Fox Sports North that Wild players have started a new tradition of giving the sheriff's hat to the most deserving player following a win.
Although the hat will be passed around to other players throughout the year, Staal has been a big reason why the Wild are off to such a solid start.
Through 12 games, the 32-year-old is tied for the team lead in points with 11 (5 goals 6 assists) and he's registered at least one point in all but 4 games.
In the Wild's 7 wins this season, Staal has scored 5 goals in those contests. When the Wild have lost, Staal has put up just 2 points and has zero goals.
When Staal signed with Minnesota in July, there were questions about whether he had anything left in the tank after his point production started to significantly decline in the 2014-15 season.
However it appears there's still plenty left to his game and he's made everyone around him better. His six assists this season have gone to four different goal scorers, too.
With the Wild having many players signed to contracts that are bumping them up against the salary cap, Staal is making just $3.5 million this season –a bargain for the production he's given Minnesota this season.