High Brouw

14 01 2012

I don’t know about you all, but whenever a player I love gets traded away, I tend to keep tabs on them and just see how they’re doing.  Well, long story short, I have quite a few tabs lately, because a lot of players I love are from the 2010 Championship Chicago Blackhawks’ team.  There was just something magical about that group.  They all got along, from Captain Sexpanter to a fourth-line guy like Colin Fraser, they enjoyed playing the game together and it showed on the ice with their success.

So, last night, one of my favorites, Troy Brouwer, got his first career hat trick!

It's time for the happy dance!

He’s one of those players who never got the accolades he deserved in Chicago.  But, not a lot of players did, especially when your roster is so stacked with the top guys.  Personally I don’t think he’s underrated anymore, and he’s having a great time in Washington.  So, in celebration of his hattie, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:  M’s Top 3 Underrated NHL Players!

1.  Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars

To be honest, Eriksson isn’t exactly in the greatest market for hockey.  Maybe if they put grass on the rink and gave them a football to slap around instead of a puck, then people would show up to the games.  But he’s a great player.  He’s had consistent 70-point seasons and is on pace for the same, if not more, this season.  He was an All-Star selection last year and played for Sweden in the 2010 Olympics.  Heck, even in a player’s poll of the most underrated NHL players, he was voted #1.  How can you argue with that?

2.  Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks

Well hellooooooo Mr. Beautiful!  Ahem, sorry, got a little carried away there.  People forget sometimes how Sharp got his start in Chicago.  He was received in a trade from Philadelphia in 2005 for Matt Ellison and a 3rd round pick in the 2006 draft.  I know what you’re thinking:  Who is Matt Ellison?  EXACTLY.  This was an absolute, home-run of a trade for the Blackhawks.  I mean, we might as well just say we stole him from Philly because that’s what it looks like.  He’s not only a great player, but he’s an alternate captain and a true leader in that dressing room.  Plus, as of right now, the Blackhawks has a situation of “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”, since our beloved Sharpie is out for 3-4 weeks with a wrist injury.  But don’t worry, he’ll be back and sexier than ever.  BETTER!  I meant BETTER!  Damn you and your mesmerizing good looks….

3.  Tomas Fleischmann, Florida Panthers

C’mon guys, gingers need love too!  Here’s yet another great case of an underrated player in a bad hockey market.  I mean, let’s be honest here, most people in Miami don’t even know what ice is unless it comes in a drink with a little paper umbrella.  But, to everyone’s surprise, the Panthers are in first place in the Southwest Division.  I’ll give you all a moment for that to sink in.  Yes, the Panthers are winning.  And not Charlie Sheen “winning”, but actually playing solid hockey with a great coach and front office.  Fleischmann is having a breakout season right now, and is only behind Kris Versteeg in points on the team.  He was mentioned by All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell as being overlooked for the All-Star Game.  So yeah, you could say he’s underrated.  I’d keep this long-lost Weasley in mind to be a critical member of their squad in the coming years.

Honorable Mentions:  Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators; Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild; Dave Bolland, Chicago Blackhawks

As a quick side-note, I want to point out why Florida is playing so well.  Obviously the players are a huge part of it, but the front office is where it started.  Why do I bring up the front office, you might ask?  Let’s just say history tends to repeat itself, and this is a bit too close to home for me.  Their current GM is Dale Tallon.  Who was the GM when the Blackhawks were a dead franchise?  Dale Tallon.  Who selected Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in their respective NHL draft years?  Dale Tallon.  I think we’re sensing a pattern, here.  Don’t be too shocked if Florida wins a Stanley Cup in a few years.  Just a little food for thought.

Who are your underrated players?  Let me know!





One response

15 01 2012

Matt Niskanen, hands down. Gotta stand by my Minnesotan Natives <3

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