Well, it is the dog days of summer and there isn’t much happening around the league right now so I figured why not start posting some lists to maybe spur some mid-summer discussion. So here is my first one which is a list of my favourite players on every team. Well, maybe not always my favourite players, but rather some players who I like, or who I admire how they play the game, or who is highly underrated, or just someone who I think people don’t know much about when they really should.
Anaheim – Ryan Getzlaf – Size, strength, speed, talent. He’s got everything.
Atlanta – Slava Kozlov – One of the more underrated players and has developed into a solid leader.
Boston – Patrice Bergeron – Plays with enery and passion.
Buffalo – Thomas Vanek – The next superstar of the NHL and Buffalo won’t be dissapointed matching Edmonton’s offer.
Calgary – Dion Phaneuf – Maybe the best all round defenseman after the big three (Pronger, Niedermayer and Lidstrom)
Carolina – Rod Brind’amour – Good offensively, excellent defensively, a great leader. He does everything well.
Chicago – Jonathan Toews – There isn’t much to like in Chicago so may as well go with a future star and world junior hero.
Colorado – Joe Sakic – What’s not to like about Sakic.
Columbus – Fredrik Modin – You never hear much about him but he has put together a respecatable career.
Dallas – Brenden Morrow – Does everything well and is an excellent leader.
Detroit – Tomas Holmstrom – Does the dirty work so few players are willing to do.
Edmonton – Steve Staios – There isn’t much to like on the Oilers so why not go with the last remaining veteren.
Florida – Olli Jokinen – If he were in a major market he’d be a superstar.
Los Angeles – Michal Handzus – Not speedy but when healthy is highly effective at both ends of the ice.
Minnesota – Wes Walz – Every team needs a Wes Walz type player.
Montreal – Mike Komisarek – Might make mistakes by being over agressive but he plays the game hard.
Nashville – Shea Weber – Shoots hard, hits hard, plays hard. Future top tier defenseman.
New Jersey – Martin Brodeur – The main reason why New Jersey has won 3 Stanley Cups in the past dozen or so years.
NY Islanders – Ruslan Fedotenko – The Islanders lost a lot this off season but the addition of hard working Fedotenko was a good move.
NY Rangers – Marek Malik – Highly underrated as a defensive defenseman. He’s one of the best.
Ottawa – Chris Kelly – I love his work ethic, his speed and his passion for the game. One of the better penalty killers in the league.
Philadelphia – Simon Gagne – Nobody stands out so I’ll go with the Flyers best player.
Phoenix – Kevyn Adams – An excellent forchecker and defensive player.
Pittsburgh – Ryan Whitney – He hasn’t gotten the attention of Crosby, Malkin or Staal but he is going to be a star player as well.
San Jose – Mike Grier – Plays hard and smart and will chip in some goals. Buffalo really missed his energetic play in the playoffs.
St. Louis – Lee Stempniak – Nobody really knows him yet but he is going to be a consistent 30+ goal scorer.
Tampa – Martin St. Louis – Gotta love what he has done with his career after floundering early on.
Toronto – Nik Antropov – I have defended Antropov for a long time and if he could just stay healthy I am sure he’ll prove me right.
Vancouver – Brendan Morrison – I briefly chatted with Morrison many years ago on ICQ (when he was still at Michigan) and I have followed his career ever since.
Washington – Alexei Ovechkin – I am not sure anybody has more fun playing hockey and scoring goals than Ovechkin. I love his enthusiasm.
So that is my list, what are your thoughts? If there are any other hockey bloggers reading this I challenge you to put together your own lists and be sure to post a link to it here in the comments so we can all compare favourite players.