Each NHL Team's Smartest Player

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Each NHL Team's Smartest Player
photo: ncaa.com

Intelligence is measured in many different ways. Back in the dark ages when I took my SAT tests to get into college, my aptitude was measured by a Scan-Tron multiple choice, Powerball-type ticket that could only be used with a No. 2 pencil. If you were unlucky enough to have taken your SAT's with a No. 3 pencil by accident, well Godspeed my friend!

Player intelligence is determined in the sporting world a little differently. The No. 2 pencils and Scan-Trons are replaced by the tools of the particular trade: bat, stick, glove, boot, etc. An athlete can get pretty far on sheer talent, but will eventually run into problems when they reach the level where everyone's skill-set is the same.

Of course, there is plenty of determination, hard work and good fortune that supplement the God-given abilities and make the difference between an NHL player like Patrick Roy or Patrik Stefan. Instincts, hockey sense and a "good feel for the game" can also be used to describe the smarts of some of our favorite NHL players.

Another grading criteria is a player's self awareness. What I mean by this is that what a guy does with his free time says a lot about who he is. A player that spends his free time doing work in the community or donating time and money to charity strikes me as more intelligent than the alternative.

The traditional road to the NHL does not often include a college degree and in many cases, no college at all. That doesn't make hockey players less intelligent, but from the standpoint of how conventional intelligence is measured, some of the sharpest players on the ice might not excel in the classroom.

This list will look at the smartest players on each NHL team. Words like savvy, crafty, clever, slick, perceptive and experienced will flow freely when describing each of these guys. They may not be the most talented or the most exciting to watch, but they are difference makers every night and are a critical part of every locker room.

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