Dallas Stars: 3 Reasons Loui Eriksson Will Be an All-Time Great for the Stars

Mitchell Klemp@@MeestaMitchContributor IIOctober 19, 2012

Dallas Stars: 3 Reasons Loui Eriksson Will Be an All-Time Great for the Stars

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    Loui Eriksson has been the most consistent player for the Dallas Stars over the past four seasons. He has posted more than 70 points in each of the past three years and was the team’s leading scorer last season after the departure of Brad Richards in free agency.

    In addition to his on-ice production, Eriksson has been a constant presence in the Stars organization. Through his six seasons in Dallas, durability has been one of Eriksson’s strong points. That is also one of the reasons he is on his way to becoming one of the best players in Stars history.

Regarded as Most Underrated Player

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    One of the key things that makes you an all-time great is how you are viewed among your peers. The fact that Eriksson has been voted the most underrated player in the NHL the past two years proves how well-respected he is among his NHL brethren.

    It also seems that every year Eriksson is one of the preseason favorites to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The respect for his play may not be nationally known, but around the league, everyone knows that he can take over a game.

    Eriksson is only 27 and has gained a high level of respect for his playing style and ability. Since he is still in his prime, it isn’t a stretch to think that he’ll continue to get better.

Comparison to Other Stars Greats

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    Current Stars captain Brenden Morrow has played 806 regular season games in a Dallas sweater. In those 806 games, Morrow has averaged .64 points a game and has worked his way up to ninth on the Stars all-time scoring list.

    Eriksson has played 453 games for the Stars and averages .72 points a game for his career. Since he became a top-line player four seasons ago, he has averaged .86 points a game.

    If he keeps up the pace of 69.5 points per season that he has posted over the past four years, he will have 606 points. That will move Eriksson into fifth all time in franchise scoring at the age of 31.

    Eriksson has the chance to pass Bobby Smith, Dave Gagner, Bill Goldsworthy, Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow if he stays healthy.

    Assuming those projections hold, he will also be within striking distance of Dino Ciccarelli, who sits in fourth place with 651 points. That’s a lot of "ifs," but Eriksson’s given no reason to doubt his ability to accomplish that feat so far.

Three Straight 70-Point Seasons

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    Eriksson has posted three consecutive seasons of over 70 points. Last season, he led the team with 71 and was four points behind Brad Richards two seasons ago, with 73.

    His consistency is key to bringing the Stars out of their current playoff drought. Eriksson’s playmaking abilities not only fuel his 70-point campaigns but also help make every player on the ice better.

    Michael Ryder’s first season with the Stars and Eriksson saw him score a career-high 35 goals and miss his career high in points by just one.

    The ability to make his team better is just one of the qualities Eriksson already has that most great players possess. All he needs now is the time to use all of his tools.

    Contact Mitch Klemp at MitchKlemp@yahoo.com and follow him on twitter @MeestaMitch