St. Patrick's Day: The Top 10 'Patricks' Currently in the NHL
I was once having a conversation with my friend about hockey, and he said something to me that's simply very true.
"Doesn't it seem like every hockey player's name is either Robbie, Bobby or Stevie?" I couldn't help but agree.
That being said, NHL athletes do in fact have a variety of names, "Patrick" being no exception, and there are some quality players with that name in the league right now.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 who are bestowed with that first name.
Comments are welcome.
Follow Daniel Friedman on Twitter: @dfriedman_isles
No. 10: Patrick O'Sullivan, Minnesota Wild
O'Sullivan won't necessarily wow you with his stats, but he does work hard, becoming quite the two-way forward relatively early in his NHL career.
However, he has shown an ability to produce, notching 53 points in 2007 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
He's still got plenty of hockey left in him, and certainly the Wild hope he can get back to the 50-point plateau in the near future.
No. 9: Patrick Eaves, Detroit Red Wings
Another player whose biggest contributions are generally not on the scoresheet, Eaves is a quality depth forward on a Detroit Red Wing team that has no shortage of that.
Eaves is the type of player who does the little things right, a commodity that any team with aspirations of winning needs.
No. 8: Patrick Lalime, Buffalo Sabres
Maybe Lalime isn't the goaltender he once was, but he's still a very solid one.
If his current stats won't vouch for him (and they won't, he hasn't won a game all season and currently sports a .890 save percentage), then how about the fact that he was the go-to guy for the Ottawa Senators from 2000-2004, helping them make the playoffs each of those years?
That sounds like enough of an argument for inclusion on this list.
No. 7: Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Sabres
Yet another Buffalo Sabre cracks our list, this time it's Patrick Kaleta.
He's one of the more underrated defensemen in the NHL, not because of his point totals, but because he's an excellent shutdown defender.
Not to mention, the guy can flat out win a shootout for you anytime, anywhere.
Kaleta's also not afraid to mix it up every now and then. He'll drop the gloves when deemed necessary.
No. 6: Patric Hornqvist, Nashville Predators
Okay, so he's missing the "k" at the end of his first name, but so what?
No reason to be picky.
Hornqvist has turned out to be a very solid performer for the Predators, and though he's struggling a bit this season, with just 18 goals and 16 assists, he did have 51 points last year.
He topped that off with an Olympic appearance for Team Sweden.
Honestly, would you rather see Patrick Rismiller on this list, simply because he has the authentic first name?
No. 5: Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues
I know, I know. His name is "Patrik."
For today, we'll cut him some slack in honor of St. Patty's Day (there, now "Patty" could be short for anything).
Anyways, Berglund's a great young talent and has made several strides over these past three seasons, notching 45 points or more during two of those three years.
He experienced the infamous "sophomore slump," only managing 26 points during that campaign, but he's rebounded splendidly with 45 in this season.
Berglund should surpass his rookie totals, but even if he doesn't, it's become clear that he'll be a good player in this league for a long time.
No. 4: Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils
Hockey fans, I promise that Elias is the last of the "fake Patricks" on this slideshow, but how could he not be included?
He's had an excellent career in New Jersey, and despite the fact that his age is catching up to him, he's still producing.
Elias has 52 points for the Devils in 2010-2011, a major reason for the gigantic turnaround the team has executed over the second half of the year.
No. 3: Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
If I had to guess, I'd say that every time Patrick Sharp scores a goal, there's a Philadelphia Flyers fan letting out a small cry somewhere.
That's because the Flyers inexplicably traded the talented winger away, only to see him flourish in a 'Hawks uniform.
This season, he's netted a whopping 34 goals and the same number of assists, good for 68 points. He's also been a major part of the team's recent success, playing a vital role on last year's Stanley Cup winning squad.
No. 2: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Marleau's had an excellent career, one that has been scarred by underachievement not because of his personal statistics, but rather his team's inability to make a deep postseason run.
Nonetheless, he's put up some great numbers, notching 70-plus points four times since the NHL resumed play in 2005 after the lockout.
He finished last season with 44 goals, and though he only has 52 points this year, think about it this way: If 52 points is considered a bad year for you, chances are you're a very good hockey player.
Patrick Marleau is definitely in that category.
No. 1: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Was there any doubt Kane would make this list?
All he's done early on in his career is win a Calder Trophy (rookie of the year award), a Stanley Cup and an Olympic silver medal.
This season, he's continued to live up to the billing, putting up 24 goals, 38 assists and 62 points. His performance this year has helped Chicago get back into the playoff picture, after the team struggled out of the gate.
A natural sniper and underrated playmaker, Patrick Kane will be a great player in the NHL for years to come.