Under-Appreciated Players: Part 1

David CampbellContributor IOctober 21, 2008

I've decided to do something a little different now-a-days. The NHL season is in full swing and I'm back to writing.

I'm making this series to point out the clearly good players who don't always get the spotlight. I'm of the opinion that Crosby and Ovechkin aren't the only players in the NHL, and are talked about way too much.

So here we go: Part One of Three.

Under-appreciated Player #1: Manny Legace (#34, St. Louis Blues)

I had to start with someone from my hometown team. But don't worry, there will be others.

Manny has been extremely strong in goal for much of his professional career, and even more so in St. Louis. Now, before people start pointing fingers, Manny had to play over 50 games for the Blues last season because of back-up goalie issues.

That is absolutely horrendous that he had to do that, and yet he managed to stay healthy.

Okay, so here are the facts:

  • He is 168-83-18 so far in his career - posting a 37-8-0 season in his final season with the Red Wings.
  • He has 2.31 GAA and a .914 save percentage life-time.
  • Finally, he plays very well under pressure and very, very rarely makes stupid plays with the puck. (Lookin' at you Marty Turco.)
  • He also is an extremely nice guy who I've had the pleasure of meeting. We had a nice talk about some locker room antics that had taken place during his NHL years.


Under-appreciated Player #2: Wojtek Wolski (#8, Colorado Avalanche)

Often times when you think of the Avalanche, you think of Joe Sakic. He's been the face of the franchise for longer than I can remember. You might also think of Milan Hejduk, Ryan Smyth, and Paul Stastny.

This play maker/power forward hybrid is strong and fast. Only 22, he is very good with the puck and does give bad turn-overs. This is only his 3rd NHL Season, and he shows a poise level that rookies like Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty won't show for a couple of years.

Okay, so here are the facts:

  • Posts a career 109 points, 43 goals, and 66 assists.
  • Still a young player, but has made a definite impact on the Colorado Avalanche, that I feel, has gone widely unnoticed.


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Coming Very Soon: Part Two - Four more under appreciated players.