Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - The Most Average Players in Dallas Stars History
No pyro-flagellating meth-heads attacking chainsaw-wielding grizzles on this list, sorry.
Good morning, hockey fans! Last week we stuck our fingers in our ears and pretended the lockout was going to end just soon enough to keep hockey relevant. This week, we're going to gleefully ignore the trials and travails of the CBA negotiations and instead focus on what top-notch internet journalism is all about: lists of stuff to make you yell at your screen.
We at Pegasus are no strangers to making lists: We've already drawn high commenting praise throughout the land for our groundbreaking work on the league's worst divers, coach-killers, and worst franchise players.
This week, we're going to drum up artificial internet controversy the old fashioned way: by listing the Most Average Players in Dallas Stars History. These are the guys who, while lacking the sheer talent of a Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos, were nevertheless far superior to the Cam Fowlers and Milan Jurcinas of the world. These are guys who would pleasantly surprise you when they scored a goal, which almost always happened in the second period of a mid-January non-divisional game. In a contest to see who was the most average, these guys would finish right in the middle.
#5: Benoit Hogue - Of average height and weight, Hogue was a fixture on any one of the top four lines of the Stars' Cup Finals-reaching teams, a perfectly serviceable winger who could slide alongside pretty much anybody and put up a goal or two from time to time. Not necessarily good enough to nail a roster spot down, Hogue was dumped twice by the Stars, only to return for another 30-games-or-so tour of duty within the year. Cultural Equivalent: Jeff Daniels.
#4: Dave Reid - Of average height and weight and with the most average-sounding name in all of recorded human history, Reid actually accomplished the double-whammy of intense averageness, both failing to ever achieve a point-per-game in the 80s while also riding coattails long enough to win two Stanley Cups at the very end of his career playing on some stacked teams. A steady fixture on the Nieuwendyk-Langenbrunner line, Reid was the guy who worked tirelessly in the corners, never sprung on a breakaway and was generally an all-around likeable guy. If he wasn't so dang average, Reid would make the perfect suburban serial killer. Cultural Equivalent: The British husband who gets cheated on in any Merchant-Ivory film.
#3: Antti Miettinen - Of average height and weight and just barely sneaking into the 2000 draft as a seventh-round afterthought, Miettinen has made a name for himself with the new team he plays for every year as a hard working, verstaile winger who can play up and down the lineup while chipping in about 30 points. Miettinen, whose name means 'unspectacular' in Finnish, never scored any huge goals in his three years moving between the Stars' second and third lines, but he did manage to torpedo an entire Stars season as a member of the Wild. Added bonus averageness: Miettinen plays guitar --the go-to creative outlet for quiet, unassuming white guys-- for a band that played at his own wedding. Cultural Equivalent: Nameless Vaguely-European Henchman #7 in a Steven Seagal film.
#2: Jeff Halpern - Of average height and weight, Halpern is currently signed with the Rangers, his sixth team in the NHL. Like a lot of perfectly average players, Halpern has experienced a long, well-traveled career by Playing The Game The Right Way and Doing The Hard Work No One Else Wants To Do. When your most defining on-ice characteristic is how frequently you get tossed from the faceoff circle, you know you're in the presence of an Average God. Cultural Equivalent: The clueless workaholic dad from any 80s sitcom.
#1: Trevor Daley - Of average height and weight, Daley defies the laws of statistics by being perhaps the single most average player in hockey history. Over the last seven years, Daley has played in 81, 74, 82, 75, 77, 82 and 79 games. Over the last five seasons, Daley has put up 24, 25, 22, 27 and 25 points. The only way he could get any more statistically average would be if his plus/minus were 0 every year of his career: which it nearly has been, ranging between -2 and 3 for every one of the last seven years save 2010-11, when his astounding +7 just leaps out of nowhere like a guy in an inside-out Trevor Daley mask at a cheap haunted house. Blessed with blinding speed that he rarely uses and a physical edge that is only noticeable when you're not looking directly at him, Daley has somehow managed to defy the odds and turn a traditionally-flashy skill set into the hockey equivalent of cafeteria food. Cultural Equivalent: David Schwimmer eating a microwaved burrito while trying to send a fax to his mortgage company.
Honorable Mentions: Nick Grossman, Shawn Chambers, Manny Fernandez, Scott Young, Ted Donato, Alex Auld.
That's it for this week's Cupcheck. Tune in next week when we go into hiding after high-ranking members of the Rob DiMiao Fan Club issue a jihad on us for not including him on this list.