In a sport dominated by foreigners, we should all be mindful that there are still many Americans in the NHL. On this auspicious week celebrating the birth of our great nation, I thought it prudent to ask the writers:
Who is your favorite American NHL player past or present?
My favorate American born Hockey player is Chris Chelios. He played until he could physically not go any more at 48 years of age and was an effective player well into his 40’s…Chelios is a five-time first team all-star, played in 11 All Star Games, won three Norris Trophies and also three Stanley Cups too. Chelios always had the respect of his teammates and even his opponents…and he was tough to play against having watched him against the Sharks several times…
Honestly, I would have said Jeremy Roenick just a year or two ago. But with the crap he’s pulled since retiring really alienated me. So I have to go with Mike Modano. The guy was clutch time and time again. We Sharks beared witness to that far too often, but honestly there few other guys you’d want on your team in a clutch moment than Mike Modano because you never had to question his drive, effort, or leadership. Total class act through and through.
Honestly. I think I would have to go with Tim Thomas. The guy is the embodiment of America. Born in Flint, Michigan. Had a late start in his career and made the most of it. Including but limited to multiple MVP titles, All-star appearances, Olympic appearance, and a Stanley Cup. Not only that, but he plays hard, always carries a smile, and never afraid to check someone that is in his grill.
Despite what Andy said I still go with Roenick. Being a superstar for one team is tough enough, but he was the face of the Blackhawks AND Flyers while he played for each team. He had dubious tenures in Phoenix and LA but we LOVED him in San Jose. He’s the #3 all-time US-born goal scorer. Look him up online and you can find multiple incidents throughout his career where JR’s face was shattered and he came back. Stories like this or this. But maybe the best thing about Roenick? His Swingers-inspired video game sports legend. I met JR a few years back and asked him what it felt like to be among the best video game athletes ever, he said that was the one question he got asked more than any other.
Honestly, and I’ll catch flak for this, George Parros. For the same reason that Lanny McDonald will always be one of my favorite Canadians…that ‘stache. Add in the fact that he is an American version of Douglas Murray (#2 on my favorite Sharks list), and you’ve got one hell of a combo. My compatriots make convincing arguments for JR, Timmy and Chelios, but you don’t get that Burt Reynolds-esque feeling of “AMERICA” when you look at them. It’s majestic, like a bald eagle on his face. And what’s more American than a bald eagle? Nothing, I rest my case.