Blackhawks Confidential

Hard to get over Seabrook being named NHL's most underrated player

seabrookunder.jpgI have been advised by the all-seeing internet, where small items end up recycled more than yesterday's newspaper (and I definitely mean yesterday, just ask Sam Zell, who is wondering on Bloomberg how the hell he can get all those dirty black-and-white print marks rubbed off his fingers), that we have been underrating Brent Seabrook all this time.

You could knock me down with a feather. Please do me a favor and make it The Fifth Feather, one of my favorite and most lucid websites in breaking down the Blackhawks into delectable bite-sized pieces, perfect for the kiddies on Halloween.

Duncan Keith, I'm told by The Hockey News, used to be underrated. That's also so yesterday. The story says Seabrook's ambitious partner in grime has graduated to full respectability, which sounds like a dull place to me, while leaving Seabrook to wallow alone in the NHL underclass.

The same article that settled on Seabrook as the NHL's must underrated player and reported on Keith's rise to the upper class also tossed out an honorable mention to sparkplug Troy Brouwer as most underrated, but ultimately he isn't nearly as well-known as Seabrook and just a little too underrated to be lifted into the most underrated spotlight.

I mean, you really can't be too underrated to win most underrated. I trust that you see where I'm going, because sometimes I'm not so sure even when I'm 5-on-3 and desperately attempt to call a timeout like Coach Q to circle the wagons.

The media trick, after all, is to name an underrated player you know and will stop to read about before looking for Lindsay Lohan's latest naked picture or Demi Moore's most current butt shot on Twitter. It certainly calls into question if the player is really underrated when the name is instantly recognizable in two countries as well as Chicago.

Seabrook is so underrated that he and Keith are both competing for a spot on the Canadian team in the Olympics. Keith features speed and Seabrook muscle, but they are both crucial parts of the Hawks' hope that the club can be June brides.

Seabrook is so underrated we have been getting daily updates on the concussions both he and Jonathan Toews have suffered, and that sigh of relief you hear from the Windy City is glad tidings that Seabrook should return to the lineup Thursday night in Nashville.

Sure, the team is 2-0 without him. What's the over-and-under on that continuing?

But, hey, being underrated is so overrated on the Blackhawks. Hell, everyone wants a piece of the action.

On Monday night against Minnesota, I was informed by the Versus broadcast crew, in between color analyst Andy Brickley's marathon soliloquies that seemed to have no end, that center Dave Bolland was quite underrated as well.

We apparently have so many underrated Blackhawks running around out there, I need somebody to remind me why we are favorites in so many places to get over the hump this season.

Since Bolland earns $3.375 million this season, just slightly behind Seabrook's $3.5 million, I assume their agents didn't start negotiations with the Hawks arguing that their clients are underrated. Players whose value isn't acknowledged don't get paid in excess of $3 million unless a GM is trying to get fired.

And, get ready, folks, if Dustin Byfuglien scores a few more goals before Thanksgiving and adds to his present 5, just 14 away from his total last season in 67 games, we will surely be alerted to the fact by some sharp media observer like myself that Byfuglien has been an underrated goal scorer his whole career as he makes his way towards an unthinkable 25-30.

At least that would stop people from mentioning how big Byfuglien is, another amazing fact the Versus crew couldn't quit marveling at. It's amazing any of us keep coming back at all with all the endlessly repeated sports cliches thrown at us like pearls of wisdom.

As media, print and electronic, we all have our annoying faults, or else our loyal readers (LOL, see I'm hip) wouldn't be so fickle to leave so many traditional newspapers and their families in the gutter and move on to new media without a sympathetic glance back at the downtrodden ink-stained wretches of lore.

But it's hard to win new readers when the internet reverts to old newspaper tricks, such as grabbing your attention by naming one of the Blackhawks' best players underrated.

If you want to name one of the most underrated players in the NHL who is having a good year for Chicago go for defenseman Brent Sopel, who was once in the running for most overrated and has played both sides of this game. He's only making $2,333,333 this year, a mere pittance.

Don't worry. By clipping a few coupons off the internet, Sopel can probably get by. Plus, Seabrook can share the proceeds from winning NHL Most Underrated Player of the Year at The Hockey News banquet.

The award ceremony will take place next week during halftime of the Biggest Loser. Come in handy for Seabrook's next contract negotiations.

I'm sure he's thrilled to be singled out for flying under the radar. Less is never more. In evaluations or in your bank account.

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3 Comments

WindyCityHockey said:

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This is total BS. No one fighting for a place of Team Canada is underrated. It's amazing to read some of the analysis from "hockey experts." It's a crying shame that they're infecting the masses with their dribble.

Plus, Hjalmarsson is the most underrated on the Hawks.
Most underrated in the NHL right now might be Wojtek Wolski

SkaterRich said:

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Man, you are so right on. I'd like to keep all of them "underrated" and know as a team they make it work.

Dave Morris said:

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Uncle Mike, you've shown us once again why you are easily the most underrated Hawks writer, whether in the print, digital, or animal world.

I've always wondered how hockey players become 'underrated' and/or 'overrated'.

Frankly, no one seems to know.

Which begs the question, can players be just 'rated'? How about 'middle-rated', or 'sorta-kinda-rated'?

We could name some hockey players who could easily be R-rated and even X-rated, but seeing as this is a family-oriented site, let's just don't go there.

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