Time to Show More Love to Zubov !!!!!

Yeah I was reading about the voting going on for the NHL All-Star game. I started thinking about the players and relaized something about Stars D-Man Sergei Zubov.

He’s never won a Norris Trophy. Actually, he’s never even been runner-up. He’s third in career points among active defensemen. His passing game is among the very best in the league. He’s routinely among the leading offensive defensemen in the league. Right now he actually leads all NHL D-Men in scoring.

So why is it Dallas Stars vet Sergei Zubov never gets the same kind of attention as Norris Trophy candidates Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger or Scott Niedermayer?

Zubies 760 career points (152-608) are third among active blue-liners behind only Chris Chelios and Lidstrom. The 37 year old Moscow native leads all NHL D-men this season with 28 points (4-24) in 31 games, two more than Lidstrom. But he ranks only ninth among the D being picked to play for the Western Conference all-star game in the fan balloting.

Is he overlooked?

No doubt. That’s the biggest understatement I’ve heard in a long time,But he doesn’t mind. He has always been one who wants his teams stats to do the talking for him. Zubov has been lost in the Lidstrom/Pronger/Niedermayer shuffle all decade long. His only Norris Trophy nomination came in 2005-06 and he finished third. The last defenseman not named Lidstrom, Pronger or Niedermayer to win a Norris was Al MacInnis in 1999. But talk to people around the league, and they will tell you that he belongs in the same class as Lidstrom, Pronger and Niedermayer.

His skill and his skating and his shooting, there’s no better than I can really think of. Not to mention how he can quaterback his team when they are on the power play. It’s not just about offense with Zubie. He controls the game. He anticipates plays. His passing skills are Lidstrom-like. Other NHL coaches drool over the chance to have a blue-liner kickstart the transition game like Zubov can.

Zubov came into the league in 1992-93 with the New York Rangers very much an offensive player, putting up a career-high 89 points (12-77) in 78 games in 1993-94, the year the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. He’s had to work hard on becoming better defensively, a slow but sure transformation that in the last several years has made him the complete player that he is.

The Hockey Hall of Fame may beckon one day, which surely will surprise many given the lack of notoriety Zubov received during his career. There is no doubt he desreves to be in the hall when he does hang up his skates and no doubt he deserves better than where he is in All-Star Voting.

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One Response

  1. WOW! A hockey guru sighting.. Great article sir!

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