Top 15 Most Untouchable NHL Players Of 2016-17

Top 15 Most Untouchable NHL Players Of 2016-17


When players first put on our favorite team’s sweater, our imagination runs wild. The optimist in us dreams of glory and championships. We imagine the player staying in our city and adorning our colors and crest for their entire career. We wear their jersey to games and show our love and pride. When we play hockey in the street or on ice, the jersey and player symbolize the effort and talent we wish to display. When they retire, the player becomes synonymous with our city, that specific time of our life, and joins our list of heroes. We can’t wait untill their names and numbers hang in the rafters to always remind us of the excitement and glory we witnessed. We may have drafted or traded for the player, but what they do for us, makes them ours.

But sometimes the pessimist in us forms an early conclusion. It can be cemented in one game, one playoff series, the team they played on before, or even by their number or position. We demand they are traded, we are sure there are better options, and if we are right, we congratulate our arm chair predictions. What were we thinking in trading a young, buried player for this “bum.” What were we thinking in signing last year’s Vezina Trophy winner? But if we’re wrong, our lapses of memory becomes convenient and we celebrate that player as if he was meant for us and will always be ours!

Most of us identify with a player immediately. We buy their jersey as the optimist takes over. Sometimes we’re lucky, and the player spends their entire career on our team and our jersey becomes a badge of honor and respect. Other times, the player never fits, is traded, and we contemplate replacing the name and number with our next hero. But fear the unknown and the seamstress no more, buy the following players’ jersey, and no matter if they win a cup, you can wear their name and number forever.


The 54th overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Blackhawks will remain a “hawk” forever. He’s won the Norris Trophy twice, the Conn Smythe, and three Stanley Cups. He’s even been on “Chicago Fire,” and once a player is showcased on a city’s TV show, it’s a foregone conclusion he’ll never leave. He’s also signed to a long term contract and hasn’t show any indication he’s over his prime at 33 years old. He and the Blackhawks will be among the Cup favorites for years, so he’s not going anywhere. And think about it, where would he go? He’s a central piece in a dynasty that made Chicago hockey relevant again, and he’ll be good enough years from now to work with younger players and help them succeed. And do you really think he’d return home to Winnipeg in five years to play for his hometown Jets?


His career started off with a bang as he scored on his first shot in his first game in 2007 vs. the Sharks. Since then, he’s become the Blackhawks captain and also won three Stanley Cups. Though he doesn’t score like Patrick Kane (who won’t be a lifer because of his consistent legal problems), Toews is an offensive force and dominant playoff performer. He also has a mural painted on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago. A player with a mural or street named after him doesn’t leave. The one possible bump in his road to owning Chicago forever is, like Keith, he is from Winnipeg. Winnipeg has named a lake after him and I’d bet, if the Jets get really good, they’d love to bring Keith and Toews home for a swan song. But that won’t happen and these two will retire as Blackhawks. They may one day return to the Peg, but only after they skate off into the sunset to go fishing.


Suter jumped into the NHL with the Nashville Predators and in a matter of years was the ultimate work horse and arguably the best offensive and defensive defenseman in the league. When he became a free agent, not a team didn’t make a pitch. However, Suter made it clear he wanted to be close to his home in Wisconsin and his wife, Becky’s home in Minnesota. And yeah, it sure didn’t hurt that the Wild offered him a 13-year contract worth $98 million. Ever since joining the Wild, he’s continued his steady, solid game and helped the Wild form one of the best defenses in the league. The fans adore him, he’s settled, he’ll be 40 when his contract expires, and even if the Wild falter, he ain’t going anywhere.


If the Wild never win a cup, a case could be made that it’s due to the curse of trading Brent Burns. Burns still wears a wild man’s, Minnesota winter beard beard as if he still lives there. He loves animals, the outdoors, our veterans, and seemed destined to wear the red, green, and white forever. I wonder how many fans shelled out the money to buy his jersey and then cursed when the Wild sent him to San Jose. His game has flourished even more, he’s got perhaps the best shot of all defensemen, and he is a fan favorite. He’s now got a family and a cult like following in San Jose, and when Thornton and Marleau hang’em up or just leave San Jose, Burns will keep the Sharks relevant. His contract will carry him until he’s 40, and he’s already the Sharks all time leader in goals and assists for a defenseman.


You probably have to go back to Eric Lindros or Rick Tocchet to find a player that defines what it means to be a Flyer more than “Simmer.” Fans fell in love with him the moment he arrived from the Kings, and he will be a Flyer forever. He brings tenacity, fighting, goal scoring, and leadership on the ice, and his personality, smile, and work ethic has endeared him to Flyer fans. His love for the game, teammates, and the culture of hockey in Philadelphia is contagious. He’s played every role on the team, is a power play machine, and has even been asked to play shorthanded where he has two goals. “The Wayne Train” is also involved in numerous charities and The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. You can feel free to buy his jersey and even jump the gun to add a “C.”