Here's a good comparision: Naslund vs Elias
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01-01-2005, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Originally Posted by
I'll give you offense and consistancy, but not leadership. Elias is underrated in that department. He's one of the big voices on the bench, he's always talking during the games and I've seen him lecture Gomez and Gionta when he thought they needed it. In terms of effort, you can count on him to give 100% every game and he gets his teammates to follow in his example.
He is the perfect Devils forward... there's a reason he survived the destruction of the A-line when Arnott and Sykora didn't.
i have no doubt Elias is underrated in the leadership department, but i don't see him edging Naslund. Naslund took over a team that was captained by the "best leader in sports" and under his captaincy it improved every season until it reached a 21 point improvement (and 46 points over Messier's second to last year) and became a yearly President's Trophy contender. he was also the main figure in Bertuzzi's ascension to the elite. after Brashear was traded guess who Bert took a seat next to on the plane? Naslund. that season Bertuzzi finished 3rd in the NHL scoring race with a higher PPG ratio than the winner Iginla, and a 30 point improvement on his previous high of 55 points.
Naslund may not be the most vocal leader, but always leads by example, is well respected league wide, has formed a tight group in the dressing room, and has a say in some of the GM and coaching issues. even at the elite level he still strives every year to improve aspects of his game (like last season before it started he said he wanted to improve his backchecking and play in his own zone. when the season started he improved so much he was like a completely different player). this season he was intent on improving his physical play (not that he is soft). he wears the 'C' despite there being several captain worthy players on the team (including Trevor Linden whom is often considered a top-10 leader in the game).
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