He's not, because he can't be. Karlsson is the best player on the Senators by a whole lot. Brodin is not the best player on the Wild (and if he is, it's not by a lot).
Example: if the Sens lose Karlsson, they're screwed; they're just done. If the Wild lose Brodin, it sucks, but they have Suter who can step up.
That's the difference in importance.
The thing is that Suter wasn't stepping it up, until he got to play with a guy like Brodin. That's where your not understanding Brodin's value. It's not only what he brings, but what he allows Suter to bring by being as good as he is in various aspects of the game. (Allowing Suter to alleviate some of the load, play more offensively, take more risks, and just play more loose)
Brodin is an IMPORTANT player, but he is not as important to his team as Karlsson is, nor is he as good as Karlsson is.
Brodin is not as important to his team as Karlsson because 1. Karlsson is Ottawa's star player, and Brodin is not the Wild's star player, and 2. Ottawa has nobody to replace Karlsson. The Wild can replace Brodin, namely with Ryan Suter.
As much as I love the fact that Suter isn't playing well, it's pretty silly to put Brodin over him. It's highly likely that Suter will find his rhythm in Minnesota, and when he does, the Wild will have two excellent defensemen and not one.
I know this is a Brodin thread but really, I don't think Suter has been terrible as some fans make him out to be in order to make Brodin look better.
No, Suter may not be playing a $7.5 million quality game, but played a consistent game, reliable on all zones, and a good presence in the d-zone. Of course, I wished he was more dominant when moving the puck in the offensive zone and more dominant physically in the defensive zone, but I would not use the term "terrible" to describe his game.
More like ... disappointing ...
And as much as I love Brodin, he has done his fair share of mistakes. We always knew he was never going to be a physical player, but there were times he was just outmuscled which lead to scoring chances.
IMO, he is currently our #2. He is not our #1. Icetime says Gilbert is #2 and Brodin is #3, but I find Brodin much better defensively. Still, Suter beats him out.
And yeah, comparing him to Karlsson in terms of importance to their respective teams is still a bit outlandish. Brodin is not of extreme importance on even ice time or powerplay yet.
What danccchan said.
Kid is rock solid right now and is actually showing decent offensive instincts and an accurate shot, so it's reasonable to expect he'll get even better than he is now but it's way too early to lay the laurels on his head.