Defenseman Eric Brewer has been traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2015 third-round draft pick. When you think about whom to get the puck to with the game on the line, Eric Brewer doesn’t come to mind. Although, when you think about first-round draft pick busts, Brewer’s name is certainly left out of that conversation.
Brewer, a leader by trade, can add depth to the leadership role as well as the blue-line for the Ducks. He was the captain of the St. Louis Blues before being traded in the 2010-11 season to the Lightning where he assumed the role of an alternate captain after he proved himself.
The fifth pick in the 1997 NHL entry draft by the New York Islanders is going to his fifth NHL team. He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, helped Canada to three more gold medals in the IIHF World Championships and won another gold with Canada in the 2004 World Cup. So the question remains, why can’t Brewer stick with an NHL team?
Brewer is in the last year of a four-year contract with the Lightning. He’s an aging 35 year-old defenseman. He’s minus-89 in 982 career NHL games. Enough said? Probably not.
Injuries for Anaheim
A few key Ducks defensemen are sidelined with injuries, which more than likely prompted this deal to be done. Sheldon Souray sustained a torn ligament in his right wrist and has been out since Sept. 21, Ben Lovejoy has been sidelined since Oct. 27 with a hand injury, Mark Fistric skated at practice last Saturday for the first time since injuring his lower-back on Oct. 30, but remains out, and Clayton Stoner has been unavailable for a little under a week after showing what looks to be signs of mumps.
Although Brewer is one of the first to be ridiculed when things go wrong, he deserves some credit as a member of the Lightning. He has a plus-18 rating in 246 games with Tampa Bay, which is the first time he has left a franchise with his numbers above the water. He led the team in blocked shots in the 2012-13 campaign and was second in blocked shots back in 2011-12. He was an alternate captain, if only for a shirt time. He’s a workhorse that sees his number in the box score night after night but rarely hears his name called on the loudspeaker.
The fans of Tampa Bay will hate to see you go, but I’m sure they will be more than happy to cheer if their hometown team puts a nick in that plus-minus rating when you come back to town on Sunday, Feb. 8.
Jarrod Heil attends the University of Central Florida where he is studying journalism and writing & rhetoric. Also, he’s a staff writer for the college’s student-run newspaper which is affiliated with Gannett Company, Inc.