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Beyond The Boards

BYB: BORN IN THE USA

Friday, 11.16.2007 / 2:23 PM / Blogs - Beyond the Boards
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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BYB: BORN IN THE USA

11.16.07, 2:23 p.m. ::::


Ever since Mike Modano became the Creme de la Creme of American snipers after passing Joe Mullen's total of 502 goals and former Sabres great Phil Housley's 1,232. points, an argument has begun.

Who is the best player to ever lace up a pair of skates from the good old USA?

ESPN's David Amber tackled that question and gave his "Top 10 List of American Born Players." The list goes from tenth to first and is....

10.  Former Sabres netminder, Tom Barrasso
9. The aforementioned Housley
8. 1980 Olympic Icon, Mike Eruzione (if you don't know who this is please rent "Miracle" immediately and then chastise yourself)
7. The bold and brash, Jeremy Roenick
6. Ranger great, Mike Richter
5. Immortal, Chris Chelios
4. The aforementioned Mullen
3. Ranger/Maple Leaf/Bruin, Brian Leetch
2. Modano

And the top US player, according to Amber, is....

1. Pat LaFontaine

It's hard to disagree with the LaFontaine vote.  More than 1,000 career points and a Hall of Fame induction earned by the time concussions forced him out in 1999.  Not to take anything away from Modano - he's a great talent - but had LaFontaine not had the injury issues, he would have broken Housley record long ago.

LaFontaine's number was raised to the rafters of HSBC Arena on Mar. 3, 2006.

I do feel that Housley should have been ahead of Eruzione and Roenick.  Housley was so versatile and was overshadowed by other defensemen in his era (i.e. Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Chelios and Leetch).  Maybe I'm biased, but I think he should have been bumped a few notches.

Agree or disagree, feel free to email me.

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