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Vlasic is ‘the Rob Blake for’ the Sharks

Oct 29, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT

Marc-Edouard Vlasic Getty Images

One of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL, San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic (aka Pickles) received quite the compliment recently from his coach, Todd McClellan.

“He is a big part of our team,” McLellan said, per NHL.com. “I thought six years ago when I started here, he was a very good defenseman. He was partnered with Rob Blake and was very comfortable with that. When Blake retired, it took him a little while to get used to playing with different people.

“Now, he’s the go-to guy. He’s the Rob Blake for us.”

Vlasic, 26, is tied for third among NHL defensemen with nine points, behind only PK Subban and Erik Karlsson, the two most recent Norris Trophy winners.

Vlasic was also one of 17 blue-liners invited to Team Canada’s Olympic orientation camp in August.

The way he’s playing right now, he may just end up going to Sochi.

  1. sjsharks66 - Oct 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Pickles and Boyle are the sharks best Dmen.

  2. ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Finally this guy is getting some recognition

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      The guys stick is lindstrom-esque

  3. skr213 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    If the NHL bothered to actually have an award for defensive defensemen (obviously the Norris doesn’t count because they only give that to offensive defensemen) Pickles would be in the top 3 for sure. So underrated for years now because he doesn’t put up points.

    • skr213 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Sorry, correction, *didn’t* put up points. Obviously, something has changed this year.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      I absolutely agree, the fact the guys likee Letang get nominated even tho their horrible defensively. It should be for either the best all round defensman or the best defensive defensman.

      • coyotes89 - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        I agree with the idea of having a defensive defenseman award. But it’s just not as easy at measuring as goals and points are. They go out there and do their job. and you see when they do it right or wrong but about as close as you could get to measuring that would be a plus/minus. then you would only be drawing people from the teams at the very top of the league. I guess a committee of opinions would be the only way to do it. but i guess they have things like the mark messier award so might as well go for it.

  4. sjsharks66 - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Letangs defensive play is usually really solid. He will dive and slide in front of players and pucks if he needs to. I agree that he is way more of an offensive dman which i think should count towards the award. Best overall dman with defense and offense.

    Just my opinion though. Pickles should be a nominee if he keeps it up this year.

  5. vanindeed - Oct 29, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    If it was best all around defenseman award CHARA would have won the last 8 years. Vlasic is OK but is no Blake.

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