Originally written on NHL Hot Stove  |  Last updated 11/12/11

By Alexander Monaghan

By Dan4th Nicholas (Flickr: Eric Brewer)

Eric Brewer will face the St. Louis Blues for the first time since March 30th, 2004 on Saturday night, slightly nine months after getting traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 19th captain in team history was jettisoned from the Gateway to the West in exchange for a third round pick and defensive prospect Brock Beukeboom — a third round pick himself and son of former NHLer Jeff Beukeboom.

Although the Blues finished only 10 points out of a playoff seed, GM Doug Armstrong knew at the trade deadline the team would finish outside of the playoff picture. Brewer, an unrestricted free agent at the time (re-signed with the Bolts this June), became the casualty to proper asset management, leaving a young team for a contender in the Lightning.

In Tampa, the 32-year-old has thrived — playing a physical, two-way game and frequently lining up on the top power play unit. He leads all Lightning skaters in time of ice this season and led them in TOI/G last year. While with the Blues he still played the heavy minutes — leading the team in TOI/G in three of his five-plus seasons, finishing second twice — but playing on a contender with the League’s spotlight attached has given him his due.

As a former opponent of Brewer, Bolts GM Steve Yzerman knew what he was getting via trade. From The St. Petersburg Times, in February:

“He’s a very poised defenseman, a big guy who moves well,” Yzerman said. “He makes the good first pass. He’s a steady, reliable, good defenseman. I think he’s a very versatile guy who can play either side, a valuable player.”

Not only has Brewer been versatile and valuable, he’s been the stabilizing force on the team’s blue line. Most importantly, he fits in, just like he did in St. Louis.

Wearing a Blues sweater, the Vernon, British Columbia posted career highs in goals while establishing himself as a vital defender who could hit, block shots, play physically and contribute offensively. Clearly there would be no ill will against the team that gave him such a responsibility. Under former head coach he earned captaincy due to his lauded leadership qualities which have clearly translated its way over to the Southeast Division powerhouse.

When asked, Brewer was nothing but exuberant when discussing his former club. “I played with a lot of them for a long time and we had some really good times there. I have nothing but good things to say about their organization,” Brewer said to TampaBayLightning.com. Unlike most players who feel like they have something to prove, Brewer and the Blues know each other well and should provide the audience with gamesmanship at its best.

Should be an excellent game to watch if not to see how Brewer reacts but also to see defensive masterminds Guy Boucher and Ken Hitchcock fight to maintain the under.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams


Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues statement without apology

Ray Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

Chip Kelly: No regrets keeping Riley Cooper on team after rant

Houston Astros have altered their fate

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker