This is On the Fly's third (perhaps annual) Stealth List: a group of five people -- or in this case, three people and two pairs -- you hardly know but who make their teams or the game better.
(Once again, I strongly suggest the you curb the urge to click away and pay a modicum of attention. The last two No. 1s on the list were
This year's Stealth 7:
In any barroom conversation about the NHL's most valuable blueliners, Quincey would come up about as often
Quincey is playing the kind of minutes usually reserved for players named Pronger or Niedermayer, an average around 25 that includes the heavy sledding on special teams and against top lines. He is only 24, which should not qualify him as a late bloomer. Drafted 132nd overall by Detroit in 2003, Quincey was considered a prospect there but got stuck at the end of the conga line of talented defensemen. The Los Angeles Kings snapped him up on waivers last October, milking a 38-point season from him before flipping him to the Avalanche in a deal that brought veteran left wing
If you know his name, you are either his kin, have a profound (and disturbing) knowledge of the Kings, or are a certified hockey wonk. He is not one of those assistant coaches who scored goals or trolled the NHL blueline, just a grunt with the ability to break down tape and explain the game to his hockey betters. He played at McGill University and in Germany and the ECHL for a spell, but he also worked as schoolteacher.
"He has the responsibility for the power play, and he's really grabbed a hold of it," Kings head coach
Prior to joining the Kings, Kompon spent nine years working with video for St. Louis. Blues veterans would troop into a room and watch tape with him between periods, a classroom on the fly. Kompon has few peers at slicing up tape and none at presenting the salient points as smoothly.
Usually fans reflexively vaunt the hometown telecast crew. Unfortunately, these two guys don't even get the proper amount of love in their own city of champions.
In the case of Steigerwald, the problem is that his predecessor,
Errey, a goal-scorer on the Penguins' fabulous Stanley Cup teams of 1991 and 1992, is also low-key although insightful. Former
There are many deservedly high-profile tandems working now -
Back in the days before the salary cap, Chapman was a Wite-Out for general manager
For the past four seasons, Chapman, a successful junior coach in Lethbridge in the 1980s, has been working as a pro scout for Philadelphia. If you do know his name, you might have heard about it not because of his scouting acumen, but for his old-fashioned heroism. He jumped into a lake to save a drowning two-month-old girl and her mother last April, a tale that got big play in Canada. Sometimes Stealth Listers make the game better. Sometimes they make the world better.
Sort of odd that MacInnis, the Hall of Fame defenseman with a slapshot that made goalies cower, would be included on a list that celebrates the relatively unknown. But this is MacInnis, player development guy, and not MacInnis, Hammer of Thor. Along with Kekalainen, they have been major contributors to a franchise that is humming in the right direction.
Unlike, say, the Minnesota Wild, where the pipeline is rusting, the Blues have been pumping out NHL-ready young players in a short time. Selecting a No. 1 overall like defenseman
The NHL's deepest brain trust has been in Detroit -- GM