Tampa Bay Lightning At St. Louis Blues: Eric Brewer Treating Tonight Like Any Other Game

To be honest, Blues fans never really were fair to Eric Brewer. The defenseman, who was acquired from Edmonton in a trade that sent Chris Pronger north, Brewer was often the scapegoat for the team’s uninspired play. As the last remaining cog in that deal, Brewer was resented by many as a constant reminder that one of the best defensemen that the Blues had ever iced was skating elsewhere. It also didn’t help that he was often injured. In five and a half years with the Blues, Brewer played 82 games just once: in the team’s horribly forgettable 2006-2007 season. He was a plus player just once as well: he was +1 before he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Perhaps the pressure and resentment from the fans because he wasn't Chris Pronger got to him. Maybe the sarcastic boos from the fans that rained down every time he was on the ice for an opposition goal was distracting. Brewer needed a fresh start, and he’s gotten one in Tampa Bay, where there is no resentment at all. Since being traded to the Bolts, Brewer has picked it up. He finished last season with them a +5, and though he’s -2 to start the season, he’s on their top defensive pairing. He signed a four year contract worth $15,400,000 with the Lightning this off-season, so he’s obviously happy with his new digs.

How has Brewer found success? Just by being himself. When asked by Tampa Bay Online how he felt about playing his old team tonight, Brewer had this to say:

“I’ve been traded enough, I’m happy to go back, we really enjoyed it there and they treated me very well,’’ he said.

“I have some really good friends there, and it will be good for that. … Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see some of the staff that took really good care of me, and a couple of the guys.’’

Brewer was occasionally poked at for his robotic, emotionless on-ice style. Maybe that’s just an extension of his interview skills. Who knows, but Blues fans wish him luck. Just not tonight.

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