All-Mike Eaves Era Team

So, since I'm a geek and needed to kill some time on Monday night and the Cap's/Carolina game on NBC Sports Network is a blowout, I decided to spend a little time and put together my All-Mike Eaves team.

People are always asking for lists like who the best Badgers are of all time, etc...but the fact of the matter is, I'm no where near old enough to attempt anything like putting together an all time team.

However, I do feel like I'm qualified to put together a list of the best Badgers under Mike Eaves, so that's what I've presented here.

The rules in putting the team together were pretty simple. All players had to be recruited by, and play during the Eaves era at Wisconsin. That rules out players like Adam Burish and Tom Gilbert who committed under Jeff Sauer. Other then that, I picked what I thought were the top six defensemen, top two goalies, and top 12 forwards.

FORWARDS

Robbie Earl (Europe)-Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks)-Blake Geoffrion (Hamilton-AHL)

All three were All-American's during their Badger careers, and Geoffrion won the Hobey Baker. All three led their teams to the NCAA title game, with Earl and Pavelski cashing in. Pavelski is obviously a bonafide star in the NHL, and he and Earl combined for one of the greatest lines in Badger history during that 2006 championship run.

Michael Davies (Chicago-AHL)-Derek Stepan (New York Rangers)-Craig Smith (Nashville Predators)

Stepan and Smith are two of the brightest up and coming stars in the NHL right now. Davies might get overlooked by some but he's one of the craftiest players to come through Madison. Here's a trivia question to use on your freinds, who was the leading scorer on the Badgers the year Geoffrion won the Hobey? Answer...Stepan. In fact, Davies outscored Geoffrion that season as well.

Jack Skille (Florida Panthers)-Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators)-Mark Zengerle (Wisconsin-Sophomore)

This line features some skill, some grit, and some play making ability. Turris and Skille are two examples of players that left Wisconsin well before they were ready, I hope Zengerle doesn't make the same mistake. All three are highly skilled and this would be a dynamite line.

Jordy Murray (Europe)-Jake Dowell (Dallas Stars)-Ben Street (Wilkes Barre Scranton-AHL)

Tried to put together some sort of a grind line. We had a lot of centers on the list but no one fit the fourth line center role on this roster like Dowell does. Street and Murray were two program soldiers who had very solid careers and are doing well for themselves outside of Madison.

DEFENSE

Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs)-Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers)

Ironically, both players were traded by the NHL clubs that drafted them while they were at Wisconsin. Both players are going to be superstars soon enough in the league as well. Both of these guys are playing big time minutes for their NHL clubs.

Jamie McBain (Carolina Hurricanes)-Justin Schultz (Wisconsin-Junior)

A pairing of two very skilled puck moving defensemen. Both play with their heads and are next level when it comes to anticipating the play. McBain is an NHL regular and Schultz will be very, very soon.

Brendan Smith (Grand Rapids-AHL)-Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators)

If Brendan Smith wasn't in the Red Wings organization he'd be in the NHL virtually anywhere else. Unfortunately for him, he is...but he's making the best of it. He's an elite offensive threat from the blue-line. Matching him up with Suter was a no brainer. Suter is a no-nonsense defenseman who just worries about doing his job back there.

GOALIES

Brian Elliott (St. Louis Blues)

Duh.

Shane Connolly (Retired)

Just barely edged out Scott Gudmandson. Gave it to Con's for the slightly better career save percentage.

So what do you think? Who were the snubs? Any thoughts, suggestions, comments? Let me hear it...

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For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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