Best Blues Player - 2004
Readers' Choice: Chris Pronger
Sure, Keith Tkachuk is better-looking, Mike Danton got more press and Dallas Drake certainly comes to play. Even so, last season belonged to 29-year-old Chris Pronger. We could run down a list of the accolades he added to his collection (All-Star and Team Canada selections, NHL Defensive Player of the Week, etc., etc.), or note that his 54 points (14 goals, 40 assists) tied for second among NHL defensemen, or point out that the 2003-04 Blues allowed 24 fewer goals than their '02-'03 counterparts. But far more to the point: Chris Pronger hauled this team to the playoffs almost singlehandedly, as team captain Al MacInnis sat out the season following eye surgery and young defensive stalwart Barret Jackman's year ended in January with shoulder surgery. As if that's not enough, he did it a year after rehabbing from surgeries to both wrists and another to repair a torn ACL. He's a beast!