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Niklas Hagman is not one of those players who is keen on staying in the spotlight and he somehow manages to stay away from the media even in such a hockey crazy city like Toronto. Unfairly though he seems to go unnoticed even when he’s playing well and this is just not right in my eyes. I think he deserves more praise then he is given. He played his heart out last season yet is rarely mentioned and someetimes is completely missed by people in their lineup predictions (now that’s silly).
He certainly is one of the most underrated Leafs I have ever seen. He doesn’t seem to get any positive or negative feedback from the fans no matter what he does. The problem is that if he makes one mistake next season fans will get on him as if he’s never done anything for the Leafs. We need to start noticing these players and not just consider them as extra pieces in the team that might not be here later on. Niklas Hagman has always been a team player and certainly doesn’t mind not being in the spotlight although any player would want to be appreciated by the fans for his good play by chanting his name in appreciation. Unfortunately, fans feel players like Belak deserve praise (when he was here) yet guys like Hagman don’t. I don’t blame the fans though as they are a loyal bunch and appreciate their players, it’s just that he’s portrayed as a quiet guy and no one seems to notice him from the media. I think it should be the media’s goal to get this guy on TV more as he probably has a lot of insight to offer. Sometimes he performs really well but the media still focuses on other guys much more intensely then they do for the actual guy who won the game.
Why does Hagman deserve more attention from the fans? He’s a fantastic all around player, he can score with his snappy shot which is deadly accurate as we have seen him serve up some top cheese in games. His passes are on the money most of the time due to his superbly developed hockey smarts. One thing no one can put him down for is the fact his defensive game is top class for a forward of his scoring prowess. He certainly was one of the better signings by Fletcher, it’s understandable if a guy like Stempniak goes unrecognised but someone who is putting up good numbers deserves a bit more respect don’t you think?
I didn’t write this article to tell fans that Hagman is 1st line material, but I certainly think he deserves a spot on the 2nd line ahead of players like Stempniak that’s for sure. I hope fans start appreciating his game more and more as next season goes along.