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Unsung hero

Last week, I started writing about some of the key Avs who have left the team since last season's training camp. David Aebischer. Rob Blake. Obviously, Alex Tanguay will be coming soon. But I realized that I left one key player out...and his name is not Bob Boughner. It seems sort of fitting that I would forget about someone who's importance always gets overlooked: Dan Hinote.

Hinote's game isn't flashy. He has 65 points in 353 career games - you don't get too many youtube highlight reels made for with those numbers. Danny Hinote seemed to have a knack to look, for one shift every game or so, like a bonafide puckhandler. Then he would shoot the puck, it would be stopped easily, and the illusion would be shattered for the time being.

But, of course, that's not what Hinote is about. He's a grinder. He does the dirty work in the corners. He kills penalties. He agitates opposing players. He's not a big guy and not the greatest fighter in the NHL, but that's never stopped him from protecting teammates. In short, he's a great guy to have on your team.

Sadly, Colorado just didn't have room for Hintoe this season, cap-wise or roster-wise. With Wojtek Wolski and Brad Richardson looking ready to crack the lineup fulltime this year, and with Cody McCormick and his similar set of tools around for depth, Hinote became an odd man out. The Blues get a heck of a player for their rebuilding effort out of the deal.