Fitness fanatic Rod Brind'Amour was a real solid NHL citizen for 20 years, excelling at both ends of the ice and seemingly getting better with age.
In his prime he was a point-a-game player. By the time his career was done he had an impressive nearly 1200 career points, including 452 career goals. His longevity allowed him to retire among the top 50 players all time in points and games played.
But it was the intangibles that can not be quantified where Rod Brind'Amour excelled. He always faced the top line of the opposition, night in and night out for most of his career. He starred on both specialty teams units, and taking key faceoffs. He was a coach's dream.
And a teammate's dream, too. Just ask Flyers teammate Karl Dykhuis.
"He's like a machine," Dykhuis said. "He just keeps going. Penalty killing, power plays, five-on-five. Whenever you need an important faceoff in the last minute of the game, he is out there."
He was also a great leader, captaining Carolina to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship. There are not too many players in NHL history that have that on their resume.
He was also a regular on Team Canada, representing his country at the Olympics, the world championships and the world junior championships.
Brind'Amour was known for his off-ice conditioning routine. That started a young age. By the age of 10 Rod was a scrawny hockey player who was not even among the best players his age. His father Bob started him on a ten minute weight workout that became a habit and then an obsession.
Another obsession of Brind'Amour's was winning. He really did not care about personal accomplishments so long as his team was winning.
"I don't want to worry about stuff like that," he said. "If the team wins, I'll sleep at night."
Born in Ottawa but raised on the British Columbia coast, Brind'Amour was drafted ninth overall by St. Louis in 1988. He would turn pro after just one season at the Michigan State University.
Brind'Amour was an instant hit in St. Louis, but when he, along with goaltender Curtis Joseph, was offered up was offered to New Jersey as compensation for the Blues signing of Brendan Shanahan, his play deteriorated. Ultimately the NHL appointed arbitrator awarded Scott Stevens to New Jersey, but Brind'Amour was so bothered the Blues felt fit to trade him later to Philadelphia.
Brind'Amour and Eric Lindros offered as good of a one-two punch down the middle as any team in the league. Brind'Amour, who also played some left wing, enjoyed parts of 10 seasons in Philadelphia, with the highlight being the ride to the Stanley Cup final in 1997.
In the 1999-2000 season Brind'Amour was traded to Carolina in a package deal for Keith Primeau. Brind'Amour would enjoy another near decade in Carolina where, of course, he helped the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006.