I'm sorry but what is the relevance of non-future hall of fame defensemen since 1980?
To be honest, I wouldn't be that helpful. Age-wise I'd say the first Blues game I even remember was around 91-92. MacInnis or Pronger have been the Blues top defensemen for basically my entire lifetime (at least the lifetime where I would be able to claim any first hand knowledge of the team).
The only way this has any significance would be to temper peoples' expectations for Brewer, by arguing that the Blues haven't always had a number #1 defensemen and that it is unfair to criticize Brewer for not being one??? Who cares? Why go back 20 years to bail out the present?
Brewer isn't a #1 guy. Probably isnt a #2 guy. He's probably the best candidate they have to fill either of those roles, but he still falls short. Until the Blues find somebody better, Brewer is going to keep trying to step into that role and he is going to keep failing. And as long as that happens, the Blues D simply won't be good enough. I think it would be extremely beneficial to have Brewer... but in the right role. In the meantime, repetitively blasting shots from the point off of a defenseman standing three feet in front of him is going to continue to be obnoxious. And it easily makes him look like an idiot. Same for the rest of them. The problem is they don't have someone back there who can shoot the puck from the point on a regular basis without looking idiotic. Brewer symbolizes all of that since he is the "best" they have and will always take criticism for it.
It's a simple point. You don't have a frame of reference to what a "true #1 is." You said it yourself...in your whole life of fandom, you've watched Future Hall of Famers play on the top and second pairings.
So I'm curious, those who say he's not a true number 1, show me what a NON-hall of famer number one is, or do you have to be a future hall of famer to be a true number one?
When Brew's paired with the right kind of partner, he's a much better player because he only has to do so much.
The bottom line he isn't a # 1 or # 2 guy and is forced to play that role. As long as he is, he will get the scrutiny that comes with it. He will never thrive under that scrutiny. At least not in St. Louis where fans are used to having a legitimate #1 defensemen (or two).
So..I'm curious...aside from Future Hall of Famers...I'd like to know what the others ones are. This goes back to my point about how St. Louis fans don't know what a number one is. They know what a future hall of famer is.