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Comeback Or Bad Year?

I was thinking of asking you what team do you think will have the most surprising year, either in a good or bad way, but let's hold off until the rosters are more finalized.

So how about a player you feel will have a comeback year or a year the goes terribly wrong?

My 'homer' pick would be Darren Helm, but heck, let's see if he even makes it through camp first without any back issues.

Another pick would be P..K. Subban, I think his year will not be one of Norris contention talk but rather his inconsistent play.

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Comments

Da lil Guy's avatar

I’ll make a homer pick and choose Bobby Ryan as a comeback player. He had what most consider to be a down year last season, but I think a return to 30 goals is likely on Spezza’s wing. Spezza himself, and Erik Karlsson are others who I think are likely to bounce back (though in those cases, last seasons were basically write offs due to injury, rather than ‘down years’).

Sticking with Ottawa, I think Cory Conacher will probably have a down year. He’s a player who showed he can fit in and produce on a top line, but Paul MacLean’s philosophy of rewarding his best players with ice time may mean he doesn’t get much top 6 time in Ottawa - and he wasn’t nearly as productive when he wasn’t in that role.

On a non-homer level, I think Brad Richards will likely benefit from the coaching change in New York and has the potential to rise back to 80pt form with Rick Nash and a more balanced lineup overall.

I think Nazem Kadri will likely have difficulty keeping up the point per game totals he set in the shortened season last year. His mini-holdout (at least until it becomes more than that) will also mean he will be under tremendous pressure (not only from management, but from fans and media) - particularly if the leafs sign him for a larger number, or are left unable to re-sign Cody Franson as a result. If things go negative early, it could put him behind the eightball (though, as Subban proved, a holdout doesn’t necessarily result in a bad year).

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/29/13 at 12:31 PM ET

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Grabovski should pad boost his stats in Washington, and Kadri will slump…. or Bozak, or Clarkson…. because the Leafs.

Posted by Moose Moss on 08/29/13 at 12:33 PM ET

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His mini-holdout (at least until it becomes more than that)

To be fair, it isn’t even “that” yet.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/13 at 12:52 PM ET

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For a homer pick, I’m going with Johan Franzen.  I think this is akin to a contract year and I think he’ll have some of his best output, maybe a career year, thereby forcing Holland to keep him around, rather than using his last compliance buyout on him.

Then, of course, in 14-15 Franzen will return to his inconsistent self.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/13 at 12:56 PM ET

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Another pick would be P..K. Subban, I think his year will not be one of Norris contention talk but rather his inconsistent play.

Subban was something of a Cinderella story last season. Unfortunately for him, I think he’s going to turn into a pumpkin. Great shot, big hits, good skater, strong…but he’s almost as irresponsible with and without the puck as Mike Green (and far more of a hothead). My guess is that people will finally notice this.


I’m going to go with Brad Richards as having a much better season this year than last. Though he was so awful last year, it’s going to be harder for him not to improve than it would be to repeat.

Posted by larry on 08/29/13 at 01:00 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Luongo is going to have a comeback year.

Bickell and Clarkson are going to be duds.

Loui Eriksson will struggle in Boston.

Posted by Primis on 08/29/13 at 01:25 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

True, Kadri hasn’t ‘held out’ from doing anything yet - but what’s been documented about the current negotiations probably hasn’t endeared him to fans.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/29/13 at 01:59 PM ET

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Oh, and you Red Wings fans will like this from an outsider, but Weiss’s statline was trash last year and I fully expect him to shred now that he has a supporting cast for only the second time in his career.

Posted by larry on 08/29/13 at 02:13 PM ET

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True, Kadri hasn’t ‘held out’ from doing anything yet - but what’s been documented about the current negotiations probably hasn’t endeared him to fans.

If anyone isn’t endeared it should be Nonis, as he has fumbled his negotiation about as badly as he could have…

Posted by Garth on 08/29/13 at 02:16 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

I agree that its mostly on Nonis, but a lot of leafs fans I talk to seem to think Kadri is a prima donna who should just be happy he gets to put on a leafs jersey.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 08/29/13 at 03:35 PM ET

clownfat's avatar

Miller will be unreal this year due to wanting to play in the olympics, kind of like 2010.

Posted by clownfat on 08/29/13 at 07:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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