by PuckStopsHere on 12/17/09 at 12:42 PM ET
Near the beginning of December, I picked Andrew Peters of the New Jersey Devils as the worst regular in the NHL. At that point, Peters had played in the last eight straight games for the Devils - hence qualifying him as a regular. He has not played an NHL game since. Thus Andrew Peters cannot be the worst regular in the NHL because he is not a regular in the NHL.
My current choice as the worst regular is Kyle Chipchura of the Anaheim Ducks. Chipchura is having a horrid season statistically. He has 25 games played and no points scored. He has a -11 +/- rating. He has been traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Anaheim Ducks for a fourth round pick.
Chipchura is a hard working depth player with the Ducks who is given about eight minutes a game. He plays a fourth line role and does not play against particularly difficult competition. He is a hard working grinder who has some upside (having been a 2004 first round draft pick) and this continues to earn him a roster spot despite his failures this season.
Chipchura was never a top scorer in his junior days. His junior best was 55 points (scored in 59 games). He was being groomed as an NHL defensive forward. That is the role he is holding in the NHL today with no success. His failures had him run out of Montreal earlier this year and he is repeating them in Anaheim.
Kyle Chipchura is a prototype example of the kind of player that I pick as worst regular in the league. He is a hard working grinder who is having no success this season. He has a great work ethic - which makes him a safe choice to dress him as a depth forward. He fails consistently in that role. Chipchura also has the expectation of having been a first round draft pick. That allows him more chances to stay in the lineup. He has more potential than most fourth line grinders. Teams hope he might find his game and begin to show the reasons scouts once thought highly of him. So far this isn’t happening. In fact he appears to be regressing. In 2007/08, Chipchura scored 11 points in 36 games as a rookie. He is yet to score a goal since.
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