by PuckStopsHere on 11/23/08 at 08:11 AM ET
I like to keep track of the worst player gathering regular ice time in the NHL. It is an interesting exercize to see why certain players continue to get ice time despite failing to accomplish anything with it. As the season progresses, usually I settle on an energy player who is known for being a hard worker but is very limited in talent. Often this player is a bit of a fighter to fit into that role. In early parts of the season, other players may appear as the worst player in the league, but they have always disappeared from the running once the season reached maturity. Earlier this season, I picked as this worst player. Given time his game has improved. He has three points already. That means it is time to replace him.
The new winner of the worst player so far this season is Raitis Ivanans of the Los Angeles Kings.
Ivanans has appeared in 19 games as a left winger. He has failed to score. He has only taken six shots on goal. He has not been on the ice when his team has scored a single goal, but he has managed to put up a -6 +/- rating (which is second worst on his team). All of that has been accomplished in a little over seven minutes of ice time per game.
Ivanans is a goon who has been in the NHL since the 2005/06 season. He played as a Montreal Canadien that season, but left to join Los Angeles as a free agent that summer. It was in Los Angeles that he first got to play regularly. Ivanans put up two 8 point seasons with well over 100 PIMs each since joining LA. So far this season, he has accomplished nothing of significance despite being played every game of the season. That is why Raitis Ivanans is the NHL regular who has been the worst player in the league this season.
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