by PuckStopsHere on 10/26/08 at 08:02 AM ET
Along with tracking the leaders for the NHL awards as we progress through the season, I like to track the worst player who is getting regular ice time. Generally at points early in the season it is a name player with NHL experience who is off to a very poor start. In time, either the player plays at the established levels that have made him an NHL regular or gets sent to the minors. Later in the season, usually the worst player getting regular ice time is an “energy player” who has impressed his coach with hard work but isn’t particularly good.
At this point in the season, the worst player with a regular shift has been Brett Lebda of the Detroit Red Wings.
Lebda has been playing regularly on the Detroit defence. He has no points and a team worst -7 +/- rating in 8 games. He has yet to be on the ice for a Detroit goal scored.
Lebda is an extra defenceman in Detroit who has been forced into regular use due to Chris Chelios and Andreas Lilja being injured. He is not doing a particularly good job. It might be time to get him out of the lineup in favor of Jonathan Ericsson.
There are reports that Detroit would like to trade Lebda, but given his current play it’s doubtful that a market exists.
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