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The Puck Stops Here

Worst Player So Far This Year

I try to track the worst player who is playing regularly in the NHL.  I find it informative to see what kind of player can remain in the NHL despite failure.  I have found that during the season, the early season biggest failure is usually a name player who is relied upon by his team.  It is through the large amount of ice time that he gets that he is able to distinguish himself negatively.  This player usually finds his game before we are too far into the NHL season.  As the season progresses, it is usually a goon or a hard working but talentless role player who takes over as the worst regular in the league.

Earlier this season it looked like Simon Gagne of the Tampa Bay Lightning was well on his way to this dishonor, but injury has kept him out of the lineup.  Today, I am picking Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins as the regular NHL player who has been the worst so far this year.

I have long argued that Marc-Andre Fleury is overrated and in danger of losing the Penguins starting goalie position if he has a bad year, but I didn’t expect things could be this bad.  Fleury has one win in his eight appearances.  He has posted a league worst .853 saves percentage and a 3.55 goals against average.  Penguins career backup Brent Johnson is outplaying Fleury significantly.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have struggled as a result.  They have a 7-9 record with one regulation tie point.  If the season ended now, Pittsburgh would finish tenth in the East Conference and miss the playoffs.  Goaltending problems are a big part of Pittsburgh’s problems so far.

While I expect that Marc-Andre Fleury will improve his game before long.  While he is an overrated goalie who gets too much credit for the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup, he is a far better goalie than we have seen so far this season.  The goalie this season does not belong in the league.  Fleury has hurt the Penguins so far this season.  He has been the worst regular player in the league so far this year.

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Comments

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Of course you pick Fleury smile

Garsh damnit, you’re completely right.

Posted by NathanBC on 11/12/10 at 03:55 PM ET

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I would still argue that Kovalchuk is far and away the worst player in the NHL so far.

His contract is dead albatross around the neck of NJ, and has lead directly to the team’s inability to often ice a full roster.

Eight points? Something like 120 players in the NHL can do better than that – Hemsky playing for the hapless Oilers has more points and a vastly better +/-. Even in the 8 point crowed most of the rest have a better +/-.

Is there another long term large contract forward performing worse that IK right now?

Posted by paulklos on 11/12/10 at 06:17 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Paul

You are arguing something completely different.  You are arguinjg about value for the money.

I expect that by the end of the year, the player i think has performed the worst will not be Fleury.  It will be a goon or a rather unknown fourth line type.  This player will not be paid significantly more than the NHL minimum.  Kovalchuk (if he doesn’t find his game) may still be a negative due to his salary cap hit on the Devils, but he will sigifncantly outplay this worst player.  Kovalchuk has eight points already this year.  I doubt my candidates for worst player in the league at the end of the season will get eight points the entire year (and should it be a goalie such as Fleury then that point is moot).

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 11/12/10 at 07:08 PM ET

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Is there another long term large contract forward performing worse that IK right now?

Alexei Yashin

Posted by NathanBC on 11/12/10 at 09:38 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Alexei Yashin

Yashin’s cap hit is still affecting the Islanders but he’s technically not being paid.

I’d go with Redden.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 11/12/10 at 11:38 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com