Being that hockey is such a team game, it’s tough to pin the blame on just one player. That said, one player can make a huge difference in the grand scheme of a team’s makeup.
In the following list, you’ll see most of the teams of the chosen player are having an equally subpar season. Maybe 10 more goals here, or a few more saves there and their team is in the playoffs.
Here is our list:
Stephen Weiss, Detroit
After signing a 5-year, $24.5 million dollar deal in the offseason with the Red Wings, there was a lot of excitement about the potential of Weiss blossoming outside of Florida. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the deal looks like a mistake. He’s played only 26 games this season, due to injury, and has 2 goals and 2 assists. Weiss has been limited the last two seasons because of injuries, playing in only 43 games.
Nail Yakupov, Edmonton
Pretty much everyone in Edmonton could be on this list, but Yakupov is the one guy who sticks out the most. After being selected number one overall in the 2012 draft, Yakupov had a pretty solid rookie season putting up 31 points in 48 games. This year, in 63 games, he has only 24 points. He also is a -33. Edmonton decided to hang onto him for the rest of this year even though trade rumors have followed him all year. It’s very possible he could be dealt before next season.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida
Huberdeau won the Calder trophy last year so it’s understandable that expectations were high for him going into this season. With only 8 goals and 27 points in 66 games for the Panthers, Huberdeau hasn’t been the same threat he was last year. To his defense, he doesn’t have a lot around him in Florida.
Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles and Columbus
The Blue Jackets thought they were making a big splash when acquiring Gaborik at the trade deadline last year. He never panned out for them, and like for most of his career, had a problem staying healthy. They shipped him to Los Angeles in an effort to recoup their losses. Gaborik is now in the process of proving that he still is a valuable player in the league with the Kings.
Adam Larsson, New Jersey
After being selected 4th overall in the first round of the 2011 draft, most everyone thought the Devils snagged a franchise defenseman in Larsson. He hasn’t come close to living up to those expectations. He has seen some time in the AHL this year and it begs the question if the Devils rushed him too early. Given the loss of players New Jersey has had over the last few years, they can’t afford for him not to turn it around.
Craig Anderson, Ottawa
Anderson was lights out for the Senators in the lockout shortened season. He had a .941 sv%, and a 1.69 GAA. This year has been a fall from grace for Anderson, he’s posted a .908 sv% and a GAA north of 3. For a team like the Senators (who don’t spend to the cap) to not have Anderson play his best has been part of the reason they will not make the playoffs.
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
Henrik has been a staple at the top of the points race for the last five years plus. This year has been much different as Sedin has just 46 points in 65 games. Blaming coach John Tortorella seems fair, but age, injuries, and dwindling talent around him may also be the cause of Henrik’s poor season.
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver
Just like his brother, Daniel has struggled this season to put up the kind of numbers he has in the past. The Canucks have been desperate for goals all year and Daniel has not delivered with only 13 in 64 games.
James Reimer, Toronto
Reimer has played back up to Jonathan Bernier for most of the year. Bernier recently went down with an injury and Reimer has fell apart when the Leafs needed him the most. He was called out by Randy Carlyle in a post-game press conference that set off some controversy with Reimer’s agent. It isn’t all his fault, but with a 3.39 GAA and a borderline .908 sv%, Reimer has not been good.
Teemu Selanne, Anaheim
Our lone exception to the disapointing player/disapointing team theory.
Let’s preface this by saying, it’s still amazing that Selanne is playing in a high level league like the NHL at his age. He’s an ageless wonder but he’s had a tough season. He had more goals last year in less games played and has looked a bit slow at times. He could be saving up for a magical playoff run, and but he’s going to have to start turning it on soon if he wants to go out on top.
@eddiespaghetti7 contributed to this piece