NHL: 5 Free-Agent Signings That Are Poised to Flop in 2012-13
The 2012 offseason featured plenty of big- and small-name players being signed to new teams. For the 30 teams in the NHL, they hope that their newly-acquired players will help lead them to the ultimate prize in hockey: the Stanley Cup.
For some teams, that is a possibility. Teams will see their newly-acquired talent greatly improve them. For those clubs, it will be money well spent. However, for other teams and their fans, they will be beating their heads against a wall as they watch a player they invested millions in flop.
With that said, here are five free-agent signings that are poised to flop this upcoming season.
1. Alexander Semin
For Alexander Semin, it was a summer of uncertainty. When he hit the market, he was unsure if he would even play in the NHL, with rumors swirling around that KHL team CKSA Moscow wanted Semin’s services for $30 million over three years (h/t CBS Sports).
While it is only a one-year deal, Carolina takes a huge risk with Semin. The last two years have been down years for the 28-year-old who played alongside dynamic players like Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in Washington. In Carolina, he’ll play alongside equally dynamic players in the Staal brothers (Jordan and Eric).
If he doesn’t return to his 2008-2010 status (35-40 goals per year), this might be the last time we see Alexander Semin in the NHL.
2. P.A. Parenteau
Parenteau saw much success playing alongside John Tavares, who was the first overall pick in 2009 NHL Draft. Now he will be playing alongside Matt Duchene, the third overall pick in that same draft.
Considering he was a late bloomer in the NHL (first full season at 27), some might say Parenteau's prime is past him. If that is true, the 29-year-old’s numbers will be on the decline within the next four years.
For such an up-and-coming team in the NHL, that won’t make many Colorado fans happy.
3. Jiri Hudler
Hudler received the exact same contract as P.A. Parenteau, but registered 19 fewer points.
Still, it seems like Calgary fans should be encouraged with the newly-acquired winger. He had great success with the Detroit Red Wings. He won a Stanly Cup with the franchise in 2008. Also, he scored 25 goals this past season, which was a career high for the 28-year-old.
However, that was all with a highly talented Red Wings team that has made the playoffs 21 straight years. The Calgary Flames have missed the playoffs the last three years.
I’m not saying that Hudler will be a complete flop throughout his deal, but in his first year with Calgary, he will definitely face some struggles on the offensive end.
4. Jason Garrison
Besides being known as a player who went undrafted and signed with the Florida Panthers, little was known about Jason Garrison prior to the 2011-12 season. However, Garrison became a household name in the “Sunshine State.”
In 77 games, Garrison scored a Florida Panthers record 16 goals (for defensemen) and posted 33 points. More importantly, he established himself as a lethal point man on the power play who has a cannon of a slap shot.
The successful season earned him six years worth $27.6 million. Not too bad for a player who only had one good season offensively. Some teams were planning on offering him more money. Instead, Garrison did a noble thing and pushed the big money to the side to play for his hometown team.
While they paid him less, the Vancouver Canucks might regret giving Garrison the lengthy contract—especially if he doesn’t produce on the power play like the Canucks want.
5. Brad Boyes
Not much has gone right for the New York Islanders the past couple of years. With that said, it is hard for them to attract the big-name free agents. However, they did make a minor “splash” when they signed forward Brad Boyes.
Boyes is a former 33- and 43-goal winger. However, he has struggled to stay healthy the last couple of years playing for the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres. This is a huge opportunity for Boyes, who will more than likely play alongside the likes of Matt Moulson and John Tavares—two stars for the New York Islanders.
While it is only a one-year, $1 million deal, Boyes not being able to stay healthy is why I believe he will flop. If he stays healthy, he can provide some great offense not only for himself, but for his linemates too, which may help make the Islanders a contender this year and in the future.
However, I wouldn’t bank on that happening.