NHL Predictions 2013: 10 Players That Will Struggle to Fit in with New Teams
The NHL lockout is finally over, and with action slated to get started on January 19, new players like Alexander Semin could struggle to fit in with their new teams.
Over the summer, a number of teams sought to make upgrades to their rosters, but these additions could fall flat. Here are some players that will struggle to fit in with their new teams now that the season is about to start.
Brad Boyes' play has been on the decline over the past few seasons, and it is unlikely that the New York Islanders will help the former 40-goal scorer rejuvenate his game.
Since recording 65- and 72-point seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Boyes followed up with 42, 41 and 23 points during seasons in which he played 60 games or more.
Brandon Prust was a gritty player for the New York Rangers and one of their top penalty killers, but he will join a Montreal Canadiens team that really needs scoring, not grit.
Prust is being paid a pretty penny by the Habs, and living up to that contract might be hard in a third- or fourth-line role.
Players like Prust are valuable, but the Canadiens should have targeted players that will help cover their weaknesses.
Alexander Semin is a player who has been on the decline over the past few years, and if he couldn't make it work with teammates he had chemistry with, it is unlikely that he will take off with new teammates in Carolina.
If Semin couldn't produce with Nicklas Backstrom as his pivot, there is no reason to suggest that he will rebound from back-to-back 54-point seasons playing with Eric Staal or Jeff Skinner.
From the get-go, it is fair to say that Ryan Suter will struggle with the Minnesota Wild. He is leaving a team in Nashville whose strength was defense. In Minnesota, Suter will enter a role he has never had to encounter.
The team's defense will be anchored by Suter, and he will have a lot of responsibility. Without the towering Shea Weber at his side, there will be an adjustment period for the $98-million-dollar man.
Carlo Colaiacovo was signed by the Detroit Red Wings as a backup option after they failed to sign Ryan Suter.
He was added by the Detroit Red Wings because they needed depth on defense. However, he will fail to fit in because he is an inconsistent defender.
Detroit needed consistency to fill the void left by Brad Stuart and Nicklas Lidstrom, and Colaiacovo won't help fill that void.
In New York with the Rangers, Brandon Dubinsky was a third-line forward on the depth chart because of the caliber of players on the roster.
With the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dubinsky will be expected to be a top-six forward to help carry the scoring. Dubinsky is a player who will average 45 to 50 points, but he won't be the top-line forward Columbus will be looking for.
James Van Riemsdyk
James Van Riemsdyk will be surrounded with less talent in Toronto than he was in Philadelphia, and there will be a small adjustment period for the young forward.
Up to this point, JVR's problem has been an inability to remain injury-free, but hopefully he breaks that trend in Toronto.
To make matters worse, there isn't even a plan as to where JVR will play in the lineup, so it will be tough for him to have success if he is shifted between center and wing.
Derek Roy was traded to the Dallas Stars during the offseason, and it was an interesting move for the Buffalo Sabres.
They added some grit when they acquired Steve Ott from Dallas, and it appears that Dallas lost the deal.
Derek Roy has failed to stay healthy over the past few seasons, and he may not thrive in a top-six role in Dallas.
With players like Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney and Brendan Morrow slated to play big roles with the team, Roy will be a secondary producer who will try to make an impact.
Brandon Sutter and the No. 8 pick at the 2012 NHL draft was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Jordan Staal and it was a trade that really helped the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sutter is a great bottom-six forward who showed potential in Carolina of becoming a top-six player. However, the Penguins already have two top-six centers with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the roster, so Sutter may struggle with a limited role in Pittsburgh.
He has a lot of talent, but there is nowhere for him to move up the depth chart.
Olli Jokinen signed with the Winnipeg Jets this offseason, and he is a player who will be expected to produce in a big role.
In Calgary, Jokinen was surrounded with talent like Jarome Iginla, Michael Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay, but in Winnipeg, he will center the first or second line.
Jokinen is coming off a good season, but he may struggle after embracing a larger role in Winnipeg.