NHL Superstars Who Get the Least Help from Their Teammates
Hockey is a team sport, and no team is going to win much with just one great player on their roster. This list includes NHL star players who get the least amount of support from their teammates.
There are several ways to make this list. One is to be the only star player on a mediocre or worse team. If you're the only star on the roster, you're not exactly getting a lot of support.
In other instances, players can make this list for being the only player on their team who does a particular thing well. A goalie, for example, who plays on a team that doesn't play defense in front of him or that doesn't score enough goals to support his fine efforts in net. Being the only player on a roster who scores a lot of goals can also help a player get included.
Feel free to comment on the list and mention any players you feel belong on this list but were overlooked. Please indicate why you feel the way you do and who you would remove from the list to include the player of your choice.
10. John Tavares
For the first three seasons of his career, John Tavares was by far the Islanders' best player, and he was not surrounded by a lot of other talented forwards.
Last year, the Isles finally reached the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Still, Tavares is by far the best player on the team. With the exception of Matt Moulson, the Isles have many young prospects but few proven goal scorers to compliment the first overall pick of the 2009 NHL draft.
The Islanders are improving because general manager Garth Snow's rebuilding program is finally paying dividends, but there is no player on the Islanders who comes close to being a superstar like John Tavares.
9. Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur has won three Stanley Cups and more games than any goalie in NHL history.
In the past, Brodeur has had Hall of Fame talent in front of him like Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer and talented players like Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Ken Daneyko.
Now, the Devils have a lot less talent then they had at any time during Brodeur's career. The future Hall of Famer himself is past his prime. He is no longer the player he once was. Today, Brodeur is a good goalie but no longer elite.
That being said, with the departure of Kovalchuk this summer and Parise last summer, Brodeur is the lone remaining star player on the Devils and one who cannot expect a lot of help from his teammates.
8. Ryan Miller
In the past, Ryan Miller has helped the Sabres reach the Eastern Conference Final and won the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie in 2009-10.
Since then, the Sabres have started a rebuilding program, and rumors abound that Miller may be on the trading block, per Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated.
Last season, Buffalo slipped to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Miller was unable to save his team from mediocrity, but he still played respectably. Having a better team in front of him may help Miller take his game back closer to his former heights.
7. Shea Weber
Shea Weber was by far the best skater on the Nashville Predators last season.
Weber still played well despite no longer being paired with the recently departed Ryan Suter. Still, Weber led the Predators with 19 assists and 28 points and had 28 more shots on goal than the next highest Nashville player.
The Predators scored the fewest goals in the NHL this past season, but it wasn't because of any failure on Weber's part. He remains a star, albeit one who gets little help from his teammates. With the exception of goalie Pekka Rinne, there are no other star players on the Predators right now.
6. Keith Yandle
Keith Yandle remains a bright spot on a Coyotes team that stumbled last season to 10th place in the Western Conference after winning the Pacific Division the previous season.
Yandle led the Coyotes in scoring last season with 30 points in 48 games. He also had a plus-four rating on a team that failed to qualify for the playoffs.
While the Coyotes have added some talented players, Yandle remains the best player on his team, a team that few experts have picked to reach the playoffs this year.
5. Thomas Vanek
While the Sabres are in full rebuilding mode, Thomas Vanek remains a star player who can still put up solid offensive numbers on a team that could struggle to score goals this season.
Vanek led the Sabres with 20 goals and 41 points last season while tying for the club lead in assists.
The native of Vienna is only 29 and remains in the prime of his career. Per John Vogl of The Buffalo News, there are rumors the Sabres may try to move him as part of the rebuilding program because he is in the final year of his contract, he is their highest paid player and he is probably the player on the current roster who can get general manager Darcy Regier the most value in return.
As long as he remains with Buffalo, Vanek remains on this list. The Sabres do not have another star forward on their roster right now, although there are some young players with potential.
4. Sergei Bobrovsky
Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy last year for almost leading the Blue Jackets to a playoff berth last season.
"Bob" finished the season with a .932 save percentage (second in the league) and 2.00 GAA. Columbus finished the season on a 19-6-5 run and only missed the postseason on a tiebreaker. Bobrovsky started nearly all of those games.
Until the Jackets acquired Marian Gaborik from the Rangers at the trade deadline, their roster was filled with hard-working players but lacked anybody remotely described as a star.
Now, Gaborik and Nathan Horton give the Blue Jackets two bona fide goal scorers, but you still can't say Bobrovsky has a lot of help on an improving club that will gun for its second-ever playoff appearance this season.
3. Devan Dubnyk
It's not that Devan Dubnyk doesn't have star players as teammates. The Oilers have plenty of highly touted and talented players on their roster. They just all seem to play forward, and that doesn't help a goalie like Dubnyk all that much.
Dubnyk managed a very respectable .920 save percentage despite playing on a team not known for its defensive play.
Rookie Justin Schultz was arguably the Oilers' best defenseman last season, and he hit the rookie wall midway through the lockout-shortened season.
In their 2013-14 NHL Yearbook, The Hockey News summed up the Oilers' defense by saying they, "struggled to break up cycles and to hit their speedy forwards on the fly without outlet passes. The result was a lot of time scrambling around in their own end."
That is the very definition of non-support for a goalie.
2. Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne admittedly did not have his best season in 2012-13, but he certainly didn't get much help from his teammates.
No team in the NHL scored fewer goals than the Preds, who tallied only 109 in 48 games, or 2.23 goals-per-game.
Rinne's numbers slumped a bit last season, but he is still considered one of the league's top goalies. The big Finnish native was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in both 2011 and 2012 and helped lead the Predators to the second round of the playoffs each year.
1. Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell has been a part of many successful hockey teams during his NHL career.
He was a part of the Sabres teams that reached the Eastern Conference Final in the mid-2000s and then helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010.
In 2011-12, Campbell was an integral part of the Panthers team that won the Southeast Division title.
Last year, Campbell was one of the few high-caliber players on an injured and talent-starved Panthers team that finished dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 15-27-6 record.
Despite his team's struggles, Campbell was still on pace for a 46-point season had the lockout not shortened the campaign. He had little help from his teammates.