The 10 Worst NHLers of All Time
Have you ever watched an NHL game, and saw a player that left you scratching your head on how he made the pros?
A player that makes Gino Odjick look like Mario Lemieux?
Over the years the NHL's expansion has brought us a water downed product, and a neutral zone trap, at times it is about as much fun to watch as Matthew McConaughey performing Hamlet.
Since the lockout, the league has tried to make the game more entertaining, though some players remain despite their lack of skill. The players that could fight and score 30-50 goals a season are a dying breed.
That being said, I thought I would take a look at the 10 worst NHL players of all time.
10. Mitch Fritz
How Mitch Fritz has made a career in hockey is beyond me.
In juniors, he was your classic case of a player that was chosen because of his size, while smaller, more skilled players were snubbed.
Sure the 6'7", 242 lbs, winger brings size, but that is basically the gist of it as he does nothing else well, not even fight, which is his main duty.
Hopefully his 20 game stint with the New York Islanders will be his last, though the Phoenix Coyotes gave him a look this year, so I won't hold my breath.
9. Hardy Astrom
We have all heard Don Cherry tell a Hardy Astrom tale at one point or another, and there is good reason.
He was about as good at stopping pucks as Tiger Woods is at staying faithful.
In two seasons in the NHL, Astrom played 83 games going 17-44-12 with a 3.75 goals against average.
He may just be the reason Cherry never coached again in the NHL.
8. Patrik Stefan
Patrick Stefans career may be summed up by one play against the Edmonton Oilers on January 4, 2007. Stefan missed and fell on a breakaway towards an empty net, allowing a play to develop where Ales Hemsky scored with two seconds left to send the game to overtime.
The Atlanta Thrashers selected the Czech forward with their first overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and he repaid them by scoring 59 goals in 414 games. By comparison, Alexander Daigle and Brian Lawton (who are two players considered by many to be big first overall pick busts in the NHL), nearly doubled his career points output in the same amount of games.
He retired from hockey at 27-years-old after the Dallas Stars chose not to re-sign him, and is currently a player agent in Laguna Beach, California.
A word to his clients...don't do like he did!
7. Andre Racicot
The weird thing about Andre "Red Light" Racicot was that, even though everybody seemed to know he wasn't a very good goalie, he still managed to stick with the Montreal Canadiens for three seasons and win a Stanley Cup.
Over that time, Racicot went 26-24-8, with a 3.87 goals against and a .891 save percentage.
Even Carey Price on an off night looks like Patrick Roy compared to the one they called "Red Light." Sure he had a winning record, but he played behind some really good Habs clubs.
6. Sergei Priakin
As quickly as he made headlines for being the first member of the Soviet national hockey team that was granted permission to play in the NHL, he was headed on a plane back to Russia.
Over his brief 46 game stint with the Calgary Flames, Priakin never quite adjusted to the North American style of play, and put up just 3 goals and was a -9.
But hey, all was not lost, he did break ground to allow for such great players like Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin to showcase their talents on hockey's brightest stage.
5. Jason Doig
Jason Doig was an absolute force in junior hockey. At 6'3", 225 lbs, he could do it all from the back-end, yet he couldn't carry those abilities over to the NHL level.
During his 158 games played in the NHL, he wasn't a great offensive threat from the point, putting up just six goals and 18 assists, and he wasn't exactly a shut down defenseman either.
4. Alexander Svitov
Who? Alexander Svitov was selected third overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft behind Ilya Kovalchuk and Jason Spezza, by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa was blinded by the Russian centers 6'3", 245 lbs, frame, but found out after 74 games he wasn't the real deal and shipped him to Columbus.
Over 179 NHL games, Svitov scored a whopping 13 goals and consistently took stupid penalties.
3. Jason Bonsignore
Billed as the next Mark Messier when the Edmonton Oilers selected him fourth overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Jason Bonsignore didn't even achieve Eric Messier status over his brief 79 game career, scoring just three goals.
The only thing that saved Edmonton the embarrassment of using their highest pick ever in the draft at that point on Bonsignore, is the fact they landed Ryan Smyth just two picks later, at sixth overall.
2. Alek Stojanov
It wasn't bad enough that the Vancouver Canucks picked Alek Stojanov seventh overall in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, but the Pittsburgh Penguins had to trade Markus Naslund for him as well.
Over his 107 NHL game career, Stojanov scored two goals and seven points total, while Naslund put up 395 goals and 869 points.
He was tagged as a tough guy who could score coming out of juniors after pummeling Eric Lindros in a fight during their draft year and putting up 25 goals in 62 games in the OHL. The only thing was, he couldn't fight or score in the NHL.
1. Wade Belak
Wade Belak brings nothing more to a hockey team than a big warm body.
Since the 2005-06 season, Belak has played 256 games and scored just one goal. And at 6'5", 223 lbs, he is supposed to be a heavy weight fighter, but he doesn't even do that well.
I'm sure he is a great guy, but really, when Lanny Gare doesn't get a shot at the NHL and we have Belak scoring eight goals over his 531 game career thus far, it just doesn't make any sense.