Michael Ryder and Five NHL Players Who Will Underachieve in 2011-2012
The NHL off-season is full of pick ups, drops and trades. We have seen that thus far. There were numerous free agent signings. Some that we saw coming and some that made us think... really?
Then we see the outcome of how those players who signed with teams that were questionable.
Sometimes it is a great surprise and great success. Others just turn out to be a one-year player.
Here are some of the players who will underachieve at their new destinations.
Michael Ryder won a Stanley Cup this last season with the Boston Bruins in their dramatic seven-game series vs. the Vancouver Canucks. This off-season, he signed with the Dallas Stars to a two-year contract, making $3.5 million a year.
With the Bruins last season, he put up 41 points in 79 games. Pretty respectable. He was on the third line with Sobotka and Krejci. Every team in the league wishes they had a third-liner who put up 41 points.
This year, though, he will be with the Dallas Stars. I do not see Ryder fitting in with the Stars' Western Conference style of play, though. The Stars are not exactly lit up on the forward side of the puck and could be seeing themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs again.
I think that Dallas will be expecting too much of him, and he will not put up the numbers he is expected to produce.
This situation reminds me of when Alex Tanguay and Chris Drury were on the Avalanche and were overlooked forwards, while everyone was watching Forsberg, Sakic and Hejduk.
Tomas Kaberle came over from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline last season. He was expected to put up more offense than he did with the star-studded team. Even on the power play, he didn't do all that great.
He recently signed with the Carolina Hurricanes for the upcoming season. The Hurricanes are a classic NHL style of team. Gritty, hardcore and nose to the grindstone.
Carolina will try to grind a team down to get the win, and I don't see Kaberle as that type of threat for the Hurricanes.
He probably won't be able to put up better numbers in Carolina if he couldn't do it with the talent surrounding him in Boston.
Semyon Varlamov was recently added to the young roster of the Colorado Avalanche. A lot of people saw him leaving the nation's capital pretty soon anyway, if not this year. He can be a solid goaltender, but he has had problems with inconsistency in the past.
His record in Washington was 40-22-12. Not horrible numbers, but if you count the overtime losses, his record is only 40-34. Being a .500 goalie with that kind of talent in front of you is nothing to brag about.
He also let in some weak goals in the playoffs that could have been the reason for the Caps' early playoff exits. His playoff record for Washington was 10-9.
Colorado could be on the rise with all this young talent, and if they can keep all the pieces together, they could can be a force in years to come.
He could be the goaltender the Avalanche have been looking for in past years. Although after Patrick Roy, the Avalanche have not had much success between the pipes.
That didn't help the well-known underachieving playoff performers in Washington, though.
He just recently signed with the St. Louis Blues. The Blues could be a playoff performer this year, but I do not expect them to make a serious playoff run.
Arnott is being brought in to guide a young and inexperienced team in St. Louis. The Blues will love his style of play.
Although, he will be 37 coming into the season and will most likely slow down the pace. Arnott is usually more than a point every other game player but with this kind of team helping him out, I can see his stats dropping.
Arnott, like any good player, puts up good numbers with good players around him. That isn't the case with the Blues.
Arnott will help the team with his leadership, but I see the Blues missing the playoffs again this season and his numbers dropping with age and lack of talent surrounding him.
Jonathan Ericsson was a stud for the Red Wings when he made his real debut in the 2008-2009 playoffs.
Known as a stay-at-home defenseman, he still put up four goals and four assists in 22 playoff games with Detroit. Not terrible for a rookie defenseman competing for the Cup.
Ericsson just recently signed a three-year deal with Detroit for $3.25 million a year. He was making $900,000 last year and he felt he was due for a raise. Many teams would have come after a young talent such as Ericsson on July 1.
Even though the Red Wings gave him the contract and raise, that doesn't mean his play will improve. After that good first debut with the Wings, he started to play "lazy," if you will...also with constant turnovers in the defensive zone.
Ericsson could turn it around this year with the paycheck he is getting now, but I will believe it when i see it.
He also plays in Hockeytown and could just be in a mini-slump in his career. It could prove to be a very good sign for the Red Wings.