Dave Lozo's 2015 NHL Anti-All-Star Team, Position by PositionJanuary 20, 2015
Dave Lozo's 2015 NHL Anti-All-Star Team, Position by Position
Anyone can spot an NHL All-Star. Just scan the list of leading scorers and there's a pretty good chance you will bump into an All-Star or 20.
But what about bizarro All-Stars? What about anti-All-Stars, the players who have been so bad, such a detriment to their teams, that they deserve some recognition of their own at the break? Who will stand up and point out these players?
OK, fine, I'll do it.
There have been plenty of underperforming, highly paid players stealing paychecks in the NHL this season. There have also been players who are generally terrible and useless players, as expected, gumming up the works for teams that should be performing much better. We can debate for days about the worst players in the NHL but we can only choose six.
So here are this year's anti-All-Stars at every position.
Defenseman: Stephane Robidas, Toronto Maple Leafs
In one of the more inexplicable moves of the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs gave Stephane Robidas, a 38-year-old coming off a season that saw him break his leg twice, a three-year contract. In an effort to make this slideshow as upworthy as possible, you won't believe what happened next!
Among 218 defensemen to play at least 200 minutes at five-on-five this season, Robidas ranks 204th in raw Fenwick at 42.7 percent. He has looked slow in far too many games, and while the Leafs have plenty of problems, the thought of two more years of Robidas with a $3 million cap hit should be unsettling.
Robidas has been a healthy scratch three times this season. While one of the reasons for signing Robidas was to add a leader who could be an example for young defensemen such as Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner, his negatives on the ice must be outweighing the positives off it.
Defenseman: Deryk Engelland, Calgary Flames
In a second inexplicable offseason move, the Calgary Flames gave Deryk Engelland a three-year contract as well. A part-time player with the Pittsburgh Penguins who had terrible five-on-five numbers, not much has changed in a slightly increased role with Calgary.
Among 218 defensemen to play at least 200 minutes at five-on-five this season, Engelland ranks 203rd in raw Fenwick, one spot better than Robidas. While Robidas is somehow plus-11 for the Leafs, Engelland is minus-12 for the Flames despite a 42.9 percent Fenwick.
Plus/minus should be ignored at all times, but it's interesting to see how two players with almost identical underlying numbers have such wildly different results when it comes to the luck of being on the ice for even-strength goals.
Engelland plays a much smaller role in Calgary than Robidas does in Toronto, but there's no getting around how terrible both have been this season.
Left Wing: Dan Carcillo, Chicago Blackhawks
Dan Carcillo is not what I'd call a useless hockey player. He has skills. He has been a decent fourth-line possession player over the years as well. Useless is how I'd describe someone like John Scott, who is both terrible at hockey and a danger to the skilled players on the ice because of his penchant for cheap shots.
But Carcillo's on-ice criminal history is practically unrivaled today.
After his unbelievably despicable hit on Mathieu Perreault of the Winnipeg Jets last week, Carcillo was given a six-game suspension by NHL's department of player safety. It marked the ninth time in nine seasons Carcillo was suspended, which makes you wonder how the league came to give him such a short suspension for trying to break Perreault's arm.
Carcillo has four goals and three assists in 31 games and will surely be back in the Blackhawks lineup once his suspension is over. Good luck to those playing against him.
Center: Cody Hodgson, Buffalo Sabres
When the Buffalo Sabres acquired Cody Hodgson at the 2011 trade deadline, they believed they were getting a potential No. 1 center. After a respectable 20-goal season in 2013-14, Hodgson has been downright brutal in 2014-15.
In 46 games, the 24-year-old Hodgson has two goals and seven points. Among 430 forwards to play at least 100 minutes at five-on-five, Hodgson ranks 422nd in Fenwick at 37.0 percent. There's no doubt the Sabres are a historically bad team, but Hodgson hasn't been a shining light in the beacon of darkness.
In the end, Hodgson's poor play is probably a good thing, as it will facilitate a last-place finish and a great chance at the Sabres picking up Connor McDavid in the 2015 NHL draft. It says a lot about a player when he's a healthy scratch on a team this bad.
Right Wing: Alexander Semin, Carolina Hurricanes
Is Alexander Semin a left wing? Sure. But this is an anti-All-Star team, and we can play particularly unexceptional players slightly out of position for the sake of fielding the worst possible squad.
Semin is in the second year of a five-year, $35 million contract, which means he has the 22nd-largest cap hit of any non-goaltender. All he's done to earn his money this season is post one goal and seven assists in 26 games, a number that's extremely low because he's been a healthy scratch so often.
The Hurricanes have had their share of problems this season due to injury, but having $7 million in cap space dedicated to Semin has been just as big of a problem.
Goaltender: Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes
With an .887 save percentage, Mike Smith ranks dead last among regular NHL goaltenders. Only Philadelphia's Ray Emery is worse at .886, but Smith has compiled his numbers in 29 starts compared to Emery's 14.
The Coyotes' foundation is defense, and Smith is the leading reason why the team is at the bottom of the standings. Devan Dubnyk was outperforming Smith this season, but thanks to Smith's $5.66 million cap hit that runs through 2018, the Coyotes decided to trade Dubnyk because they are married to Smith.
Everything isn't entirely Smith's fault; the Coyotes are allowing 31.6 shots per game, sixth worst in the league. But the only thing flopping harder than Smith this season are Smith's numbers.
All statistics via NHL.com or Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com. Salary-cap information via Spotrac.