Worst Offseason Signings of 2009: Which Toronto Maple Leafs Made the List?

Mark RitterSenior Writer INovember 8, 2009

TORONTO - OCTOBER 10:  Mike Komisarek #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs with the Hockey Fights Cancer sticker against the Pittsburgh Penguins during a NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on October 10, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada .  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

For many NHL general managers, free agency is akin to Christmas. This summer was no exception, question is, did NHL GM’s get what they asked for or did Santa pull a fast one and leave a knock-off in their stockings?

To be fair, we are just 15 games (For many NHL teams) into the 2009-10 NHL season, that said, some key free agent signings are under performing, which has some GM’s shaking their heads.

It is difficult to tell if the early results will continue, but, when it comes to poor offseason signings, this year's list is both long and alarming, especially when you consider the names on the list.

Here are my thoughts on the 10 worst offseason signings of 2009-10.

Mike Komisarek
Through 14 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs has no points and a plus/minus rating of -10, which leads the Leafs. Komisarek’s penchant for taking untimely/undisciplined penalties has directly led to more than a few Leaf losses and his poor decision making in his own zone is becoming a nightly occurrence.

“Fortunately” (insert sarcasm here) for the Leafs, general manager Brian Burke has Komisarek signed for five years, which should be ample time for Komisarek to figure out the Leafs system.

In order for Burke to get a decent return on his dollar Komisarek is going to have to simplify his game and find the edge that made him a success as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Martin Havlat
When the Minnesota Wild signed Havlat they were sending a message to the rest of the NHL that they were no longer going to be the defense first team we have all grown to know.

Coming off a 29 goal, 77 point season with the Chicago Blackhawks, Havlat was expected to catapult the Wild into playoff contention and bring validity to the Wild offensive attack. Sadly, that has not been the case.

Through 13 games, Havlat has just one goal, seven points and an alarming minus 12 rating, second worst on the team.

Admittedly, the Wilds’ lack of scoring is not all Havlat’s fault, but he has failed to be a difference maker and, having signed a six year deal with the Wild, must find a way to light the lamp.

Steve Sullivan
Always considered a risk because of his injury history, the Nashville Predators elected to look the other way when it came to signing Sullivan in the off-season.

Up until last night’s match against the Minnesota Wild, a game in which Sullivan had two assists, Sullivan had not registered a multi-point game and had just one goal and three points through 13 games.

His plus/minus rating of -4 is unimpressive and his inability to be a game breaker thus far has to have the Predators worrying and is a major factor in the teams mediocre 6-7-1 start.

Dodging the injury bug is a bonus for Sullivan and the Preds, that said, when he is in the lineup, Sullivan must be effective and to date, he has not impressed anyone.

Alex Kovalev
When the Ottawa Senators signed Kovalev away from the Montreal Canadiens many Montreal fans cried foul. Well, 13 games into the season, Kovalev boasts just four goals and six points and a team leading minus five rating, who's crying now?

Kovalev has been invisible on more nights than not and his penchant for taking games off seems very real. At $5 million per season, Kovalev does not come cheap and with another year on his contract, the Sens must be second guessing this signing.

John “Johnny” Oduya
New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello doesn’t make many mistakes when it comes to re-signing players, that said, Lou must be scratching his head about resigning Oduya.

Oduya posted 29 points, a plus 29 rating and just 30 penalty minutes last season. Through eleven games, Oduya has zero points, 16 penalty minutes and a minus four rating, far off his 2008-09 season totals.

Alex Tanguay
judging a player by his numbers does not always tell the whole story, in the case of Tanguay, the stats don’t lie. With just two goals and seven points through 14 games, Tanguay is on pace to register about 40 points.; simply put, that’s not good enough.

Five-on-five Tanguay has just one goal and, like many other players mentioned in this article has been invisible on most nights. Playing alongside Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier at times, Tanguay has plenty of talent around him, his inability to gel with either one of these elite players makes you question his attention to detail.

Cam Ward
Signed a six year deal worth a total of $37.8 million (an extension) in September. At the time, the deal was thought to be a good one for both Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes, as it stands right now, the deal is looking very lop-sided in Wards favor.

Through 14 games, Ward has a record of 2-9-3 with a 3.00 GAA (31st in the League) and a .898 Sv% (29th in the League). His nine loses are a League high and his 41 goals against is the third most of any NHL goalie.

Sure, it’s not all Ward’s fault and, in fact, a lot of the blame ought to be directed at Carolina’s disinterested forwards, but, when you are making an average of over $6 million a season, fingers are bound to get pointed in your direction when your team goes South in the standings.

Francois Beauchemin
Brought in to solidify the Leafs defense and his ability to make the initial pass out of the defensive zone, Beauchemin has played like a fish out of water in Toronto.

His minus -8 rating ranks Beauchemin third worst on the team and, from all indications, he has failed to grasp the Leafs system.

Beauchemin was also brought in for his leadership skills, but it is difficult for players to look up to a player that has struggled as mightily as Beauchemin has. As the saying goes, "attitude reflects leadership," right now, Beauchemin is part of the problem, not the answer.

Kyle Wellwood
Wellwood was re-signed by the Vancouver Canucks and, to be fair, the deal was insignificant. That said, you gotta believe that the Canucks felt Wellwood would put a few pucks past opposing goaltenders, which, to date, he has not.

No points, just 15 shots and a lack of desire to make contact, an inability to score, Wellwood is the definition of “invisible.”

Dominic Moore
Turned down a lucrative offer to stay with the Leafs at the end of last season, resulting in his being traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Spent most of the summer holding out for a huge contract, in the end, signed with the Florida Panthers early in the season.

Through five games Moore has zero points and is a minus five. Expected to be a shut-down kind of player, Moore has been a disappointment to the Panthers thus far. Moore only plays about 15 minutes per game, with that in mind, there is no excuse for his lackadaisical play.

Got another player in mind? Don’t agree with my list? Let your opinions be known in the comment box!

Until next time,


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