Every year different NHL teams try to make an off season move that will change the shape of their franchise for the better, but sometimes we see the general managers of these respected teams hitting their heads over a desk asking "Why?". I've made a list of five players who, this season, didn't come as advertised and instead get paid for having a big name and nothing else. Here's a list of five players who I believe are the NHL's biggest underachievers. Please note that these are in no particular order.
Eric Lindros (Dallas Stars) - I know, I know, after numerous injuries he's never been or never will be the same, but I can't help thinking about how the "Big E" used to play back in his Philadelphia Flyer days. With a career high of 115 points in the 1995-1996 season with the Flyers, Lindros was signed to a one year deal with the Dallas Stars this season worth 1.55 Million, which is not a bad price considering his status in the last couple of years. While Lindros did manage to beat his horrible numbers with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, he only beat them by four points, posting up 5 goals and 21 assists with a total of 26 points in 49 games with the Stars.
Dan Cloutier (Los Angeles Kings) - Possibly one of the biggest busts in NHL goalie history, Dan Cloutier was traded to the Los Angles Kings after being replaced by Roberto Luongo as the number one goalie for the Vancouver Canucks. Head coach Marc Crawford, who coached Cloutier in Vancouver, had lots of faith that he was going to be an elite goalie in the NHL, boy was he wrong. After signing a deal worth approximately 9 Million spread over three years, Cloutier posted up the worst numbers in his career before a season ending injury after just 22 games with the Kings. In those 22 games, Cloutier posted a horrendous 3.98 goals against along with a .806 save percentage.
Jeremy Roenick (Phoenix Coyotes) - Jeremy Roenick has been a big disappointment since he left Philadelphia and his streak of poor play has continued into his second stint with the Coyotes. It wasn't only JR's play that made him a bust but also his attitude and lack of dedication. During a regular season game against the Vancouver Canucks, Roenick, who was scratched that night, decided he would go get himself some dinner at a restaurant across the street, which was a big no-no and he would hear about it later that night from head coach Wayne Gretzky. Roenick also posted 11 goals and 17 assists for a grand total of 28 points in 70 games for the Coyotes.
John Leclair (Pittsburgh Penguins) - Things just seemed to spiral downwards this season for veteran John Leclair, who was once one of the NHL’s elite wingers. Leclair had a mere 7 points in 21 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being waived and forced into free agency.
Patrik Stefan (Dallas Stars) - The former first overall draft pick joined the Dallas Stars for yet another disappointing season. Stefan played in 41 games for the Stars with 5 goals and 6 assists for an unimpressive total of 11 points on the season, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, during a game against the Edmonton Oilers while the Stars were leading 5-4 with less than a minute left, Stefan went for an empty net breakaway shot, fanned on it, slipped, and gave the puck away to Ales Hemsky who scored with seconds left to tie the game. Talk about a rough season.
These of course aren’t the only five underachievers in the game but they are the players that come to mind when I think about big time busts this season. Please let me know what you think and who you think are the biggest NHL busts this season or, better yet, of all time.