You know those fans have one player( or more than one in some cases) that they wish just would disappear.
Some teams like The Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes had a plethora of players to choose from which made this list difficult. On the flip side teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Dallas Stars they have a wealth of solid players throughout the line up which can make it hard to single out one player that is the weakest even though that player likely wouldn't appear for any other team.
Here I make my best attempt at naming every team's worst current player. I tried to avoid players who were just signed this off-season, but in some it was just glaringly obvious that they were the weakest. I used many metrics to determine the weakest player which included their salary, recent performance, expectations for the team, importance to the team and how long they have been struggling.
So lets take a look at every NHL team and we will start with the Anaheim Ducks and their worst player....Jared Boll.
30 Anaheim Ducks - Jared Boll
Jared Boll is a new addition to the Anaheim Ducks but that doesn't change the fact that he is the worst player on a very strong Ducks team. Now Boll will play an important role for the ducks but that role is becoming less and less important. Boll is going to be an enforcer for a ducks team which has had its toughness questioned at times. However Boll has had a history of suspensions and was bought out by a very weak Columbus Blue Jackets team just before free agency started. If he was deemed expendable by a lottery team like the Blue Jackets then I'm not optimistic on how he will do as a Duck. Boll has 27 goals and 35 assists with 518 games. He has added 1195 PIMs in that time so we shall see how he does as a duck but for right now he is the worst player on paper.
29 Arizona Coyotes - Kevin Connauton
Kevin Connauton was a 3rd round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, although he would never play for them. Connauton never panned out in the NHL, twice being picked up on waivers. He has played 163 games in his NHL career thus far scoring 15 goals and adding 31 assists. Although the Coyotes aren't the strongest team in the NHL, they are filled with promising young prospects like Max Domi and Anthony Duclair and established vets like Alex Goligoski, Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette. Connauton falls right in the middle of those two groups age wise but has yet to establish himself. It doesn't seem like he will ever do so at this point. As more of the Coyotes' young prospects work their way up through the system, Connauton's role is eventually going to get smaller and smaller. There aren't many teams in the NHL that would take Connauton on their team.
28 Boston Bruins - Anton Khubodin
Anton Khubodin has had flashes of success in his time in the NHL. Back in 2013 Khubodin reached career highs in every major statistical category. He played 36 games and recorded 219 wins with a .926 Save Percentage and a 2.30 GAA. He has gotten worse in every season since in more and more diminished roles. He has even had two stints in the AHL since that season. He is a recent signing of the Boston Bruins to back up their blue chip starter Tukka Rask, so at least he wont be relied upon to play much.
In a way, it's kind of a good sign for a team when their worst player is their backup goaltender. As long as Rask stays healthy this season, the Bruins should be fine. While some other players could have taken this spot, nobody among the Bruins' skaters is really bad enough to land on a list like this.
27 Buffalo Sabres - Anders Nilsson
Anders Nilsson's career started in 2011 and he has already played for three different NHL teams. Not a good sign for the once promising goaltender. Technically speaking Nilsson was also a member of the Chicago Blackhawks (his rights were sent there in exchange for Nick Leddy) Nilsson had his best chance for success as a member of the Edmonton Oilers last season as the starting job was there for the taking. Nilsson showed flashes of brilliance but he ultimately showed he was not starter material. He signed with the Sabres to back up Robin Lehner and hopefully for the Sabres' sake Lehner stays healthy.
While Lehner hasn't exactly wowed anybody since taking over between the pipes for Buffalo, Sabres fans will quickly miss him if they have to see Nilsson start for an extended period of time.
26 Calgary Flames: Deryk Engelland
Deryk Engelland joined the Calgary Flames in 2014 signing a s a free agent. The signing was listed as one of the worst signings of the 2014 free agency period. Engellend signed a three year deal worth $2.9 million a season. That's a whopping 5-fold pay increase over what he made with the Penguins. Calgary needed an enforcer but you should never be paying an enforcer type that much money. With the $5.8 million they have already given Engelland, all Engelland has provided them is 5 goals, 18 assists, 107 PIMS in 145 games. The Flames are a team loaded with young talent so when you look at the roster and counting money and performance there is no one worse than Deryk Engelland.
Perhaps with Calgary under a new coach, Engelland will find his role reduced as to what it was under Bob Hartley, who's more of an old school coach.
25 Carolina Hurricanes - Bryan Bickell
Bryan Bickell is another of those former Chicago Blackhawks players that teams seem to covet these days. Bickell has won three Stanley Cups, but he has struggled mightily in recent years since signing a four year, $16 million deal. For that $4 million annual cap hit, Bickell had 2 points in 25 games last season. The Blackhawks had to give up top prospect Teuvo Teravainen just to get the Hurricanes to take on Bickell's contract. Despite Carolina being a weaker team, the fact that Bickell had to spend time in the AHL last season and has struggled so badly in recent years he gets the nod as the worst player on the team.
Carolina isn't stuck with the full duration of the contract and they could afford to demote Bickell if his game shows no signs of improvement as a Hurricane. For them, it was a small price to pay to acquire someone with the potential of Teravainen.
24 Chicago Blackhawks: Michal Rozsival
When you have a team as stacked as the Chicago Blackhawks it gets hard to pick the worst of the bunch. Michal Rozsival however has stood out as the worst player on the roster. As a bottom pairing defenceman, he isn't relied on too much for scoring and he definitely hasn't delivered on the score sheet. Last season he played 51 games and added 1 goal and 12 assists. In his NHL career he has played 941 games adding 67 goals and 239 assists. He wouldn't be the worst player on most rosters but on a team like the Chicago Blackhawks he definitely is.
Don't read too much into him landing on this list. It's always better to be the worst player on a great team than the best player on a bad one, right? If you don't believe us, just ask Rozsival how he likes his Stanley Cup rings.
23 Columbus Blue Jackets - David Clarkson
David Clarkson is a cautionary tale to NHL GMs everywhere. Don't over commit after just one succesful season. Clarkson had one good season with the New Jersey Devils and cashed in with a long-term deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. After struggling to reach any level of success (Clarkson was actually suspended for 10 games before his first season with the Leafs even started) he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the injured Nathan Horton. Horton will likely never play a game in the NHL and some people still think the Leafs may have won this deal just to get Clarkson out of the line up.
His struggles have continued in Columbus and may cause problems down the road as the Blue Jackets will be handcuffed by his monstrous contract. While Columbus made the trade to get an active NHL player, as opposed to one who couldn't play anymore, there had to be other options other than getting Clarkson.
22 Colorado Avalanche - Fedor Tyutin
Fedor Tyutin is a long time NHLer, making his NHL debut during the 2005-06 NHL season. He was the heart and soul for the Blue Jackets for his eight seasons there. He joined the Avalanche this offseason to bring some veteran influence to a young defensive core. Unfortunately Tyutin is far from the player he was in his prime. Last year on a horrific Blue Jackets team he only played 61 games and scored 1 goal and 2 assists in that time. He will be relied upon to be a defensive force for a team in need of some stability but it's not sure his skill level is still there. Tyutin was a low risk signing for the Avalanche but that doesn't change the fact that at 33, his best days are behind him.
Colorado will have to do whatever they can to mask Tyutin's weaknesses, but that will be difficult with them being so thin on the blue line.
21 Dallas Stars - Adam Cracknell
Adam Cracknell has been a physical force wherever he played in the NHL. Unfortunately he hasn't played much in the NHL. He reached a career high last season playing 52 games split between the Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers. The fact that one of the worst teams in the NHL didn't deem him worthy of a regular spot in the lineup does not bode well for Cracknell. The Dallas Stars are one of the fastest paced offensive teams in the NHL and I highly doubt Cracknell can keep up. I expect Cracknell to spend a lot of time on the Texas Stars of the AHL.
It's a bit of a mystery as to why the Stars felt the need to sign Cracknell. Sure, they were pushed around by the Blues in their second round series, but adding Cracknell wouldn't change that series at all.
20 Detroit Red Wings - Johan Franzen
This is the first of those sad sentimental choices where you wish you could find someone else but no one else fits. Johan Franzen has had a long decorated career as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He won the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2008 and ge holds 8 career records for the Wings. He reached career highs during the 2008-09 NHL season with 34 goals, 25 assists in 71 games. Sadly for Franzen and the Red Wings, Franzen has been struggling with concussions as of late. He only played 33 games during the 2014-15 NHL season and only two last season. He currently resides on the Red Wings LTIR and there is no sign of him coming off it any time soon.
He's not on this list due to his concussion problems though, as Franzen's game had already begun to regress prior to his injury troubles in recent years.
19 Edmonton Oilers - Andrew Ference
Andrew Ference was brought in to be a veteran influence on a young Oiler team and also to bring some stability to a backend that was constantly one of the weakest in the NHL. His signing was highly touted by the organization but his results have been far from good. Ference was named captain his first year in Edmonton which angered some fans who wanted to see one of the young guns get the C. Ference was great for the community of Edmonton, for the team however he was not worth what the Oilers were paying. Not to mention the fact he has been injured for most of the last season. If he wasn't inured he was a likely buyout option for the Oilers but because of his lingering hip injury he must stay on the Oilers roster.
When most fans are hoping you are going on the LTIR it is not a good sign for your career at the moment. Ference was a solid defenseman with the Bruins but with the Oilers he is the worst of a bad group.
18 Florida Panthers - Dave Bolland
As a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bolland had a few good statistical years. Reaching career highs in 2008-2009 Bolland had 19 goals and 28 assists in 81 games. Due to salary cap concerns the Blackhawks had to move on from Bolland and they sent him to the Leafs. Bolland signed with the Florida Panthers on July 1st, 2014 for 27.5 million over 5 years ( 5.5 AAV) Since that contract was signed, Bolland's quality of play has fallen off a cliff. He struggled to 23 points in his first season and did even worse last year. Bolland even played in the AHL last season. That is not what you expect from your 5.5 Million dollar man.
17 Los Angeles Kings - Rob Scuderi
Rob Scuderi likely doesn't deserve to be on this list. It just so happens he is on a strong L.A. Kings team. Scuderi seems to find himself on really talented teams. He has managed to win two Stanley Cups without chipping in much offensively. Scuderi has played 783 NHL games and has added 8 goals and 102 assists in that time.
The Kings are one of the strongest teams in the league so picking a worst was hard. It came down to Dustin Brown and Rob Scuderi and Scuderi got the nod due to Brown's past success. Brown has been stripped of the Kings' captaincy this offseason, which is never a good sign for how a team views a player, but he still brings some value if you don't pay attention to his contract. Scuderi is a serviceable defenseman in the NHL but that also makes him the worst player on this stacked team.
16 Minnesota Wild - Chris Porter
Chris Porter has been a fringe winger for his entire stint in the NHL. Last season he reached career highs in games played with 61 but he only scored 4 goals and added 3 assists in that time. The Wild are a team that need help offensively and Porter has not been a big help in that regard. He has established himself as a decent penalty killer but he can't do much else. He has played 234 games in the NHL adding 15 goals and 19 assists in that time.
Even in the AHL he has not lit the world on fire, never once scoring more than 13 goals. Chris Porter is Zach Parise's best friend and that might be the only thing keeping him in the NHL.
The Wild find themselves running out of time in reaching their ultimate goal and they'll have to determine at some point what to do with players like Porter.
15 Montreal Canadiens - David Desharnais
David Desharnais is one of the most polarizing players in Montreal. Almost every fan you ask will say that they'd love to see Desharnais off the team. The truth is, he's not a terrible player, but he's highly ineffective for what the team has expected of him. For some reason, he's constantly gotten first line minutes alongside Max Pacioretty, while the team's budding young star in Alex Galchenyuk started last season playing with the likes of Lars Eller and Alex Semin.
Desharnais had a career year in 2011-12, playing alongside Pacioretty and Erik Cole. He finished that season with 60 points and parlayed that into a four-year contract extension with an annual cap hit of $3.5 million. Desharnais' game has regressed every season, and his production is highly inconsistent.
He has just one year left on his contract and it's very likely the Habs will not re-sign him next summer, with Galchenyuk having taken the reins as the team's center of the future.
14 Nashville Predators - Cody Bass
Can you believe that Cody Bass was selected in the NHL draft 11 years ago, yet he has only played 66 career games?! Cody Bass has struggled at the NHL level since joining the league for a 21 game stint with the Sens in 2007. Bass just isn't fast enough to play his style of game in the NHL. He likes to throw the body around, but if you can't catch the players you can't be effective. Over his four stints in the AHL Bass had more than 100 PIMS, showing his physical style. In 66 career NHL games he has 2 goals, 3 assists and only 88 penalty minutes over six seasons. That just isn't good enough to be anything but the worst player for the Nashville Predators.
13 New Jersey Devils - Luke Gazdic
Some have to wonder if the Devils signed Gazdic for his hockey ability....or for the fact he was one of Taylor Hall's closest friends in Edmonton. I'm leaning towards that last option. Gazdic only got into 29 games with a team that finished as a lottery pick team. That doesn't say much for his skill level. Luke Gazdic is a slow skater, doesn't have much of a shot and has difficulty staying on his feet most times. He is however one of the greatest fighters in the NHL.
Fighting is slowly phasing itself out of the NHL however so with that Gazdic's only skill is nullified. I don't expect Gazdic to play much with the Devils. Ray Shero seems like the kind of GM that keeps up with modern trends in the NHL, so it's a little puzzling why he felt the need to sign Gazdic. In any event, his signing will have little impact on New Jersey's season.
12 New York Islanders - Bracken Kearns
Bracken Kearns is the definition of a career minor leaguer. He played 428 games in the minors before every playing in the NHL. He has 3 goals and 3 assists in 33 career games, all but seven of them with the San Jose Sharks. Bracken Kearns was a solid AHL player who never seemed to be able to put it together in the NHL. If you look at the Islanders roster he is far and away the weakest member of the team. Bracken played two games last season and added one assist. The Islanders re-signed him for this season but I expect him to mainly be a player for their AHL franchise.
Perhaps they feel he can bring something if called up later in the season, but at this point, it's pretty clear that he doesn't belong in the NHL.
11 New York Rangers - Tanner Glass
Tanner Glass has been a solid 4th line winger in his time in the NHL. The New York Rangers are his 5th team in his career. If you are looking for flashy stats then Tanner Glass is not your guy. He has played 500 career games in the NHL with 23 goals and 44 assists. Glass is a gritty player that is good for a few minutes of ice time a night, but not much more than that. Tanner Glass has a chance to improve as a member of the Rangers as he plays with better linemates but it just hasn't happened yet. The New York Rangers are one of the most talented teams in the NHL and that is why a serviceable player like Glass is listed as their worst current player.
10 Ottawa Senators - Michael Kostka
Michael Kostka is by far the weakest member of the Ottawa Senators. Signed as a free agent initally in 2015, he would play 50 games in the AHL before earning a call up to the NHL. He only played 15 games and had 1 assist in that time. Kostka was a lifer in the minor leagues, playing the majority of his time in the NHL on a very weak Maple Leafs team during the 2012-13 season. The Senators re-signed Michael Kostka to a two-way deal this offseason but it is doubtful he gets any more time in the NHL baring a horrific injury.
9 Philadelphia Flyers - Boyd Gordon
Boyd Gordon has one true skill, but he does it very well. Boyd won;t score a bunch of goals, chip in with many assists, or throw his weight around and get lots of hits or PIMS. Boyd Gordon will however win you a faceoff, and that is why he is still in the NHL. He is a specialist that can win a faceoff more times than not when you desperately need one. He struggles to stay healthy at times which makes it difficult to rely on him. Gordon signed a one year deal with the Flyers this off-season and he hopes to bounce back and stabalize the 3rd/4th line with the Flyers. However on paper, Gordon is the worst player on this Flyers team.
8 Pittsburgh Penguins - Tom Sestito
Tom Sestito has somehow lasted in the NHL this long, despite being a liability most of the time. He was drafted in 2006 by the Blue Jackets and he has yo-yoed back and forth from the AHL to the NHL since then. Sestito got into only 5 games last season and added 1 assist in that time. Sestito has 10 goals and 9 assists in 141 career NHL games. He was picked up the be a gritty option for the 4th line with the Penguins but he made no impact on the team and actually spent half the year in the AHL last season. Safe to say he will be back there again this year.
7 St. Louis Blues - Magnus Paajarvi
This one hurts me as a fan. Magnus Paajarvi was selected 10th overall in 2009 and was thought to be the next great power forward in the NHL....that hasn't happened. Even with a very weak Oilers team he struggled to make an impact on a regular basis. The St. Louis Blues picked him up in 2013 hoping the change of scenery would help but it hasn't. Magnus has played 276 games in the NHL and has scored 35 goals and added 45 assists in that time. The St. Louis Blues are one of the strongest teams in the NHL and their depth from the top of the lineup down is one of the best in the NHL but if there was one weakness it would definitely be Magnuis Paajarvi. Last season Magnus had 3 goals and 6 assists in 48 games for the offensive dynamo Blues...that s just not good enough.
6 San Jose Sharks - Michael Haley
The reigning Western Conference champions have very few weaknesses throughout their roster but if I had to pick one I guess it would be Michael Haley. Haley only played in 16 games last season and he added just one goal in that time. Haley went undrafted and made his NHL debut in two games with the Islanders during the 2009-10 NHL season. Haley has played 72 games in the NHL scoring 3 goals and adding one assist and 222 PIMs. On a stacked team Haley sticks out as one of the weakest players, don't be surprised if he plays most of the year in the AHL.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning - Cory Conacher
The woe that is Cory Conacher. He was once so highly touted that he was traded for Ben Bishop....Wow. Conacher has been a huge disappointment in the NHL. He has already played for four teams in the NHL and has reached no measurable level of success. In fact he was out of the NHL last season, he played for SC Bern in the NLA,. Conacher has 19 goals, 39 assists in 141 career games in the NHL. He as a former MVP of the AHL during the 2011-12 AHL with 80 points in 75 games. He signed with the team he debuted with this offseason, the Tampa Bay Lightning in a low risk deal for Tampa. As of now however Conacher is by far the worst member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
We'll have to wait and see if the move back to Tampa revitalizes his career.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs - Stephane Robidas
Picking a player for the Leafs was harder than I thought it would be, Because so many of the players are awful. I settled with Stephane Robidas due to the fact that he wasn't even able to play last season. Robidas is also 39 years old so even when he was playing he had obviously lost a step. In 2013 and 2014 Robidas suffered a severe injury to his right leg (broken both times) yet the Leafs still signed him to a 3 year deal. Robidas has not been a serviceable defenseman in quite some time, only scoring 23 points since the 2012-13 NHL season. The Leafs could use his $3 million a year on much better than paying Robidas to play NHL 17 at home.
The Leafs are set to embark on a new era with Auston Matthews coming into the league and you have to wonder why they felt the need to keep Robidas on their roster.
3 Vancouver Canucks - Alex Biega
Alex Biega has yet to really establish himself as a NHL player. On a team full of vets with long track records in the NHL that makes him the worst player on the Vancouver Canucks. Drafted in 2006 by the Buffalo Sabres, Biega wouldn't make his NHL debut until the 2014-15 season. He spent four seasons at Havard before playing parts of five seasons in the AHL. Last season he played 51 games on a weak Vancouver Canucks defense where he had 7 assists.
With the loss of Dan Hamhuis to free agency Biega has an opportunity to play a bigger role for the Canucks so this year is very important to see what he has to give. At 28 there aren't a lot of chances left for him to establish himself. Luckily for him, the Canucks don't really have many options on the back end.
2 Washington Capitals - Taylor Chorney
A former high 2nd round pick (36th overall to the Edmonton Oilers) Taylor Chorney has not lived up to his draft position. Last year with the Washington Capitals he had 1 goal and 5 assists in 55 games. In the playoffs he only drew in for 7 games adding one measly assist. Chorney has spent his whole career going back and forth from the AHL to the NHL and back. He went from 2012-2014 with never playing a game in the NHL. On a team loaded with high scoring forwards, stifling defensemen and one of the best goalies in the NHL it is no surprise that Chorney makes this list.
Chorney likely won't see much playing time this year, unless the Capitals find themselves ravaged with injuries midway through the season. Chorney's minutes will have to stay limited.
1 Winnipeg Jets - Matt Halischuk
Matt Halischuk was drafted back in 2007 and he has yet to rise above the ranking of fringe NHLer. Halischuk has played 280 games in the NHL scoring 33 goals and adding 42 assists and 57 PIMS. He is best known for his overtime goal in Game 2 of the 2011 Western Conference semifinals, leading the Predators to their first ever win in round 2. It is pretty much been down hill from there. Last season he only made it in to 30 games with the Winnipeg Jets and he had 3 assists for the season.
He spent the other half in the AHL. When you can't make it in the lineup of a team that finishes in the bottom 5 of the NHL it is a sign you just might not be that good.
The Jets will look to rebound this season after scoring the second overall pick in the draft lottery and drafting Patrik Laine. With that extra spot taken up, Halischuk could find himself stuck in the minors.
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