The NHL is a league that is full of players who love where they are playing and some even end up staying their entire careers with those clubs. Yet, with other times, players can end up hating where they are at and absolutely need a change of scenery. These situations are very hard to handle at times because, a lot of the time, these players are stuck under bad contracts and simply are stuck playing for the team that they wish to no longer be a part of.
This list will be looking at fifteen specific NHL players who are in the wrong jerseys and need to move on with their careers. The reasons behind this will vary immensely because each player has a story of their own. In some instances, players may be on the wrong team because they are stuck on a rebuilding team, while others may not be respected by the fans and management around them. The NHL is a very diverse league so there are numerous reasons behind where a team and player’s relationship could go wrong.
Nonetheless, here is the list of fifteen players who are currently wearing the wrong NHL jerseys.
15 Patrick Marleau
Patrick Marleau had an absolutely amazing career as a member of the San Jose Sharks and will always be respected for all he did there. However, this offseason, Marleau unexpectedly left the Sharks to join the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although the Maple Leafs are a team that is improving, this just seems like a big mistake for both parties.
On Marleau’s end, the San Jose Sharks very well are still a contender and if they win without him, Marleau will look pretty stupid in his decision. It is never easy giving up on a team, especially after being a member of them for twenty years. As for Toronto, they gave Marleau way too much money and that could hurt them in the long run when they need to resign their young talent.
14 Ryan Spooner
The Spoonman, Ryan Spooner, has been a fairly successful NHL player for the Bruins because he is a spectacular passer and has solid hands. Yet, his time in Boston has been inconsistent because he has yet to gain complete confidence as a player and from his coaching staff. This was evidently shown when he was scratched during Games 5 and 6 of last season’s playoffs.
With all of this, Spooner needs to find a way out of Boston sooner rather than later. He is a center that very well could fit on a team’s Top-6, but in Boston, he will never get that opportunity. Spooner has quietly put up at least 40 points over the past few seasons, but is mainly remembered for making bad plays. He needs a change of scenery.
13 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a very good hockey player, but he is ultimately losing ice time being a member of the Edmonton Oilers. RNH is a player that needs to be on a team’s top-6, but with the emergence of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, he is completely expendable. He needs a new home to help his offensive stats hit the levels where they belong.
RNH has also been heavily criticized because he did not become the superstar that many 1st overall draft picks become. Many expected him to be the savior of the Edmonton Oilers’ franchise, but that was unfair and irrational. On a new team, RNH will benefit them because he will provide great offense and solid defensive play as well.
12 Andrew Ladd
Andrew Ladd made a big mistake when he signed with the New York Islanders for seven seasons during the 2016 offseason. Ladd had the chance to stay with the Winnipeg Jets and be their captain for a long time, but he ultimately decided to go for more money and it now is hurting his career. Ladd did not fit well with the Islanders last season and he is stuck there for years.
The Islanders are also on the verge of possibility losing their franchise player, John Tavares, and that will be devastating for Ladd’s career. Ladd’s stats will only continue to decrease without a superstar to help him and it will also ruin any remaining chance of him winning another Stanley Cup before he retires. Ultimately, Ladd made the wrong move.
11 Evander Kane
Evander Kane is a horrible fit for the Buffalo Sabres and his tenure there has been anything but good. Kane is a player who has a lot of skill, but his off-ice antics absolutely kill his chances of being a valued player on the team. Kane needs to restart his career elsewhere and change his attitude or he very well could end up being without an NHL home.
Kane is a very talented powerforward in the league, but has yet to actually find consistency in his game because of his lack of a work ethic. Kane needs to be a member of a contending team because that very well could spark his game. Kane faced similar issues when he was a member of the Winnipeg Jets and it is not surprising how he is doing in Buffalo.
10 Jordan Staal
Jordan Staal made a massive mistake when he signed a 10 year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes to play with his brother Eric. Today, Eric is now a member of the Minnesota Wild and Jordan is all alone as a veteran on a team that is full of young talent. With this, Jordan is absolutely expendable and very well could be bought out in the future.
What makes matter worse is that Staal had the chance to resign a long extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but went against it because he felt he would not have a big role there. Now, as a member of the Hurricanes, he very well could end up becoming a 3rd line center there. Staal could have won two more Stanley Cups if he stayed in Pittsburgh.
9 Cory Schneider
Cory Schneider is a franchise goalie on the New Jersey Devils, but sadly for him, they are a team that seems to be stuck in a rebuilding phase. Although Schneider has the chance to be a number one goalie there, he will never find playoff success until he has a team that is solid around him. This seems like it could be a long time before its possible.
Schneider will be stuck in New Jersey until 2022 and this absolutely will hurt his chances of ever winning the Stanley Cup. Unless the Devils can build a good team around him, Schneider needs to somehow find a way out of New Jersey. To be perfectly blunt, Schneider is simply too good to be wasting his prime years on a team that is as bad as the Devils.
8 Marc-Andre Fleury
Wow, what a difference a few weeks can make. After winning his third Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in this year’s expansion draft. For Fleury, this has to be devastating because he is not only leaving the team he played on for over a decade, but also is stuck on a team that will be atrocious for years to come.
When Fleury becomes a free agent in 2019, he needs to leave Vegas as soon as he can. Fleury is a veteran goalie who wants to keep having the chance to win more Stanley Cups. He is still talented enough to lead a team to glory, so expect him to join a contender that offseason. Everyone can agree that he deserves to.
7 Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter was a huge reason behind the Los Angeles Kings’ two Stanley Cup Championships, but it is time for him to move on. Sadly for him, he is stuck there until 2022 and with that, the Kings are in no position to improve any time soon. Although the Kings are still decent, they will remain stagnant due to an abundance of terrible contracts, such as Marian Gaborik’s and Dustin Brown’s.
Carter is old enough to realize that his time as NHLer is on the downward slope and he should desire another Stanley Cup. Carter should very well ask for a ticket out of Los Angeles if the Kings fail to make the playoffs again this season. His time as an elite player very well could be coming to an end soon, so he needs to play on a team that can support him more.
6 Derek Stepan
Poor Derek Stepan. After having the opportunity to play on an elite team like the New York Rangers, he saw his fortune completely turn when he was traded to the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes. Stepan’s chances of winning a Stanley Cup anytime soon have decreased immensely from this trade and that has to sting.
Stepan will be stuck under in Arizona until 2021 because he has a no-movement clause and it seems highly unlikely that they will want to rid of him. Although he will have the chance to be a number one center in Arizona, it just seems unlikely that he will ever have the chance to win with them. Stepan will miss playing for a contender.
5 Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog is the captain of the Colorado Avalanche, but he needs to get out of that city as soon as he can. Since their horrendous season last year, Landeskog has been the subject to many trade rumors and it appears his time in Colorado is coming to an end. That will do wonders for Landeskog because he is not respected there.
Landeskog saw his stats drop off dramatically this season and that mainly is because the team around him was horrendous too. Landeskog needs to join a better team so he can find his game again and be the elite player everyone knows he is. Expect to see Landeskog in a new jersey fairly soon because it is clear that he is barely welcomed in Colorado anymore.
4 Matt Duchene
Like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene needs to get the hell out of Colorado because his skill is not recognized there. Duchene still had a productive season last year, but it was clear that his game was not at the highest level. Duchene has been part of numerous trade rumors for at least a year, so he it seems he will be gone very soon.
Duchene will benefit so much joining a new team because he will have the chance to win and also play for a system that wants him. Duchene is still a superstar in the league and will help any team be a lot better with him on the roster. Duchene is at a point where he should be aiming for Stanley Cups, so expect to see him on a contender shortly.
3 Claude Giroux
After a handful of seasons being stuck on a tweener team, it is time for Claude Giroux to find a new home. Giroux is spending his prime years on a club that absolutely has no chance of winning a Stanley Cup anytime soon and is facing a lot of criticism in the process. He has been the subject of trade rumors for a few seasons now as well.
Giroux would benefit joining a contender because he is at the point where he needs to find a way to win. Although he is not necessarily old, his time as a franchise player is definitely decreasing and he should not be carrying a team that is not very talented around him. Expect to see Giroux on a new club as soon as he has the opportunity to.
2 Taylor Hall
Every NHL fan has to feel bad for Taylor Hall right now. After spending years staying loyal to the atrocious Edmonton Oilers, he found himself traded after they finally seemed to be getting better. Fast forward one year and now the Oilers are a Stanley Cup contender and he is stuck on one of the worst franchises in the NHL.
Taylor Hall deserves the chance to play on a contender because he has yet to even play a playoff game. Seven seasons have passed since his draft year and that is absolutely insane to think about. Hall is a franchise player who has been stuck on horrible teams since the start of his career and he needs that misfortune to change as soon as possible.
1 Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Los Angeles Kings, but it is fair to say that he needs to join a new club. The Los Angeles Kings are falling apart as a team and as a veteran now, Doughty needs to join a team who is a true contender. When 2019 comes around, he will most likely be long gone.
Doughty has openly talked about his desires to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs and that would make a lot of sense for both parties. The Maple Leafs are becoming a spectacular team, but they need defensive help to join their insane offensive core. Doughty would instantly help their chances of winning skyrocket and he would also have the chance to play for his hometown team.
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