To become a professional athlete not only do you have to be skilled, but you also need to be able to endure an incredibly taxing travel and workout schedule, and it is because of these things that only a very small segment of the population can become athletes. Whether it be football, baseball, soccer, basketball, or hockey, only the best of the best will be able to make it into a professional league, and once there, not only will they be getting paid a lot of money, but they will also be competing against other athletes who are also considered to be at the top of their field. Of course, even though these leagues contain the best players in the world, there is still a hierarchy amongst the players in terms of skill, as most are good, while some fall into obscurity, and a select few are great.
It does not matter whether you are the NFL. MLB, NBA, or NHL, as each league has its own great players, but because they all play for different teams, fans used to not be able to always get a chance to see them play during the season, which is why the All-Star game format was introduced. The whole point of the All-Star game in every league, is to have the best players in the league that season come together in one spot and play a game against each other, and at the beginning these games were actually entertaining, but now, they are all laughable events as no one wants to actually compete and risk injury in a meaningless game. In the NHL’s case, its first All-Star game came in the 1947-48 season, and continues to this day, and although the game has showcased the best talent the league has to offer, there have also been some players who have made it into the game who did not belong there whatsoever; and this list will focus on the 15 worst NHL All Stars of all time.
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15 Zemgus Girgensons
In 2012, the Buffalo Sabres drafted forward Zemgus Girgensons with the 14th overall pick, and since then, he has so far spent the entirety of his 4-year career with the franchise, a career which includes being named an All-Star in 2015. That year, this Latvian-born winger received over 1.5 million All-Star votes, which is a lot of votes for any player, but which were far too many for him specifically considering that his stats going into the game were a tad laughable. At the time of the All-Star game, Girgensons had 13 goals and 22 points, which placed him at 61st in the league in goals and 168th in points; in fact his numbers as a forward were so low that many of the defensmen in that year’s game had better offensive numbers than he did.
14 Dmitri Mironov
This list will contain several defensemen who participated in an All-Star game during a year in which their performances did not justify their appearance in the game; first up, we have Dmitri Mironov. This Russian-born blueliner played in the NHL for 10 seasons, and managed to finish his career with over 250 points, and a Stanley Cup victory with the Detroit Red Wings in 1998, which was the same year he played in his first and only All-Star game. Mironov was named a reserve for that game’s World squad, which was odd seeing as he would go on to end that year with only 8 goals and 43 points, which are not all that impressive for an All-Star caliber defenseman; but he did manage to finish the year with a career high 119 penalty minutes.
13 Chris Nilan
In hockey, the job of an enforcer is to deter and respond to a dirty or violent play committed by the opposition, and for a long time, most teams possessed one such player, but such a player is now a real rarity in today’s NHL. Chris Nilan was one of these enforcers, and he was quite good at it, as most of his 3,034 penalty minutes were the result of fighting majors, but he still managed to score 110 goals, 225 points, and win a cup during his 14-year career. Aside from fighting, Nilan was loved by his coaches because of his nasty and gritty style of play, which is why Mike Milbury who was one of the 1991 All-Star game’s coaches, selected Nilan who had no business being there; and it is in fact because of Nilan’s selection that the following season the NHL stopped allowing coaches to select players.
12 Petr Svoboda
Here we have Petr Svoboda, who is the second defenseman to appear on this list, but who managed to enjoy a lengthy 17-year career in the NHL which included winning the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1986. Svoboda proved to be a stable presence on the blue-line throughout his career, a career which saw him score a total of 399 points between the Habs, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay, and it was as a member of the Lightning, that he was named to the All-Star game in 2000. That year saw Petr score only 2 goals and 25 points, which was not all that surprising seeing as he would go on to retire several months later, but he was still made an All-Star nonetheless, primarily because he was from the Czech Republic and the NHL needed to fill a spot on the game’s World squad roster.
11 Igor Kravchuk
Aside from the long career and championship win, Igor Kravchuk basically falls into the same boat as Petr Svoboda, seeing as he was also a European defenseman who was placed on the roster of an All-Star game solely because of his nationality. After being drafted in 1991, Kravchuk went on to play in the NHL for 12 seasons, where he scored a combined 64 goals and 274 points while playing for the teams in Chicago, Edmonton, St. Louis, Ottawa, Calgary, and Florida, It was as an Ottawa Senator that Igor was named to the All-Star game as a reserve in 1998, and his numbers surely did not merit his selection as he went on to finish that season with only 8 goals and 35 points; but seeing as he was Russian, and the game’s World squad roster needed to fill out a spot on defense, he was “awarded” the spot.
10 Yanic Perreault
The NHL has several players who are exceptionally skilled at winning faceoffs, and a few of them also happen to be great players who are worthy of being called All-Stars, but Yanic Perreault was definitely not one of them. Perreault started his career with the Maple Leafs who initially drafted him in 1991, and for basically all of his 14-year career, he was indeed considered to be one of the league’s best faceoff men, and he went on to score 247 goals and 516 points. By 2007 though, Perreault was at the tail-end of his career, which is why it was surprising to see him named to that year’s All-Star game, seeing as he ended the year with just 38 points, but because the Phoenix Coyotes needed a player to represent them at the game, he was thrown onto the roster.
9 Marcus Ragnarsson
We have the San Jose Sharks to thank for this next entry, as they were the team who drafted Marcus Ragnarsson into the NHL in 1992, and although he played in over 600 career games, he was never considered to be an elite defenseman in the league. Marcus went on to play in the NHL for 10 seasons, where for the most part, he served as a blue-liner more focused on actual defending than trying to put up flashy offensive numbers; but that did not make him a star, which is why many people do not even remember his name. He was named to the All-Star game in 2001, which was very surprising considering that he went on to finish that season with a measly 3 goals and 15 points, which are numbers far below what an All-Star defenseman should be putting up.
8 Mike McPhee
The Montreal Canadiens drafted forward Mike McPhee in the 6th round in 1980, and despite the position he was drafted in, he won the Stanley Cup with the Habs in 1986, and ultimately played in the NHL for a total of 11 seasons. Most of his career was spent with Montreal, with his final 2 being spent with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise, and in that time he went on to score 200 goals and 399 points; but never was he able to reach the 50 point mark in a season. McPhee was always a favorite among his coaches because of his tenacity and his ability to backcheck and forecheck the opposition, and it was because he played a style beloved by coaches that the coaches of the 1989 All-Star game added him to the roster as a backup, not because he was one of the league’s best players that season.
7 John Garrett
As we all know, every single NHL team possesses a backup goalie who they keep on the roster for the purposes of giving the number one starter a night off, and for providing insurance in case the starter ends up getting injured. What many people may not know, is that at one point, if a goalie was selected to the All-Star game, than his back up would come along too to ensure that the team would be represented should their starter get injured, and it was in this situation that John Garrett got to play in the All-Star game in 1983. Garrett was not that good of a goalie, his career 4.27 goals against average is plenty evidence of that, which is why he spent most of his 7-year career as a backup. In 1983, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks to serve as Richard Brodeur’s backup, and when Richard made the All-Star game, Garrett went along, and in an unexpected turn of events, Brodeur got injured during the second period, which caused Garrett to enter the game, a game in which he was ironically the winning goaltender.
6 Mike Komisarek
The Montreal Canadiens have had their fair share of All-Star defensemen, many of whom are now deservingly enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but Mike Komisarek is definitely never getting into the Hall and should have never been named an All-Star. Komisarek was a 1st round draft pick of the Habs in 2001, and to give you an idea of how undeserving his All-Star game appearance was, he has not even managed to reach the 100 point mark in his professional career despite having played in over 550 games. As a defenseman, Komisarek was known far more for his physicality and hitting than for his defense, and in 2009 when he was voted to the All-Star game, he finished the year with just 2 goals and 11 points, but because the game was held in Montreal that year, he was made a starter solely because of the city’s fans.
5 Brad Marsh
With this entry, we have Brad Marsh, who is another defenseman who had no business participating in one of the NHL’s All-Star games, which is an unfortunate thing to say considering that he was a former 1st round draft pick. In truth, Marsh could actually play defense, which is why he ended up playing in the league for 15 seasons, where he earned 23 goals, 198 points, and a +/- rating of +57 in 1.086 career games; but he could never be considered as being an All-Star level player. In 1993, Marsh was named to the All-Star game for the first and only time, which is incredible seeing as he finished that season with only 3 points in 59 games, which means he should have not been anywhere near the All-Star game, but he was given the spot via the “commissioner’s selection” which is used to get veteran players who are about to retire into the game before they call it quits.
4 Espen Knutsen
Although he has a fairly unique sounding name, there is a good reason why hockey fans cannot recall the name Espen Knutsen, and that would be because he only played in the NHL for parts of 5 seasons, and was not really impactful as a forward. Knutsen was initially drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1990, but it was with the Columbus Blue Jackets that he spent most of his 207 career games with, and it was also with them that he became an All-Star in 2002. That season ended with Knutsen scoring 11 goals and 42 points, which are low numbers for an All-Star forward who is supposed to be one of the league’s best, but because Columbus needed to have a player represented at the game, he was the one chosen, becoming the first Norwegian to participate in the All-Star game in the process.
3 Petr Buzek
We remain on the blue-line with this entry, as Petr Buzek has the distinct honor of being the last defenseman to appear on this list, and he deserves this placement as he was a terrible defenseman during his brief time in the NHL. Buzek played parts of 7 seasons in the league, and in that time he played in 157 games, where she scored only 9 goals and 31 points and had a +/- of -25, making him the worst defenseman statistically to ever participate in an All-Star game. He was selected to take part in the 2000 All-Star game, as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers, who were an atrocious team that year, and it is only because each team had to be represented that he was placed into the game. After this appearance. Buzek went on to play just 90 more games in the NHL before falling into obscurity, as he was not even playing hockey professionally anymore by 2005.
2 John Scott
At the number two spot, we have forward John Scott, who is the most recent of the worst players to ever participate in the All-Star game, as he was named the captain of the Pacific Division in last year’s game. Like Chris Nilan, Scott was an enforcer, but at least in Nilan’s case, he was able to put up some points here and there, whereas Scott only managed to score 5 goals and 11 points in 286 career games. Scott only made it into the All-Star game because the fans wanted to show the NHL just how laughable the All-Star game has become, and as the event drew closer, they actually wanted to see him in the game even though the league tried their hardest to keep him out of it. The fans got their wish though, and Scott even went on to be named the game’s MVP as an apologetic gesture, but even though he did not belong there, he sure had a fun time.
1 Peter Sidorkiewicz
No matter how many good forwards and defensemen a team may have, no hockey club is going to be truly successful if they do not have a good goalie between the pipes, and because the goalie is so important, it is usually the best goalies in the league who appear in the All-Star game. As it turns out though, that is not always the case, as evidenced by Peter Sidorkiewicz, who is undeniably the worst player to ever find his way into the All-Star game. Peter was selected to participate in the 1993 All-Star game as a member of the Ottawa Senators, and his selection was a puzzling one as going into the All-Star break, he had a measly 4 wins and a whopping 32 losses. Like others on this list, his participation stemmed solely from the fact that his team needed to be represented in the game by someone, and he just happened to be the pick before Brad Marsh was selected; and after the All-star game was done, he finished the year with 8 wins and 42 losses.
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