Coming up with a list of the worst NHL players used to be a bit of an easier endeavor since each team’s resident goon/enforcer was typically his squad's worst performer. These guys couldn’t be trusted with more than a handful of shifts each game and they never had the chance to develop their skills. However, this species of player has more or less gone the way of the dinosaur and is now close to being extinct. There are a few relics hanging around the league though, but today’s game focuses on skill and speed.
This is a list of the worst 15 players in the NHL at the moment. Some of them had decent careers, but they’re now in the twilight of them, while others never really got going at all since they broke into the league. To be fair, we’ve left this year’s crop of rookies alone since they’re just getting their feet wet and adjusting to the speed and strength of the opposition. The one thing all 15 of these players have in common though is the fact that they’re not producing in the 2015-16 campaign.
Hockey now features an endless stream of statistical information for insiders and fans to ponder, such as Corsi and Fenwick stats. But the bottom line has always been and always will be putting the puck in the net. If you don’t outscore the opposition, you don’t win. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter how many faceoffs you win, how many shots you put on net, and how many you block. It all comes down to scoring. Having the puck for 60 per cent of the game doesn’t mean anything at all unless you collect a pair of points at the final buzzer. The following 15 players are simply not producing for their teams and that’s why they’re currently the worst out there.
*Stats are correct as of March 7th, 2016.
15 Jared Cowen - Toronto Maple Leafs
14 Boyd Gordon - Arizona Coyotes
13 Deryk Engelland - Calgary Flames
12 Jay McClement - Carolina Hurricanes
11 Rob Scuderi - Los Angeles Kings
10 Gregory Campbell - Columbus Blue Jackets
9 Fedor Tyutin - Columbus Blue Jackets
8 Anton Lander - Edmonton Oilers
7 Alexei Emelin - Montreal Canadiens
6 Kevin Porter - Pittsburgh Penguins
5 Ryan Reaves - St. Louis Blues
4 Derek Dorsett - Vancouver Canucks
3 Paul Gaustad - Nashville Predators
2 David Clarkson - Columbus Blue Jackets
1 Zac Rinaldo - Boston Bruins
Boston is no longer known as the big bad Bruins, but they still have a few chippy players left on the roster, such as Brad Marchand and Zac Rinaldo. The difference between the two of them is the fact that Marchand is also a darn good hockey player. On the other hand, Rinaldo has a reputation of being on the dirty side and couldn’t put the puck in the ocean. The 25-year-old forward has a grand total of one goal and two assists after 52 games this season. He also has 83 minutes in penalties to his name. The former Philadelphia Flyer is a -35 for his career with 655 minutes in penalties after 275 games and has chipped in with 27 points over that stretch. His career-high for points in a season is six, which he pulled off last year. Only nine players have a worse Corsi rating than Ronaldo’s 38.8 this season.
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