Have you ever watched a hockey game and wondered how some players make the pros? They sometimes look lost, like a deer in headlights? Well, today I’m going to break down every team’s worst NHL player. Have you ever seen a player make Tom Sestito look like Sidney Crosby? I have, and I’ll tell you its quite hilarious.
Over the years the NHL has brought us, a watered down – watching paint dry and grass grow product with their neutral zone trap garbage which has left some really bad players with an NHL job.
Now everyone can use the salary cap as an excuse as to why some of these players have jobs, and it’s a good excuse. Since the lockout, the league has tried numerous times to make the game more entertaining with going to a 3 on 3 OT format and got rid of the two-line pass. But still to no avail nothing is working.
The next thing they want to do is make the nets wider which I think could work but with goalies getting better each season, how long would the fun last? Even when the expansion hits the NHL in the next couple years and the league expands to 32 teams, the rosters will become more diluted than the beer you drink at hockey arenas. It’s a vicious cycle that the NHL and teams have to get over the hump and hopefully make this great game good again. Enough of me talking, let’s get to this appalling list of players. Here is my NHL team’s worst player’s list in their history.
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30 Anaheim Ducks - Maxim Bets
Bets was a Russian player who had a fantastic junior career but never could translate his junior career over to the NHL. He only managed to play three games in the NHL and didn’t record a point before he bolted to Russia 3 years later. Bets could never get over the 60 point plateau when he got to Russia; it seemed like his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs was a distant memory. In his final hockey playing year, he signed with the Gazprom-OGU Orenburg, in 2008-09.
29 Arizona Coyotes - Paul Bissonnette
Paul Bissonnette has to be the worst player in Arizona Coyotes history. He was a 4th line plug who would chirp you, maybe pick a fight with you, and go on the ice. But that was his job, he was an enforcer. But his puck playing abilities are as good as my mom’s, and that’s saying something.
He was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the 2003 draft and didn’t make his career debut in the NHL until 2008-09 season with the Penguins and registered one point in 15 games with the club. He bounced from the ECHL – AHL and the NHL his whole career.
28 Boston Bruins - Taylor Hall
Before we get started, no its not that Taylor Hall who plays for the Edmonton Oilers, it’s a different Taylor Hall. Both Halls had a successful junior career, but the younger Hall had, the most successful start in the NHL. Taylor Hall, who played for the Bruins, was drafted by Vancouver originally and had a stellar effort to start his career but after crashing into a net and blowing his left knee, his career was derailed.
After bouncing from the minors back to the NHL in Vancouver, he was released at the end of the 1985-86 season. The following season he was signed by the Bruins and put in a stellar effort in the AHL putting up 74 points in his first season with the Maine Mariners. With that effort, it earned him a seven-game call-up, but his AHL play couldn’t translate to the NHL and quickly the dream was dashed. He went and played in Europe after his NHL career ended and bounced around there for a few seasons.
27 Buffalo Sabres - Mike Moller
Moller is another one of those players who had a successful junior career but in the NHL was a complete dud. He was drafted by the Sabres in the 1980 entry draft in the 2nd round. He played five seasons with the Sabres and recorded only 15 goals with the team.
His career highlight was scoring the game-winning goal in the gold medal game for the Canadian National Junior team in 1981. His jersey now hangs up in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Although his jersey hangs in Toronto, I don’t think the Sabres will be in any rush to hang his jersey up in Buffalo.
26 Calgary Flames - Matt Stajan
Stajan has to be one of the most overrated players in the NHL. Before playing with the Flames, he played with the Leafs. Stajan was supposed to be the answer when Sundin eventually retired/traded/left the Leafs, but never actually could hold the fort down.
He came from the Leafs in a trade for Dion Phaneuf and since that trade, he could never put a good game together with the Flames. He’s put up 138 points in 329 games with the Flames.
25 Carolina Hurricanes - Jesse Boulerice
Boulerice was a heavyweight in the NHL and originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1996. He played for multiple teams including the Carolina Hurricanes. Boulerice had a history of dirty hits. His first foul play was in 1998 in the AHL where he was charged with assault after a violent swinging stick incident on Andrew Long. His nastiness translated to the NHL; he delivered a nasty cross check to the face of Ryan Kesler during a blowout game against the Vancouver Canucks in 2007. He was suspended for 25 games and consequently never actually saw the NHL again that season.
24 Chicago Blackhawks - Jim Cummins
Cummins was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and played 12 seasons with multiple teams including the Chicago Blackhawks. He played with the Hawks from 1994-1998 and only managed to record 24 points in almost 200 games.
In college, he established himself as an enforcer with Michigan State and brought that same intensity to the NHL and made a name for himself among fellow heavyweights in the NHL. His career ended in 2001-02 but came back for one season with the Colorado Avalanche in the 2003 season. He currently scouts for the Calgary Flames.
23 Colorado Avalanche - Dan Hinote
Dan Hinote wasn’t a special player; he was a below average lucky player to be in the NHL. The fact he won a Stanley Cup makes me scratch my head and ask myself, “How?” He was just a roster filler for the Colorado Avalanche through the good years of the franchise. He was riding the coattails of Adam Foote and Ray Bourque.
Hinote was never originally going to be a hockey player. He wanted to be a part of the FBI. He became the first ever player to be drafted from West Point Academy. Maybe Dan should’ve kept with the FBI career instead of going into hockey….but I guess that’s just me.
22 Columbus Blue Jackets - David LeNeveu
LeNeveu was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2002 entry draft. In his debut against the L.A. Kings, he won 3-2. He put up a stellar performance in his first game but after that, it went downhill fast. He played with multiple teams in his career including the Columbus Blue Jackets. He appeared one game with the Jackets and put up a 6.00 GAA and was pulled quickly in that game.
In 22 games played, LeNeveu put up a 5-9-2 record with a 3.43 GAA record in the NHL and is considered one of the least memorable NHL goaltenders to play in the league.
21 Dallas Stars - Jon Sim
Sim was an NHL journeyman and bounced around from NHL to AHL multiple times before moving to Europe and finishing his career there. He had only 139 points in his 469 games played in the NHL. He was a below average junior player and was lucky enough to make it to the NHL. Sim was drafted by the Stars in the 1996 entry draft and just couldn’t put up a great season with any team he played with.
20 Detroit Red Wings - Darren McCarty
McCarty won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and was a major heavyweight for the team during those Cup winning seasons. He was never known for his scoring ability; it was all about his fists for his career. In my opinion, if McCarty never played on those Wings teams in the early 2000s, I don’t think McCarty would’ve had any career. He was on a great team in Detroit; I just can’t see him having much of a career if he was on a team like Vancouver back then or even Atlanta Thrashers. He’s just lucky, and I’m sure he knows that.
19 Edmonton Oilers - Luke Gazdic
Luke Gazdic currently plays for the Oilers and he, by far, has to be the worst player in Oilers history. He has zero offensive ability, the only ability he has is throwing fists like Jackie Chan. His junior career was below average and lucky to make the NHL. He’s played over 100 games in the NHL and has only recorded 10 points in his career. If he had as many points as he did penalty minutes, he would be a great player.
18 Florida Panthers - Niklas Hagman
Hagman was supposed to be the next great Finnish player. He was drafted a bit late in the 3rd round, but he was supposed to be the next great Finnish player. Not as good as Teemu Selanne, but he was supposed to be great. But whatever happened in junior, never happened in the NHL. He was just an average player could never get over the 50 point plateau in any season he played for the Panthers, Leafs, Flames and Dallas.
17 L.A. Kings - Bob Corkum
Bob Corkum was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1986 Entry Draft. Corkum played in over 700 games and only managed to record 200 points with multiple teams including the Kings. With the Kings, he played 103 games and managed only to record 21 points.
Corkum played four years with the University of Maine and then made his pro career in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. Shortly after that, he went to the Kings and played five seasons with the club.
16 Minnesota Wild - Zac Bierk
Bierk was a below average goaltender in the NHL who played with multiple teams including the Minnesota Wild. He played in one game with the Minnesota Wild and allowed six goals. Unfortunately, for Bierk, he saw a lot of those results in his career. He only won nine games in his 47 game career in the NHL.
Bierk, who didn't have a good NHL career, had a fantastic junior career and had a memorial cup final appearance with the Peterborough Petes but lost in the final 4-0 against the Granby Predateurs. In the following season, he won the OHL goaltender of the year award and the Leo Lalonde Trophy.
15 Montreal Canadiens - Rene Bourque
I think Habs fans can agree with me that the Bourque stint wasn’t anything it hoped to be. If he wasn’t on the ice, he was injured, and if he was on the ice, he was like a ghost. He appeared in 141 games in four seasons and managed to put up 39 points on the team.
Bourque went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2004. A few years later he was sent to Calgary in the 2008 draft in exchange for Calgary’s 2nd round choice. If Bourque could’ve stayed healthy in Montreal, he would’ve had a better chance of staying a Hab, but a team can only take so much.
14 Nashville Predators - Rich Clune
Clune since junior was never known for a playmaking ability, he was never an offensive king. He was a fighter, a goon, he was someone you didn’t want to throw down with in a back alley. He was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars and made his pro debut with Iowa Stars (Stars AHL affiliate).
Clune played with multiple teams including the Predators. He never played much with the big club, only playing once under new coach Peter Laviolette and very few under Barry Trotz. Clune now plays in the AHL for the Toronto Marlies and is under contract with the Maple Leafs in the NHL on a two-way contract.
13 New Jersey Devils - Steve Kelly
Kelly played for multiple teams in his NHL career including the New Jersey Devils. He had a very successful junior career playing with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL and recorded 254 points in 268 games. Unfortunately, his Junior career could never translate to the NHL.
He was always a sluggish player, never had any speed and coasted a lot. Despite being drafted 6th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, Kelly never played in more than 45 NHL games in a season. He bounced from the NHL to the AHL and the AHL to the NHL quite frequently. With New Jersey, he only played in 25 games recorded four points.
12 New York Islanders - Jeff Hackett
Jeff Hackett grew up modeled his game after legendary goaltender Patrick Roy. Unfortunately, his playing career never ended up like Roy’s. His career numbers were nearly 3.00 GAA and a .902 Sv% but in New York, his numbers were much worse.
With the Islanders he won only nine games in 43 he appeared in and had a 3.00+ GAA and an ugly Sv% that I’ll save you from showing because I don’t want you to laugh... Okay, it was .879.
11 New York Rangers - Andre Deveaux
Andre Deveaux played nine games with the Rangers and not only was their franchise's worst player, but he may have been the worst player in NHL history. Deveaux was the only NHL player to come from The Bahamas and managed 104 penalty minutes in his 31-game career. Deveaux has since gone on to play in the Swedish Elite League, where he disgraced himself by cheap shotting a player in warmups prior to a playoff game.
10 Ottawa Senators - Randy Cunneyworth
Cunneyworth was a left winger in the NHL and played for multiple teams including the Ottawa Senators. He never had a great junior career, it was very average, just like his NHL career. In almost 250 games with the Sens, he only put up 95 points and bounced from the NHL to the AHL quite frequently. Cunneyworth started coaching after his playing career. In his rookie season, he coached the Rochester Americans and eventually moved up the NHL and coached the Atlanta Thrashers for two seasons before heading back to the AHL to coach the Hamilton Bulldogs. He’s now coaching the Americans again in the AHL.
9 Philadelphia Flyers - Daniel Carcillo
If you had to take a vote on the most hated player in NHL history, you'd probably find a lot of people saying Daniel Carcillo. Whiny, dirty, annoying are many things to describe Carcillo or as he likes to call himself “Carbomb.”
Carcillo has played for multiple teams in the NHL, most notably in Philadelphia with the Flyers. Carcillo has never been liked by fans or players on the ice. Many think he’s dirty and doesn’t have a place in the NHL for his antics. I tend to agree with this statement, but I also can’t skate, so who am I to judge? Right?
8 Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Cooke
Matt Cooke was a pest in the NHL. Throughout his career in the NHL, he was always criticized for the way he played. He always played with an extra edge to him that maybe went a little overboard a few times here and there. He’s had multiple suspensions and fines for dirty hits he’s laid on players including ending the career of Marc Savard.
Although Cooke is a pest on the ice, off the ice he does a great deed in the Vancouver Community. He runs “The Cooke Family Foundation of Hope” which is a great charity if you have time you should look it up right now.
7 San Jose Sharks - Frazer McLaren
Frazer McLaren has never been known for his playmaking skills or offensive ability. Like many on this list he was known for his fists throughout his career as a hockey player. He was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 7th round of the 2007 draft.
McLaren scored his first NHL goal against future hall of fame goaltender Roberto Luongo in 2009 against Vancouver. McLaren also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for half a season before being placed on waivers halfway through the 2013-14 season.
6 St. Louis Blues - Bryan Helmer
Helmer went undrafted and was signed in 1994 by the New Jersey Devils. He was never a playmaker by any means and was not an individual player. Unfortunately, for Helmer he never made his debut till the 1997-98 season with the Phoenix Coyotes (Arizona), from there he bounced from the AHL to the NHL quite frequently. He had a career year with the Vancouver Canucks in the 2000-01 season putting up 10 points in 40 games with the club. He now coaches in the AHL with the Hershey Bears as an assistant. He also coached with the Peterborough Petes in the OHL.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning - Alexandre Daigle
Daigle was supposed to be the next big thing in the NHL when he was drafted. He was expected to be the next Wayne Gretzky from Canada. He was going to shatter records, and no one could stop talking about him. Well, I think the only thing he shattered was his dreams. Daigle never lived up to the draft hype when he was drafted first overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1993.
Daigle played one season in Tampa Bay only putting up 12 points over 32 games with the club. Daigle is widely regarded today as the biggest draft bust in NHL history. When people talk about draft busts, his name and Patrik Stefan come up quite often.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs - David Clarkson
Clarkson had to be the most overrated and overpaid signing in Leafs history. Clarkson was signed in the 2013 off-season to a monster seven-year deal worth $36.75 million. He was subjected to a lot of criticism after signing that deal. His stint in Toronto didn't last long, as the following season he was given the boot from the team after never living up to his contract price and consistent poor play on the ice. He was sent to Columbus in exchange for Nathan Horton last season.
3 Vancouver Canucks - Mark Messier
Now I know what you’re thinking. Mark Messier? The guy who’s won multiple Stanley Cups and is a Hall of Famer and is a Lays chips ambassador? Yes, that guy. Why? Because Messier was supposed to turn the ugly ship around in Vancouver and, unfortunately, made the boat sink even faster.
When Messier came to Vancouver, he was expected to be the savior and was going to lead the Canucks in his possible final cup run, but instead turned the locker room more upside down than it was and made it all worse. Messier is widely hated in the city of Vancouver and is probably unofficially banned from the city. But that’s just my guess.
2 Washington Capitals - Donald Brashear
Brashear was widely regarded as one of the toughest enforcers on the ice during his playing career and the worst hands to hold a stick. He had fists like Mike Tyson and hands like me playing hockey for the first time when I was 10 years old.
Brashear played for five different teams including the Washington Capitals towards the end of his NHL career. Brashear is also remembered for being slashed in the head by Marty McSorely. That incident was the most publicized NHL event in the history of the league.
1 Winnipeg Jets - Adam Pardy
Pardy was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 6th round of the 2004 entry draft and hasn’t had a remarkable hockey career up until this season playing in the league. He’s never been a flashy defenseman. Never really done anything special. He was the same way in junior. He was never a flashy player.
He’s bounced from the AHL to the NHL quite frequently but has been a mainstay on the Jets roster since joining the team. Fortunately, for him, he’s got a talented group of d-men around him to cover up his many mistakes. But I’m sure Jets fans see his mistakes consistently.
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