Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara assembled a fine-looking team for the NHL All-Star Game. So did fellow captain Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators.
Their “fantasy draft” went very well as the world’s best players prepared for their showcase event in Ottawa. Team Chara vs. Team Alfredsson should be great fun.
But what about the miserable failures of this season? Which players would make the All-Disappointment Team?
We have a pretty good idea of what Team Getzlaf would look like:
Ryan Getzlaf, Center, Anaheim Ducks.
Past success: The team captain scored 318 points in 291 games during the previous four seasons. His plus-minus rating during that span was plus-55. He is an Olympic gold medalist and a former All-Star Game starter.
First-half struggle: He scored just eight goals in 48 games, posting a minus-15 rating in the process. He also earned 26 assists. He scored just two goals in November and December was minus-18 during that span. Minus-18!
Additional negatives: Earlier this season, Getzlaf’s listless play inspired Orange County Register columnist Jeff Miller to suggest the Ducks deal him. Anaheim GM Bob Murray indicated Getzlaf was no longer an untouchable. “I still believe we have some core players,” Murray told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month. “Now, whether we have to change a few core players, so be it. They're deciding who's staying and who's not staying at this point.”
Ryan Miller, Goaltender, Buffalo Sabres.
Past success: He won 41 games and posted a 2.22 goals-against average with a .929 save percentage for the Sabres in 2009-10. He won 30 or more games in six consecutive seasons.
First-half struggle: In 30 games he was 12-15-2 with a 3.07 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
Additional negatives: When Boston Bruins power forward Milan Lucic bowled over Miller, giving him a concussion, none of his teammates intervened on his behalf. This underscored his alleged lack of popularity in the Buffalo dressing room. But at least Miller landed this verbal jab on Lucic: “Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It's unbelievable. Everyone in this city see him as a big, tough, solid player. I respected him for how hard he plays. That was gutless. Gutless. Piece of (poop).”
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes.
Past success: He scored 70 or more points in six consecutive games. He scored 40 or more goals twice in that span and 100 points once.
First-half struggle: He was minus-23 after 51 games, with just 11 goals and 25 assists. He had just 12 points in his first 26 games, posting a minus-18 rating the process.
Additional negatives: He delivered a crushing blow on his own his brother last season, leaving Rangers defenseman Marc Staal concussed. Marc only recently returned to action – and his prolonged disability appeared to wear on Eric.
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Past success: He has scored 30 or more goals six times in his career, including 41- and 40-goal seasons.
First-half struggle: He was minus-21 in 49 games. But the Jackets captain did lead this floundering team with 17 goals and 16 assists.
Additional negatives: He is in the second year of an eight-year, $62.4 million contract. In 2017-18 he will make, ahem, $8.2 million. Should Columbus opt to deal him and start over, finding a trade partner might be tricky.
Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings.
Past success: He scored 29 goals one season in Anaheim and 32 goals in a season for Edmonton.
First-half struggle: In his first 38 games he scored just three goals and added just eight assists while posting a minus-5 rating. That is stunningly bad production from a player earning $4.25 million this season.
Additional negatives: He suffered a painful back injury while eating. “Apparently it's one of those mysterious things, where you can throw it out (from) sneezing,” he told the LA Kings Insider. “I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made. It's just like it wraps around you and squeezes. … So it was disappointing. Hopefully it's just an isolated incident, and not something that's going to become chronic.”
Derek Roy, Sabres.
Past success: He had 40-plus assists in four consecutive seasons for Buffalo from 2006-10.
First-half struggle: He had just nine goals and 16 assists in 47 games. He was minus-10.
Additional negatives: He makes $4.5 million this season and gets an undeserved raise to $5.5 million next season. That hasn’t stopped trade rumors to percolate around him.
Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames.
Past success: He once scored 34 goals for the Los Angeles Kings and 39 goals for the Montreal Canadiens.
First-half struggle: Before the Canadiens traded him to Calgary, he scored just nine goals and added 13 assists in 38 games. He was minus-6. His scenery change didn’t help much; he scored just one goal in his first five Flames games and posted a minus-4 rating.
Additional negatives: He forced his trade from Montreal by telling reporters something like this: “I can't accept that we will display a losing attitude as we're doing this year. We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it's no wonder why we lose.” That didn’t play well in Quebec. The Habs were glad to offload the last two years and $14 million left on his contract.
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals.
Past success: He posted three seasons of 34-plus goals and 73-plus points for Washington earlier in his career.
First-half struggle: For his $6.7 million salary this season, the Caps were reasonably expecting more than 12 goals in 44 games. He has scored 17 of his 28 points since Dec. 17. He enjoys playing for new coach Dale Hunter, apparently.
Additional negatives: His spectacularly indifferent play helped bring the end to the Bruce Boudreau Era behind the Washington bench. Boudreau rendered him a healthy scratch while desperately attempting to arouse him earlier this season.
Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens.
Past success: As a Devil in 2005-06, he scored 33 goals and added 51 assists. He scored 70 or more points four times in his career.
First-half struggle: He has just seven points in 19 games during his injury-plagued season. And two of those points game in his last two games!
Additional negatives: He is raking in $7.5 million this season and $10 million more over the last two years of his contract. In a Sports Illustrated poll of 161 players, he finished third in the “most overrated player” voting.
Drew Stafford, Sabres:
Past success: He scored 31 goals for Buffalo last season.
First-half struggle: In 48 games he scored just eight goals and added only 15 assists, with a minus-6 rating.
Additional negatives: He makes $4 million this season and $12 million over the next three seasons. So complacency could be an issue.
Mike Knuble, Capitals.
Past success: He scored 21 or more goals in eight consecutive seasons for the Bruins, Flyers and Capitals.
First-half struggle: In 48 games he scored just three goals and added just eight assists. He was also minus-11.
Additional negatives: He has been earning $2 million while spending a lot of time on the fourth line.
Shawn Horcoff, Edmonton Oilers.
Past success: Once upon a time (2005-06) he stepped out with a 73-point season in Edmonton.
First-half struggle: In 49 games he produced just nine goals and 15 assists. He was minus-16.
Additional negatives: The Men of Oil’s so-called captain failed to step up his play when injuries knocked out young guns Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.
Brad Boyes, Sabres.
Past success: He scored 77 goals during a two-year span with the St. Louis Blues.
First-half struggle: He scored just 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 36 games. He was also minus-7.
Additional negatives: Boyes is a one-dimensional player. When he isn’t scoring goals, he is a zero-dimensional player.
Martin Havlat, San Jose Sharks (Injured).
Past success: With the Blackhawks in 2008-09, he scored 29 goals and added 48 assists with a plus-29 rating.
First-half struggle: He scored just twice in his first 26 games. He did have 13 assists.
Additional negatives: He suffered a torn hamstring tendon hopping over the boards for a line change. He has three years (at $5 million per) left on his contract, so he won’t be traded easily.
Marek Zidlicky, Minnesota Wild.
Past success: He scored 40 or more points five times in his NHL career.
First-half struggle: He had no goals and just 11 assists in his first 34 games, with a minus-6 rating.
Additional negatives: With his team fighting to stay alive in the playoff race, he sat out back-to-back games as healthy scratch. “When he's playing as well as he can, we're a much better team,” Wild coach Mike Yeo told reporters. Zidlicky has a year left on a contract that pays him $4 million annually.
Christian Ehrhoff, Sabres.
Past success: He scored 40-plus points during three consecutive seasons for San Jose and Vancouver.
First-half struggle: In 38 games he was minus-11 with three goals and 14 assists.
Additional negatives: He is collecting the staggering sum of $10 million this season in a front-loaded 10-year, $40 million contract.
Tomas Kaberle, Canadiens.
Past success: He had 11 seasons with 30 or more points – including a 67-point season for Toronto in 2005-06.
First-half struggle: He played his way out of Carolina this season by scoring just nine points with a minus-12 rating in 29 games for the Hurricanes. He improved with 11 points and an even rating for his first 19 games for Montreal.
Additional negatives: He has two years and $8.75 million left on his contract. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford admitted that signing Kaberle to this deal with a big mistake. “I should have known better,” he told the Raleigh News & Observer.
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche.
Past success: The first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft produced 10 goals and 29 assists for the Blues in 2009-10.
First-half struggle: He scored just one goal in 45 games, with 18 assists and a minus-10 rating. He has just 12 points in 34 games during the last three months.
Additional negatives: He is in the walk year of a contract paying him $2.6 million this season. Is Colorado ready to give him giant money based on his so-so play? He has one reconstucted knee courtesy of a golf cart accident earlier in his career.
Jay Bouwmeester, Flames.
Past success: He had three seasons with 42 or more points in Floriday.
First-half struggle: He was minus-9 in 50 games, with three goals and 18 assists in Calgary.
Additional negatives: He is making $6.6 million this season and $13.2 million over the next two seasons. In a Sports Illustrated survey of 161 NHL players, he finished eighth in the “most overrated player” voting.
Tyler Myers, Sabres
Past success: He scored 48 points with a plus-13 rating a rookie for Buffalo in 2009-10.
First-half struggle: In 29 games he had 10 points and a minus-9 rating.
Additional negatives: He missed a big chunk of this season with a broken wrist. Since coming back Jan. 6, he has scored just four points in 10 games with a minus-5 rating.
Victor Hedman, Lightning (Injured).
Past success: Tampa Bay picked him second overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. He scored 26 points with a plus-3 rating last season for Tampa Bay. He appeared on track to stardom.
First-half struggle: In 32 games he had two goals, four assists and a minus-12 rating.
Additional negatives: Now he is sidelined indefinitely by a concussion. Perfect.
James Wisniewski, Blue Jackets (Injured).
Past success: This rugged defender enjoyed 30-point seasons in Anaheim and Montreal.
First-half struggle: In 29 games he was minus-18, with two goals and 15 assists.
Additional negatives: He started on NHL suspension, due to a dirty preseason hit. More recently he has been sidelined by a broken ankle. This is no way to start an insane six-year, $33 million contract.
Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Past success: Rollie the Goalie went 18-12-4 after coming to Tampa Bay last season. He was efficient in goal, posting a 2.56 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. He saved the Lightning season.
First-half struggle: He was 7-10-2 with a 3.65 GAA and .880 save percentage in 24 appearances. The fact he is 900 years old finally caught up to him.
Additional negatives: His demise forced Mathieu Garon into the starting role with similarly bad results. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was forced to aggressive seek goaltending help.
Steve Mason, Blue Jackets.
Past success: He was an awesome rookie, posting a 33-20-7 record in Columbus. He had a 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage.
First-half struggle: He staggered to a 5-18-2 mark with a 3.42 GAA and .882 save percentage in 26 games. It is really hard to allow 3 ½ goals per game in today’s NHL.
Additional negatives: After winning 24 games last season, he has forced Columbus to lean heavily on journeyman Curtis Sanford.
Rick DiPietro, Islanders (Injured).
Past success: He won 88 games during an earlier three-game span with the Islanders.
First-half struggle: He played in just eight games this season – six of them starts – and posted a 3.73 GAA.
Additional Negatives: He has played just 47 games since injuring a hip during the 2007-08 NHL All-Star Game skills competition. His latest injury: A sports hernia that required surgical repair, ending his season. He will earn $4.5 million in each of the nine seasons left on his contract on his ludicrous 15-year contract. DiPietro might be using a walker before this contract runs out.