Forget Me Not: Western Conference 2009

Ryan Ma




Following the footsteps of my Eastern Conference counterpart, here's a list of some of these Western Conference under-achieving veterans from last season. Many of them were simply injured and could be seriously undervalued heading into your draft this year.


Rene Bourque Cal
The 27-year-old winger had quite the breakout year last season, before having it come to an abrupt stop due to a late-season shoulder injury. He tallied scored 21 goals and 19 assists in 58 contests before returning for the five contests during the playoffs. The downside to Bourque is that he's missed quite a few contests in his brief four-year NHL career, so there are negative factors that come attached to Bourque's name at the draft table. With that said, if you are ready and willing to take the leap of faith on Bourque he could be in line for a huge season playing alongside Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen.

Patrick Sharp Chi
Sharp was bitten by the injury bug last season as he missed over 20 regular season contests due to a lingering knee injury. Sharp had been relatively healthy for the prior two seasons as he missed only four games from a total of 164 contests. He is also well-known for his penalty-killing prowess, but last year he averaged only 45 seconds on the PK per contest. With Sammy Pahlsson moving onto greener pastures, look for Sharp to be placed back into a position of responsibility on the PK.

Paul Stastny Col
Stastny managed to only suit up for 45 of the possible 82 contests last season as he was suffering from a kind of bad-luck injury after breaking his forearm from blocking a slap shot by Jokinen right around Christmas time. Stastny has definitely been a pleasant surprise since being drafted in the second round of the 2005 NHL entry draft and registering at nearly a point-per-game pace (185 in 193) since his debut in the NHL. The Avs don't have much to play for this season, so look for him to have the green light to fire away this season.

Marek Svatos Col
Svatos suffered from a plethora of different injuries throughout the season, but still managed to play in a career-high 69 contests last year. The Avs in general have battled injury problems for the past couple of years with Stastny and Joe Sakic's long-termed injuries, hopefully newcomer Matt Duchenne can stay he