Eastern Edge: Disappointing Players Including Pulock, Dadonov, Malkin

Brennan Des

2021-06-29

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at the most disappointing player from each team in 2021. This is part two, where we'll cover the final eight Eastern Conference teams in alphabetical order (i.e. New York to Washington). Be sure to check out part one (Boston to New Jersey), as well as and Grant Campbell's coverage of the most disappointing players in the Western Conference.

New York Islanders – Ryan Pulock

After Devon Toews was traded to Colorado, Ryan Pulock was expected to provide a little more offense from the blueline. Pulock had already showcased his offensive abilities as he scored at or around a 40-point pace in three-straight seasons heading into the 2021 campaign. Toews's departure was expected to open up a bigger power-play role for Pulock, who was only seeing 40-percent of the team's time with the man advantage. Unfortunately, those expectations did not come to fruition as Pulock saw just 43-percent of New York's total PP time this season. He managed just one point with the man advantage through 56 appearances, which is significantly lower than what he'd managed previously in a similar role. He finished the season with 17 points – which translates to 25 points in 82 games. His offensive output this year was hindered by an uncharacteristically low shooting percentage of 1.7-percent. I expect that'll return to the 5 to 6-percent mark next year, which should be a bounce back year for Pulock.

New York Rangers – Tony DeAngelo

During the 2019-2020 campaign, DeAngelo posted 53 points in 68 games and finished fourth in scoring among the league's defenseman. On the heels of that breakout performance, he was drafted in 100-percent of Yahoo fantasy formats heading into 2021 – selected just outside the top-100 in your average Yahoo league. He got off to a slow start this season, tallying one point in his first six appearances. After that sixth game – a 5-4 OT loss against the Penguins – DeAngelo got into an altercation with teammate Alexandar Georgiev over the game-winning goal. That turned out to be the straw that broke the camel's back as DeAngelo was already on thin ice due to a long history of reported 'character issues'. The Rangers placed him on waivers, which he passed through unclaimed. Reports suggest that DeAngelo rejected New York's offer to mutually terminate his contract, which would have allowed him to become a free agent and sign with a new team this season. Instead, the Rangers are expected to buy him out of his contract this summer. The Montreal Canadiens were reportedly interested in DeAngelo before he refused that contract termination, which suggests that teams are still willing to give him a second chance. He has the offensive talent to succeed in this league, but he'll have to show some significant character growth in order to fit in with a new team and get his career back on track.

Ottawa Senators –