The 10 most frustrating players to own in fantasy hockey…
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a list about the top 10 most frustrating aspects of fantasy hockey. Today I thought it would be fun to continue that trend by focussing on some of the most frustrating players to own.
Obviously, many of these players revolve around injuries. But some are on the list simply because they have not lived up to the hype that has revolved around them.
What’s guaranteed is that many owners have finally sold these guys for pennies on the dollar, and couldn’t be happier to be rid of the headaches.
So here are the top 10 most frustrating fantasy players.
10. Beau Bennett
Bennett is on this list for those who bought into the hype that he would be a great compliment as a top-six player on the Penguins. Since making it into the NHL, he’s had trouble scoring, has no chemistry with Evegni Malkin or Sidney Crosby and has spent more time on the injury list than off it. Those who have wasted a high prospect pick on him in the hopes of him becoming the next Chris Kunitz may be swearing off Pens prospects for quite a while.
9. Evander Kane
Every year is supposed to be the great breakout year for the former fourth-overall entry draft pick. But since a 30-goal, 57-point season in 2011-12, he hasn’t taken the next step. In 134 games since then, he has just 42 goals, 87 points and three Twitter controversies. Don’t get me wrong. For leagues that count shots and hits, he still has plenty of value. But we keep expecting him to post 30 goals and 60 points on a regular basis, and it’s just not happening.
8. Paul Stastny
You never know the type of Paul Stastny you will get in any given season, meaning it’s such a crapshoot when you draft him in one-year leagues. Will you get the 70-point Stastny from three of his first four seasons in the league? Or will you get the 50-point guy from three of the last four years? Unfortunately for Stastny owners, it’s more of the latter than the former this season, as he’s on pace for just 38 points this season.
A first-round pick of the Blues way back in 2009, Rundblad has never developed into the offensive defenceman he was expected to be. It’s even more frustrating when you think of the fact he had 50 points in 55 games in Sweden in 2010-11, one of the best seasons by a defencemen in the league’s history. But now he spends most of his time as a healthy scratch in Chicago, and seems to have trouble cracking any lineup of any team he plays for.
6. Nail Yakupov
Almost every player for the Oilers could be on a top-10 most frustrating list for
Edmonton fans. But Yakupov’s case seems to be a little different. It could be the Russian factor, but many poolies have been disappointed by the former first-overall draft pick. In his rookie season, Yakupov had 31 points in 48 games and was a rookie of the year candidate. Since then, he has 32 points in 97 games. Much of that has to do with former coach Dallas Eakins never trusting Yakupov with more ice time, but Yakupov also hasn’t shown much offensive flair in the NHL. He’s also a career minus-54, so he’s a tough guy to own in most leagues.
I really hope you don’t own Semin in a cap league, or else the frustration is multiplied by about seven million. The one-time Washington Capital always had poolies worried about him, whether it be his extensive injury history, his fighting technique or the fact people always thought he was a KHL-flight risk. Of course, then he’d go out and have point-per-game seasons. Why worry about a 42-point season sandwiched between a couple of 70-point seasons, right? Now the 30-year-old has been injured and a healthy scratch, and has just one goal on the season. Ouch.
Has any player fallen from fantasy grace so fast? Markstrom, once projected to be the next big thing, has pretty much played himself out of the NHL. He was routinely outplayed in Florida by an aging Tim Thomas, Scott Clemmensen and Jose Theodore. He was sent to Vancouver in the Roberto Luongo trade, where he went just 1-2 with a 3.00 GAA and a 0.868 save percentage. He was placed on waivers during the summer, and is now in the AHL after every team passed on him. He is playing great in the AHL though, for those of you in AHL-only pools.
3. Mike Green
Mike Green is only one of four defencemen to have a 70-point season since the 2004 lockout, and he accomplished it in back-to-back seasons. He’s only put up 110 points in the five seasons since then as injuries and changes in playing styles by various Capital coaches have led to Green’s downfall. I’m sure there were plenty of owners who passed up the opportunity to sell high on him four or five years ago that are now kicking themselves, which doubles the frustration level.
Gaborik would have been a shoo-in for the hockey hall of fame if he had been able to stay healthy in his career. Since the lockout season of 2004-05, Gaborik has missed around 230 games. Much of that time missed was during his prime, but if he stayed healthy, he’d be closing in on 500 goals and 1,000 points right about now. Instead, fantasy owners are left with a bunch of what-ifs and coulda-beens.
1. Kris Letang
Admit it, as a Letang owner, when you heard that the mumps were going around the Penguins dressing room, you immediately thought Letang had it. In the past three-plus seasons, Letang has misses 94 out of a possible 244 games (38.5 per cent). Adding to the frustration level is that the Penguins have a tendency to list their players as day-to-day, making it a headache to know whether to dress an injured player in weekly lineup leagues. If fantasy hockey had existed for the past 100 years, there would probably still be no more frustrating player to own than the Penguins defenceman.
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