Vote Now for the Second Annual “Biggest Bust of the Year Award”!

This is something I started last season when writing in the minor leagues of online blogging, a website known as Bleacher Report. The award title was a little bit different, it was formerly known as the “Biggest Waste of an NHL Roster Spot Award”. But I thought that it would be better to shorten it up a little bit and add new criteria. The first winner of the award went to Ryan Hollweg of the New York Rangers, and you can read all about it here. Last year there were no nominations, I just chose someone but this year I will have some nominees for you to vote on. The nominees were decided based not only on stats but on their salary and if they were heavily injured.

And the nominees are…

1. Anaheim Ducks:  Jean-Sebastien Giguere (G; Salary: $6 million; 19-18-6 3.10 GAA)

Giguere who was one of the top notch players in the league and certainly one of the best goaltenders had one of the worst seasons of his career. He finished above five-hundred but still had a horrendous goals against average. Midway through the season he found himself losing the starting goalie job to an inexperienced Jonas Hiller who is tearing it up right now. Add to that his six million dollar salary and it was a disaster.

2. Buffalo Sabres: Maxim Afinogenov (RW; Salary: $3.5 million; 6 G-14 A-20 P)

Always touted as one of the more exciting players in the league because of his speed, it was always said that if he could only “finish” more he could be a superstar. Well all that touting went by the wayside this season as he had the single worst season of his life on an already bad Sabres’ offense.

3. Colorado Avalanche: Scott Hannan (D; Salary: $4.5 million; 1 G-9A-10 P)

Scott Hannan was never an offensive minded defenseman but I believe that was Colorado’s expectations when they signed him to a 4 year/$18 million contract. Considering he played all but one game this season, his numbers are putrid and his plus/minus is worse. There aren’t many defensive contracts worse then Wade Redden’s; this is one of them.

4. Edmonton Oilers: Dustin Penner (LW; Salary $4.25 million; 17 G-20 A-37 P)

The highest paid player on the Edmonton Oilers, thanks to an offer sheet by then-GM Kevin Lowe, has never reached expectations and this season was further proof of it. He was benched and publicly called out by head coach Craig Mactavish and that didn’t seem to help him as he had another disastrous season.

5. Los Angeles Kings: Michal Handzus (C; Salary $4 million; 18 G-24 A-42 P)

Never a superstar, Handzus was still offered a nice sum of money by the offensively desperate Kings. Not a terrible season but still a pretty sub-par one when you consider his salary. I haven’t seen many Kings’ games but the fans aren’t crazy over him either.

6. Minnesota Wild: Marian Gaborik (LW; Salary $6.33 million; 13 G-10 A-23 P)

Probably the only nominee to average over a point per game, Gaborik makes one of the higher salaries in the league and continued to battle the injury bug as he missed over sixty games. Looking at that salary it’s safe to say he was a bust this year and what is worse for Minnesota, they didn’t put him on Long Term Injury, where they could have had that salary not count against the Cap.

7. New Jersey Devils: Brian Rolston (RW; Salary $5. 06 million; 15 G-17 A-32 P

There wasn’t a free agent I wanted more this off-season for the Rangers to sign then this guy, but maybe it was better that Sather held off. At 36 years old, this four year/twenty million dollar deal is looking worse by the minute. Rolston not only under performed but was plagued by injury for most of the year. When he returned, he didn’t really pack a punch and found himself on the third line.

*8. New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro (G; Salary $4.5 million; 1-3-0 3.52 GAA)*

I will cast my sole personal vote for this man as the biggest bust of the year. What can I really say that you don’t already know? He played in only five games this entire season and just had surgery on his oft-injured knees. Hey Garth, how’s that fifteen year deal looking now?2048644590_17ded4e104

9. New York Rangers: Wade Redden (D; Salary $6.5 million; 3 G-23 A-26 P)

The marquee defenseman that was signed to possibly the worst contract in Rangers’ history but was the team’s whipping boy this season. He underperformed from the get-go and although maybe not entirely his fault on the offensive side due to Tom Renney, his defense wasn’t stellar either. He was close to getting my vote but his play in the first round against Washington showed me that he can step up in pressure situations.

10. Philadelphia Flyers: Danny Briere (C; Salary $6.5 million; 11 G-14 A- 25 P)

One of the more pricy signings of the off-season before, Briere was terrible this season made even worse by the near sixty games he lost due to injury. The team played very well in his absense and fans were livid when the young, energetic players were later cut from the team to make room for his returning, terrible contract.

11. Phoenix Coyotes: Ed Jovanovski (D; Salary $6.5 million; 9 G-27 A-36 P)

The injury plagued “Jovo” finally made it through a full season despite his name being constantly mentioned in trade rumors. Looking at his offensive numbers, the aren’t bad, but for that price his contract is nearly as bad as they come for a defensive standpoint.

12. Vancouver Canucks: Mats Sundin (C; Salary $5.63 million; 9 G-19 A-28 P)

The Mats Sundin sweepstakes was on for months and months and finally he made his decision to sign with the Canucks. He got off to a slow start, then got hot, then got cold again. His numbers aren’t too bad for someone who played in a half a season but when you look at that horrible, out-of-desperation-contract, it’s laughable.

Previous Winners…

2007/08: Ryan Hollweg

When Casting Your Vote…

Please choose someone nominated only. Any write-in votes will not count towards the final winner. Voting will be open for a week when the winner will be announced in a separate article. You do not need to be a writer here to vote, it is open to everyone. So please don’t be shy! Step right up and cast you vote!

Photo courtesy of FLICKR.

13 thoughts on “Vote Now for the Second Annual “Biggest Bust of the Year Award”!”

  1. I completely agree with Chris on Briere….In my opinion you cant call someone a bust because he had injury problems….He cant help that! The reason they had to move Upshall was cause of STUPID contracts and moves made by Holmgren….The $2.7 million given to Jones was dumb….If their incompetent coach (in my opinion) didnt screw up Kukkonen last year they could have let him play from the beginning when injuries hit Jones/Parent instead of brining in Alberts, after all, your “7th” dman is supposed to come in when you are hit with injuries. Also, I kept saying on other message boards from the middle of the season, the Flyers are built to outscore people, not shut them down so giving up Briere would be dumb at this point unless they change their entire style of play….Also, in hindsight, kinda hard to agree with moving Briere when Carter was a HUGE bust in the playoffs.

  2. Handzus doesn’t even belong on this list. $4 mil is nothing these days, and he scored more than a point per two games; he is also solid defensively. I also don’t think you can blame Hannan for either low point totals (that’s not what he is paid for) or bad +/-, since he was on such a bad team. Similarly, Jovo’s production is pretty good for a defenceman on a bad team with a horrid offence—36th in the league among defencemen, and he can play in his own end.
    Sundin’s contract you listed is the pro-rated portion, so the fact that he had only just over half a season is moot—he earned over $2million/point, and forwards and offensive defencemen should be judged on points. Only two players are worse, Gaborik and Briere, and I hesitate to give them the bust title since they were injured and that happens in a physical sport.
    That leaves DiPietro and Giguere as his only competition, and since they play positions wherein long-standing injuries are not common, I gotta go with DiPietro, epsecially since he is hurt every year (of course, so is Gaborik). At least Sundin and Giggy did provide some leadership…

  3. As a Rangers fan, it’s tough to not vote for Redden. However, J S Giguere was barely .500, makes $6,000,000 and is a back up netminder.

    J S Giguere is the vote.

  4. Regarding your “Hey Garth, how’s that fifteen year deal looking now?” comment:

    I cannot believe how ignorant people can be. I cant tell you how many times I have seen fallacies corrected, only to be perpetuated time and time again by bloggers who cant bother to research what they are talking about.

    What in the world does Garth Snow have to do with rick DiPietros contract? Nothing, thats what. FACT: Ricks contract was being negotiated while Garth was Ricks backup! It was between Ricks people and Charles Wang- When Garth Snow walked into the GM position the contract was already negotiated, the negotiations were finishing up when Neil smith was GM, and then it was finalized. The contract was announced when Garth was GM, but the guy had just gotten the job.

    Why is it OK for bloggers to forego research and instead just perpetuate uninformed drivel? Why cant we expect MORE from people who think of themselves as writers? Like, oh I dont know, maybe the truth?

    • Thanks for pointing that out. Having a well informed fan base, especially one that is willing to participate, is what makes some sites shine. We are starting to do well here thanks to readers/participants such as yourself. Anytime you note an error please feel free to call us out.

  5. Guys, please don’t say “it’s either him or him” and leave it at that. I don’t need an explanation, just WHO YOUR VOTE IS

  6. It’s hard to call someone a bust if they missed X amount of games with injury (Di Pietro, Briere, Gaboirk…) or didn’t play half the season (Sundin). In fact, I’d say Sundin’s influence might be a good part of the reason the Canucks are still playing hockey.

    Anyways, Redden is the obvious choice here.

  7. I agree as a Flyers fan a bigger bust would be Lupul hes just plain lazy where as Briere was injured

  8. Um…the Briere thing is 100% wrong. I’d explain it, but I think I’ll write an article about it later instead. Just know you’re way off base. he doesn’t deserve to be on this list and when he was healthy he was just as much of a force as always.

    The nod has to go to either Redden. He was a huge pickup this past offseason and just didn’t produce. In fact I believe he and Campbell were the biggest name defensemen on the FA market. Briere’s contract with the Flyers is an albatross only because the team would rather use his contract to spend on a defenseman instead of a position like forward where they are already stacked. It doesn’t mean he’s less of a player or that his contract would be an albatross on other teams. By comparison Redden’s contract is worthless.

    Other players on there, and some not on there were far bigger disappointments than Briere.

  9. You can’t completely blame the players that missed time with injuries. It’s between Penner and Hannan for me. Hannan didn’t provide much but neither did most of Avalanche players this year. Penner is my pick because he makes all that money and even with Ales Hemsky on his line, this guy can’t be consistent.

  10. A lot of players on this list battled injuries all season long, so I don’t feel it’s fair to have them on the list. However, there are a few bums who played the whole season and just flat disappointed:

    I wonder when Kevin Lowe will admit that he bit hard on Dustin Penner. Penner has been nothing but a disappointment for the Oilers and isn’t worth half the salary that he makes.

    I also would like to mention that Dipietro is turning into a franchise bust. The Isles have so much invested into a goaltender who can’t stay healthy. I’d wake up sick to my stomach every morning knowing that the goalie I signed to a lifetime contract is having knee issues at this point in his career.

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