Monday, November 07, 2005

New Pick For Worst NHL Regular

Earlier this season I picked Shawn McEachern as the worst NHL regular so far this year. I think he is improving his game and that pick is no longer true.

My new pick is Wade Belak of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Belak is a utility man on the Leafs roster. Because of the salary cap, teams have tried to keep their roster size small. Many teams keep a player who can play both forward and defence so he can fill in at whichever they need in their next game. Belak is both a right winger and a defenceman. He is a physical player who could be characterized in the past as a b-level goon. By b-level goon, I mean he was in the NHL for his fighting ability, but was never one of the better fighters in the league. With the reduction in physical play (and the associated reduction in fighting that goes with it), there is probably no spot for many players like Belak.

Belak has not been an asset to the Leafs. He is yet to score any points. So far his +/- is a -10. In thirteen games played, he has only taken seven shots on goal. The only place he has "contributed" is in getting penalties. His 33 penalty minutes lead the team. Is that really much of an acheivement? He doesn't do much for the Leafs except leave them shorthanded. In the current NHL, there isn't much room for players like Wade Belak.

And I heard that Orr from the Bruins beat the livin' crap outa Belak this season already.

Just adding to your pile there.
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