Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Worst Player So Far This Season

Its pretty easy to kick the Philadelphia Flyers when they are down. I already picked Petr Nedved as the player who is playing the worst in the NHL so far this season. It looks like Philadelphia management agreed and sent him to the minors. Not too long after that, the Flyers replaced their GM and coach. That doesn't mean that the problems in Philly are over. Its time to pick a new worst player so far this season and again I look to the Flyer organization. As Mike at Flyers Fan Central already commented in the Nedved thread, Derian Hatcher is a good pick for this dishonor. He's been slow and easily beaten so far this year. He has no points in 11 games and a -14 +/- (its always impressive to have a bigger minus than your games played total). Many look at Hatcher and see him as one of the reasons the Flyers are tied for last place in the East Conference.

I don't think Hatcher's career is done. I think he has some more good years. He hasn't had a good start, but he has had a very good career despite a lack of speed. He made second team all star as recently as 2003. At age 34, he is not done yet. He is a veteran who can be a very solid defenceman. I think we will see consistent solid play from him most of this season. I think the Flyers are too good a team to remain at the bottom of the league. This is largely an early season fluke.

Hatcher has not done well so far, but if the Flyers are patient with him I think he will make a positive contribution. Of course they could also waive him and send him to the minors in an effort to make the Philadelphia Phantoms the highest paid AHL club ever.

Stay tuned to my player rankings that I post today (last years) and tomorrow (this years). Last year Hatcher ranked 537th out of 587 players and so far this year (through last nights games) he ranked dead last. So yes, according to my ranking system he is the worst player in the NHL. Good pick.
I disagree; he is done unless the NHL allows the old play to return which is unlikely.

While his skating speed is criticized that is really not the problem. His problem is it takes too long for him to get going, his acceleration sucks. Because of this many times he doesn’t try to skate which makes him just look bad. If the Flyers don’t waive him I am sure he will put in some decent games, which means not screwing up. But his cap money could be put toward a player worth the money. Without Hatcher and the slow lately injured prone Rathje there would have been plenty of money to resign Kim Johnsson.
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