Most disappointing hockey careers?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Stephen, Aug 21, 2005.

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  1. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    Who are some of your big disappointments as far as hockey players go? These could be big time prospects that inexplicably busted or stars whose careers fizzled out for one reason or another. I've only been watching hockey for the past twelve or thirteen years or so, so all of my picks are relatively recent ones. Here's my top ten:

    1. Eric Lindros: We all know the story. The original Next One. Hockey's Shaquille O'Neal. Made a big fuss coming into the league as a 6'4" 230 some odd pound 19 year old who refused to play by the rules of the draft. Threw his weight around and scored in bunches. Won the Hart Trophy at the age of 22, carried his team to the Stanley Cup finals two years later, falling just short. The hockey player Mario Lemieux passed the torch of greatness to. Team Canada's captain in 1998 at the Olympics in Nagano. And then the concussions came, the feud with Bobby Clarke, the trade to New York and the steady decline in play. Could have been one of the all time greats.

    2. Pavel Bure: Bure was an electifying hockey player who scored more goals in his first three seasons in the NHL than Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky. With two 60 goal seasons and a Stanley Cup appearance in the first three years of his career, Bure looked like he was going to be one of the greats of this era. While three more 50 goal seasons and two seasons of 58 and 59 goals are nothing to scoff at, Bure's career is disappointing in the fact that he missed so much time and experienced so little in terms of team success.

    3. Felix Potvin: Hometown pick here. Potvin was an all-star goalie that was pegged as the heir apparent to Patrick Roy when he was breaking into the league. He made the final fours with the Leafs in his first two years and was a huge part of the Leafs Renaissance with Gilmour, Clark and company. I remember reading all these hockey magazines as a kid where they compared him to Brodeur, and the comparisons were often favorable for Potvin. But the Leafs fell apart and his career seemed to unravel too, bouncing around the league and becoming a kind of journeyman goalie while Brodeur went on to be the best goalie in the league.

    4. Nolan Baumgartner: after he was drafted, he was compared to Nik Lidstrom as a kind of perfect defenseman for the longest time. Every year he seemed to be one of the league's top prospects. And then he had some shoulder problems and never really got on track as far as playing in the NHL. Not really sure what happened with this guy.

    5. Bryan Berard: a phenomenal talent with amazing offensive instincts and skating ability. The Potvin for Berard trade had the potential to be one of the all time steals because the Leafs were essentially trading an average starter for the next Brian Leetch. Unfortunately for the Leafs and Berard, the eye injury really put an end to Berard's potentially great career. He's still a good offensive defenseman even with the injury.

    6. Eric Fichaud: He reminds me a little of Marc-Andre Fleury in that he was an amazing reflex goalie who was always flashy when he made saves. I remember watching him in the 94 Memorial Cup when he was with Chicoutimi and he was just amazing to watch. I was very happy the Leafs drafted him in the first round in 1994, and I remember a game during the exhibition season when he completely shut down the Canadiens at Maple Leaf Gardens. Unfortunately he was traded to the Islanders where his development was somehow screwed up and now he's not good enough to play in the NHL.

    7. Alexandre Daigle: biggest first round bust since Brian Lawton.

    8. Paul Kariya: this guy used to be an offensive machine with the Ducks and one of the brightest young stars in the NHL. Concussion problems, being on a bad team and moving to the Avalanche have stalled his career. Still has lots of time to turn his career around, but right now he's definitely swerved off the path of uninterrupted greatness that was once a given with him.

    9. Dan Cleary: hyped as a great prospect as early as 15, the guy has problems scoring 30 points in the NHL.

    10. Chad Kilger: he's big, he's skilled and he can skate well. He's almost like the Joe Thornton who couldn't put it together.
     
  2. se7en*

    se7en* Guest

    Jason Bosignore
    Steve Kelly

    *cringes*
     
  3. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    First of all, I would not consider Lindros, Kariya or Bure "disappointments." Anyone with those accomplishments can't be considered a disappointment. Same thing with guys like Frank Mahovolich and Gilbert Perrault, who have often been saddled with the "did we truly see the best of them" label. Well, they're in the HHOF, and none of us are. Need I say more?

    I also don't hold it against guys whose development is stunted considerably by injury. That includes N. Baumgartner, Berehowsky, Fichaud and Blackburn. If you take a year of development away from a player under 21, that's a major blow to his career.

    Half of the 1997 draft could be labelled a disappointment. Guys like Daniel Tkachuk, Jason Ward, Jarrett Smith, Maxim Balmychnyk, Daniel Cleary, Jay Legault, the list goes on and on.

    Jason Bonsignore always tops my list. Andres Ericksson is a guy I expected very big things from, but he never delivered. Todd Harvey is another one. (He did put up good points with Gretzky. I often wonder how good Bryan Fogarty could have been.

    These are just a few names off the top of my head.

    Berard was destined to be a disappointment long before the eye injury. You could tell he lacked the hockey sense/decision-making process to be a top-flight d-man. His defensive abilities were lacking, too. Scouts were already saying guys like Redden and Iginla, among several others, would be the better players.
     
  4. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Here's just one of many candidates: Alexandre Volchkov

    Leading up to the '96 draft was heralded as the top player on the board. Dropped down to #4 overall as teams became weary of his reputation for laziness. Ended up with a career of 3 NHL games.

    On a sidenote, has there ever been a weaker 1st round of draft picks than that '96 class? An amazing list of players who "missed," bigtime.
     
  5. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Wendel Clark retired at the ripe old age of 33. It's a damn shame when a guy still has the desire, but his body has crumbled at such a young age. He looked like he was damn near 50 when he last suited up for the Leafs
     
  6. interminded

    interminded Registered User

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    Jim Carey (if he would have had the right attitude...)

    Manny Malhotra (didn't eveybody expect more ?)
     
  7. JiriHrdina

    JiriHrdina Registered User

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    Trevor Kidd has to be considered a dissapointment given where he went in the draft and his great junior career.

    I would say Chris Gratton and Rob Niedermayer are also dissapointments. Solid 3rd liners but could've so much more (or so it seemed).

    And of course we mustn't forget Scott Scissons.
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I think you can still be disappointed in the way their careers turned out despite their lofty accomplishments overall. Had it not been for injuries, how many more MVP type seasons would Lindros have had? How many scoring titles could Kariya have had had he not been hurt in the late 90s?

    Just like it's disappointing that Chris Gratton is a third liner instead of a franchise center, it's disappointing that Lindros and Kariya weren't able to build on the success they had earlier in their careers. While they're still first liners and star players, they're not the Gordie Howe or Steve Yzerman type legends they could have been.
     
  9. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Mine.

    I had it all planned out, I was going to be great and be the successor to Gretzky in Edmonton. I was going to lead the team to Stanley Cup glory while winning the Art Ross Trophy.

    Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way. :(
     
  10. Dogbert*

    Dogbert* Guest

    Dan Tkaczuk. One concussion, and that was that.
     
  11. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Yeah, Volchkov is a classic bust. Horrible attitude. Proof of how far attitude will take you in life. Him and Yogi Sevjovsky were the potential impact scorers from 1996. Both fizzled out.

    Always expected more out of Malholtra, but the guy basically elevated his stock with an epic performance at that year's Memorial Cup, where he nearly single-handedly carried the Guelph Storm to the national title. Everyone expected him to parlay that, but he didn't. He was below a PPG in his draft year, but all everyone remembers was his play at the Memorial Cup.

    Scott Lachance has had a nice career as a reliable, steady defenceman, but big things were expected of him. He was projected as an all-star defenceman, looked great for the Isles at the end of the 1992 season, but the offence never materialized, and didn't have that edge to turn into a great shutdown defenceman. He's been a "dime a dozen" type for years.

    Gratton's a waste of talent. Yikes. The guy spat on a ref in maybe the lowest-class thing I've ever seen in a game. He'll go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the last 15 years. Niedermayer never met offensive expectations, but he's carved himself a niche as one of the most heralded third line players in the game, thanks to his size, speed and hockey sense. Very solid player. Hard to criticize a guy who won a WC gold medal in 2004.
     
  12. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    For me it is no contest. No one else is even close. So much promise, so much skill and a helluva a nice guy.

    When you look at the talent and the waste - dead at 32 of cardiac arrest in Myrtle Beach, Florida. Maybe the greatest junior defenceman all-time and he was big - 6'2" and 210 lbs. Many who saw him at his peak consider him the best skater ever - at any position. And that includes Bobby Orr.

    Drugs and alcohol turned out to be the downfall for him personally and his hockey career.

    Bryan Fogarty

    He had everything. He could skate like the wind. He could see anybody on the ice. He could make the perfect pass. He was as talented as anybody I've seen in junior hockey. He broke all of Bobby Orr's records. Everybody was telling me you can't go wrong with him. - Maurice Filion, former Quebec GM, who drafted Bryan Fogarty with the Nordiques' first pick in 1987, six picks ahead of Quebec's second selection, Joe Sakic

    Have a look at the company he kept in the OHL record book:
    Alcohol was his undoing. As Mats Sundin said of Fogarty when he played with him in Quebec:
    "Bryan Fogarty could skate faster, shoot harder and pass crisper drunk than the rest of us could sober."

    "I never saw a better kid defenceman," Craig Patrick once said of Fogarty. "If only he could have straightened out his life ... "

    His stats in the NHL with Quebec, Pittsburgh and Montreal were:
    156GP 22G 52A 74Pts

    As I said no one comes close IMHO. Others have crashed and burned but not with that level of raw talent.
     
  13. Leaf Lander

    Leaf Lander Registered User Sponsor

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    HALF THE PLAYERS ON THE LIST ARE LEAFS


    Surely there are some habs we could pick on

    wait no one watches hab games

    neva mind :D
     
  14. interminded

    interminded Registered User

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    Whatever happened to him ?
     
  15. Wetcoaster

    Wetcoaster Guest

    As I noted dead at 32 in 2002 of cardiac arrrest allegedly from drug and alcohol complications. He finished his hockey career in 2001.
     
  16. interminded

    interminded Registered User

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    What a shame...

    I agree, the story of this man is no contest for all the others.
    I personally mentioned Jim Carey (who made enough money to live a happy life with his wife in Florida) and Manny Malhotra (who still skates if I´m correct).
    They just didn´t live up to expectations. That´s all at the end of the day.

    Bryan Fogarty died.
    That´s as sad as it gets for a guy who had a great career in advance.




    Unfortunately Pelle Lindbergh had the same short (hockey) life.
    He was the goaltender for the NHL Philadelphia Flyers who led his team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1985.
    After celebrating a 10 game winning-streak, he celebrated with a bunch of friends and he stepped, heavily intoxicated, into his Porsche 930... minutes later he missed a sharp turn, crossed the street, hit the curb and crashed into a wall at aprox. 60 miles per hour.
    On november 9, 1985 he was declared braindead. He died 3 days later at the age of 26.

    Of course, drinking and driving is irresponsible, we all know that.
    But nonetheless a tragic story !

    Vezina Trophy: 1984-85 (Philadelphia)
    NHL All-Star First Team: 1984-85 (Philadelphia)
    NHL All-Rookie First Team: 1982-83 (Philadelphia)
    All-Star Game: 1983, 1985 (Philadelphia)
    Stanley Cup Finals (Lost): 1985 (Philadelphia)
    Philadelphia Clarke Trophy (MVP): 1984-85 (first winner)
    NHL Wins Leader: 1984-85 (Philadelphia) (40 wins)
    NHL Goalie Games-Played Leader: 1984-85 (Philadelphia) (65)
    NHL Minutes Leader: 1984-85 (Philadelphia) (3,858 minutes)
    NHL Playoffs Shutouts Leader: 1985 (Philadelphia) (3 shutouts)
    NHL Playoffs Goalie Games-Played Leader: 1985 (Phila.) (18)
    NHL Playoffs Goals-Against Average Leader: 1985 (2.50 GAA)
    NHL Playoffs Save-Percentage Leader: 1985 (.914)
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  17. Macman

    Macman Registered User

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    Lindros is tops for me. He's probably the greatest combination of physical presence and skill in the history of the game and should have finished his career as one of the five greatest players ever, but won't even make the Hall of Fame because of injuries.

    The other one for me is an odd one: Bobby Orr. He was obviously one of the greatest players -- if not THE greatest ever -- but his career was shortened considerably by injuries and half of what he did play was affected by gimpy knees. The guy still looks like he could play. It's too bad. The Russians also never got to see him in his prime and that's also too bad considering they seem to think Fetisov was his equal, or ever better, which is a joke.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  18. Malefic74

    Malefic74 Registered User

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    Vlad Konstantinov.

    Had all the makings of an intimidating shutdown defenceman who was just coming into his own when he was in that car accident. Big loss for the Wings.

    Doug Wickenheiser.

    Consensus #1 pick in his draft year and the Habs took him #1 overall. Dream come true for the kid, but the weight of expectations from the hockey mad city and media were too much pressure for the small town Saskatchewan boy and he faltered. Compared relentlessly to Denis Savard (taken 2nd) and booed non-stop he finally requested a trade. Put together a respectable career in St. Louis but never quite matched up his potential. Sadly he died not too long ago from complications with cancer I believe.
     
  19. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    Michel Briere- could have had a great career but a car accident ended it and eventually his life.

    Gord Kluzak- injuries curtailed and ended what could have been a great career.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  20. CLF4life

    CLF4life Bourque ** Lidstrom

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    Jimmy Carson,I belive he is one of the few player to get 100 points in a season as a teen.Although he played 10 seasons LA,Edm,Det,Van,Hrfd 626 games. 561 total points he got most of them in his first 2 seasons.
     
  21. ACC1224

    ACC1224 Registered User

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    I'm with you on this....what a waste.
     
  22. Habsfunk

    Habsfunk Registered User

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    I always though Vladimir Malakhov could have been a perennial Norris trophy contender if he actually cared to play his best. When he came to play he was one of the best defensemen in the league. He could shut down a guy like Jagr with ease and go end to end seemingly at will. Unfortunately those days were few and far between, but man was he a tease.
     
  23. mr gib

    mr gib Registered User

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  24. The Kingslayer

    The Kingslayer Registered User

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    I guess the same can be said about Jason Smith when he was drafted by toronto.
     
  25. Timmy

    Timmy Registered User

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