Most overrated player in the League?

Brad Richards. Here’s a guy who’s name has been in trade rumours on and off for a couple years now, and he was even traded a couple seasons ago. Even though Mike Smith didn’t work out in Tampa, and Jussi Jokinen, and Halpern are both gone, I still say Tampa won this deal by getting rid of the league’s softest, most overpaid, and overrated player.

Why do you all love this guy, and who is your pick for the league’s most overrated?Here are some reasons why I believe this guy is overrated:

1) He’s a softy. I doubt anyone will argue me on this one, people like him despite his soft play and refusal to go into the corners. So I’ll just move on.

2) He’s one of the leagues worst defensive players. Probably a result of being so soft and losing battles, Richards is abysmal in his own end. For a guy who puts up respectable offensive numbers its shocking to look at his +/-. His last 3 years he’s been -4, -19, and -27, and currently sits at -13. In his magical year in 2004 he was +14 in his only plus season, on a first place, stacked young team.

3) $7.8 milllion cap hit. Are you kidding me? And still he pops up in everyones dream trade fantasies??? Get with it people.

4) Turnovers. Could be connected to his soft play and could result in his terrible +/- but Brad Richards is a terrible puck handler. He has blistering speed which blinds the casual fan into thinking he has good hands. When he comes barrelling down on a d-man he can shift one way or the other and go around. But in tight spaces he just turns the puck over without a fight. He mishandles passes at centre way too often, and sometimes just loses it stickhandling, uncontested. This guy is an elite player? An elite skater for sure, speed is good but its not the only thing that makes a hockey player.

5) Conn Smythe. Get over it. I recognize that he had a great playoff run. Scoring lots of perimeter goals. Picking up loose pucks off to the side of the net and scoring in the clutch. He was on fire. Fine. I just wish they’d picked Kipper (equally deserving) or Lecavalier or anyone else, because people won’t let this go. He did light it up against a beat up, broken down Flyers team in the final 4. Good for him. Doesn’t make him a hall of famer. Some suggest he will be… he has 185 career goals and just over 600 pts at age 30. He better hope his 30’s are better than his 20’s or he won’t ever be in the HHOF.

Now for everyone who thinks Brad is this great superstar, I think its because you are blinded by speed. For the most part, from my experience, people who don’t watch a ton of hockey, or don’t see particular teams and players play, they tend to overrate the fast players and underrate the slow players, because speed is the easiest thing to spot and you don’t need to know much about hockey to appreciate a fast skater.

Just to compare the great Richards to a very slow player, let’s say…. oh I don’t know, Nik Antrpov:

Over the past 3 seasons (2 seasons and so far this year) Brad has 53 goals, 124 assists for 177 points. Pretty good! Over that same time period, Antropov has scored 70 goals, 98 assists for 168 points. Just 9 points less, both guys have missed a handful of games each with well do*****ented injuries.

Brad is a career -74, Nik is the exact opposite.

Didn’t want to make this a whole Nik Antropov thing, but this is just an example of a guy who would probably not be considered a superstar by many at all, vs a guy who is considered one of the best (even got Olympic consideration by some of you!) Statistically they’re not far off, and Antropov is the more well rounded player. There are lots of guys like Nik out there who are better than Richards.

Its not 2004 anymore, wake up hockey fans.

181 Responses to Most overrated player in the League?

  1. cam7777 says:

    Funny how I've never heard you so much as mention Seidenberg before, but now that he's a Bruin, he is suddenly better than Dion Phaneuf.  Do you realize how absurd that sounds?  The man did not even have a contract before training camp this year.  That said, I like Seidenberg, and he's having a great year, but to even compare him to Phaneuf is not fair.  A more appropriate comparison would be Dan Hamhuis.  Phaneuf is a #1 defensemen; Hamhuis and Seidenberg are number 3 guys.

    Wideman was your man going into this season – you wouldn't even have Kaberle on your team because Wideman had apparently surpassed him, and was mere games from being crowned greatest defensemen in the world.  I'm simply pointing out your tendency to get carried away with your evaluations of Bruins players.  Conversely, you would shit all over guys like Ian White, who is also having a great season, simply on the grounds that he is not a Bruin (or perhaps, because he was a Leaf).

    The point gap between those two was once 25 points.  Kadri has shortened that to just 13 now, and will probably pull within 5-7 by the end of the year, an he'll have played 2-4 less games (with a less talented supporting cast to boot).  And that's fine if you want to bill Colborne that way, but the odds that he turns out better than Kadri are not good at all.  Right now he looks soft compared to a much smaller Kadri, and also lacks the offensive output.  You can't simply bank on Colborne being a home-run.  Odds are he won't be either a home-run, or a bust, but something in the middle.

    I have just seen the Savard hit.  Brutal.  Cooke will get suspended.  Bruins season might be over if Savard is out for any significant period of games.  Is Bergeron back yet?

  2. bbruins37 says:

    like i said on another thread, how many times have you heard me mention mikko koivu? does that mean i don't think he's an awesome player? same goes for seidenberg. and why is he not a number one guy? he was effective in that role in florida.

    the point gap is 16 with hall playing in 2 more games. and where is all this london has no supporting cast thing coming from? look at the standings.

    as for colborne, where are these "odds" coming from? he's been billed since day 1 as a boom or bust pick. he's looked good so far and is still filling out his frame.

    bergeron was back against the islanders yesterday, and he's looked like his usual self so far. apparently he suffered a groin injury against norway at the olympics.

  3. bbruins37 says:

    thomas' save % now at .917, and better than guys like luongo, hiller, nittymaki, ward, price, brodeur, turco, quick, fleury, backstrom, mason, mason…it's crazy the lack of respect that he gets.

  4. cam7777 says:

    They split the defensive duties between 4 guys in Florida – there isn't a more even team in the league.  He won't get nearly as many minutes in Boston with Chara, Stuart and Wideman there.  And don't kid yourself just because he was formerly a Leaf, McCabe is the head defensemen in Florida, and has been for some time. 

    100 points for Hall, 87 for Kadri.  I count 13.  Windsor is full of highly touted draft prospects, whereas Kadri is far and away the best player on his team.  It was actually a concern for Leaf management that his team wouldn't be good for his development.  THere was rumors that Kadri was traded to Windsor to center Hall after the WJC, but that it fell through for whatever reason.  Point is, you can't pretend Hall is Gretzky, and Colborne is Thornton, but Kadri, out-performing the one, and gaining on the other, iis some kind of 4th line talent.  If he were drafted by any other team, you'd think he was a stand up player, and excellent prospect.

  5. bbruins37 says:

    they have him playing with chara here. his average minutes so far is up here from what he got in florida even though he logged the most icetime on the team there.

    hall had a 3 point game today and is up to 103 points. i count 16.

    do you honestly not think hall is far and away the best player on his team? even if for some insane reason think that kadri is on par with hall, they would cancel each other out and the teams are only 6 points apart in hte standings and 2nd and 3rd in the league.

    out-performing colborne? you cant compare college to the CHL.

  6. Magleaf says:

    with a team as amazing as the bruins youd think the other teams wouldnt even be able to get a shot on goal

  7. cam7777 says:

    I would sound stupid if I said Kadri was better than Hall, but the fact is, they are different kinds of players.  Kadri is heart and soul, and he does everything.  Most in Leafs Nation hope he ends up being more like Doug Gilmour, or a Mike Richards-light.   Hall is a sniper.  He is Kessel 2.0.  If you end up with Hall, then we traded Kessel for a 4 years older version of Kessel, and it cost us 2 draft picks. 

    Of course Hall is the best player on his team, but he's surrounded by some pretty high end names.  Kadri doesn't have the same luxuries; not by a long shot.

    Colborne is being out performed by Tyler Ruegsegger, who is pretty far down the Leafs depth chart.  He's also pretty neck and neck with Jerry D'Amigo, who is younger than he is.  If I can't compare across leagues, I'll use these two as a measuring stick for Colborne.  Right now, there is no reason to believe he'll be any better than these two.  He's a six foot five beanpole who doesn't use his body.  Could he be great?  Sure.  Is it any more likely than Ruegsegger and D'Amigo?  At this point, no.  Following that line of thinking, Kadri is a much more sure thing than either of those two, and therefore, Kadri is much more of a sure thing than Colborne.

  8. bbruins37 says:

    oh come on…he is not some all-around guy like richards. he's primarily an offensive guy. his defensive game is not that good. he's chippy, but that's not always a good thing as the WJC showed.

    hall isn't just a sniper. he's leading the league in assists this year. kessel 2.0? haha

    colborne not being as safe as kadri doesnt make kadri a better prospect. given the bruins other prospects, i'm perfectly willing to take a "chance" on a guy that has this much potential.

  9. hockey_lover says:

    " he's a dirty cheapshot artist and deserves to be suspended indefinitely. blindside headshot, and even threw in a bit of elbow."

    Oh my apologies. When you said that he even threw in a bit of elbow, I assumed you meant he used elbow.

    Again, it became a headshot because Savard was bent over at the end of his shot. People need to understand the difference between an ACTUAL headshot and something BECOMING a headshot.

    My example from my previous post still applies:  if Chara or Booguard (spelling?) goes in and rips Marty St. Louis into the boards, it must then automatically become a headshot? No, the height difference makes it BECOME a headshot but that doesnt mean Chara cant hit guys because he happens to be 8" taller than everyone else.

    This is the same thing. Savard is 5'10 and Cooke is 5'11. Take 6 – 8 inches away from Savard because he is bending forward, Cooke's lower shoulder / upper elbow area is automatically at Savards "head" .. but Savard's head is exactly where his shoulder should be .. ergo: it becomes a "headshot" but it isnt.

    Lets put it this way … if Cooke had come at him from a different angle, say from a forward vantage point, that would 10000% be a legal hit and in no way a headshot.

  10. hockey_lover says:

    I agree 100%. Its crazy why they even bother playing the games. I guess its just to show their amazing dominance in the game.


  11. hockey_lover says:

    The problem is you cant judge intent. Whether Cooke WANTED to do it or not is irrelevant. He did it. He hit Savard with a blindside hit (NOT a headshot) and should be suspended. And given his past history with suspensions and stuff, I say a bit of a stiffer fine is in order. Like I said, 7 – 10 games.

    Btw .. Im even a Pens fan and I say this.

  12. leafmeister says:

    True it was not always helpful in the WJC, but they follow totally different rules. If that was in the NHL, Kadri would only have been called for a fraction of those. He is primarily offensive, but he backchecks, forechecks, creates his own chances, and is a shootout genius. He can score and pass, and he can, sometimes kill penalties. He brings the complete package. He was obviously drafted because teams think he can be a high end scorer, but he is not one-dimensional.

    I was not impressed with Hall at all at the WJC, sure he scored, but too many times he would blow opportunities by trying to do everything himself. That is not unlike Kessel when he was drafted.

    Ask 30 GMs in the league, who would they rather have, Kadri or Colborne, who do you think most would say?

  13. DannyLeafs says:

    I know you can't judge intent, however that does not stop the league from trying to. The more intentional a hit looks, the stiffer the suspension, the more accidental it looks, the more likely it will be a slap on the wrist.

    This wasn't a case where it was away from the play, late hit in neutral ice, this was in the defensive zone, with the opponents most dangerous offensive player taking a shot on goal, and it does look like Savard turned away and stuck his head out a little in his shooting motion, so it could very well be that cooke had his shoulder lined up and missed by a very narrow margin. I am not saying that is what happened, or that it wasn't a dirty hit, or even that the league shouldn't be harsher on this kind of thing. But I do think that the league will take all this into consideration, and I think the only reason cooke is likely to get suspended at all is because of his reputation. I can't see anyway that it goes past 5 games, personally i think it will be 3.

  14. hockey_lover says:

    I think he will get 7-10 games because he is a repeat offender for "hits to the head." I dont think that this was a hit to the head at all but Ive gone through that twice and there is no need to do it again.

    But, for the most part, it was a "hit from behind" in so much as Cooke came at Savard from an angle outside Savard's peripheral vision. THAT is the issue.

  15. bbruins37 says:

    if you can't see intent for a headshot on that i don't know what to say. he's a renowned cheapshot artist as well. if this was lucic on crosby you'd be saying something completely different.

  16. bbruins37 says:

    "If that was in the NHL"

    buuuut it wasn't. if you can't adapt to rule changes how mindless can you be?

    colborne has the higher ceiling out of these two players. a 6'5 guy with that playmaking ability doesn't come along every year.

  17. hockey_lover says:

    What intent?  He didnt charge him. He didnt lift his elbow like a spear. He didnt take a few extra strides (if you notice, his last stride was about 6 feet from him and coasted the rest of the way). He didnt leave his feet.

    And again, you cant judge intent. No one knows what was going through Cooke's mind at the time of the hit. If YOU can, then thats awesome. Use your powers for good instead of evil and go work for Colin Campbell.

    What does Lucic have to do with this (in your famous words when someone brings someone else into the discussion). This is about Cooke and Savard.

  18. leafmeister says:

    Ill put it this way, I would rather have Kadri take a few penalties in a 6 game tournament than play without an edge his entire career. He does not have to adapt to new rules any more.

    Just for fun, can you try to back something you say up? Just for fun.

  19. mojo19 says:

    Jason Spezza is a good pick. I stand by Richards but I can see your arguement for Spezza.

  20. bbruins37 says:

    ……there's a certain part of hockey you can't objectively state in stats. he's looked at as a boom or bust pick. if he grows into his body like people are predicting, combined with his smaller player skillset he could be a home-run prospect. he only had his big growth spurt recently so he has to fill into that body.

  21. leafmeister says:

    Not necessarily in stats, maybe just a scouting report. I agree, he could be a home run prospect, I remember when he was drafted. When they compare players to NHLers it means that they play a similar game. They are not going to mirror careers. Yes, he was compared to Joe Thornton, because he is 6'5 and a playmaker, not because they see him as a guy who can consistently contend for the Art Ross. Their some definite potential there, but Joe Thornton? Lets see how his game translates into say….the AHL before we get carried away here.

  22. DannyLeafs says:

    With a guy like Vokoun, he often gets overlooked because he simply hasn't won anything. I do consider him a very good goalie, but this isn't proof that MAF and Ward are overrated, just that Vokoun is underrated. With Thomas he is a very unique cir*****stance. He really can't be included in that first group because every year it is a guessing game, as to whether or not this will be his last useful year. He plays a style where his reflexes are everything, he is 35 years old, as soon as his reflexes begin to slip, he is basically done. It is unfortunate that it took him so long to break through, because his relatively short career is really going to hurt the way he is viewed. For these reasons most people would rather have Fleury or Ward in goal than Thomas, simply because if given the choice between a relatively young goalie who has been fairly solid and has already proven he can step up and play great under pressure, or a goalie with a great save percentage who has never won a championship of any kind, is prone to giving up an occasional softie, and may have less than 100 good games left in his career, the choice is usually pretty simple. 

  23. dumbassdoorman says:

    I can't believe you have guys like Nittymaki,hiller, quick, mason(stl) and price on the list….even turco this year. Nobody has said these guys were amazing, well price has tthe potential. but lets see why anyway…ok?

    I am not sure about you but I think bobby Luo's(who i think is overrated) gold medal, do you think he would trade that say thomas' Vezina and benchwarming silver…hmmmm…I am gonna guess no.

    i know you love ward but i am guessing his cup ring is more enjoyable to look at then say thomas' vezina and silver.

    mason, calder and wjc gold would take over thomas vezina

    fluery, we will leave his wjc out of it, cause i don't think he is fond of it but lets throw his cup ring and olympic gold agaist timmy's silver and vezina….hmmmm.. i  am gonna go out on a limb here and say he keeps his.

    do we even need to discuss broduer? but just a fun fact did you know thomas has only 16 more career wins 124 than broduer does shutouts?

    backstrom, hiller and turco all have about the same lifetime save% stats so all in all pretty equal, right?

    anymore questions?

  24. hockey_lover says:

    Im a big Fleury supporter and I know that bruins is a big time hater of Fleury …. but Im gonna have to side with bruins on this one.

    Fleury didnt do a darn thing to earn his gold medal so Im sure he is not overly proud of it. If Thomas has a "benchwarming silver" then Fleury has a "benchwarming gold."  Both are equivalent since neither did anything to earn them. I'll give you his cup ring though …

    Yes, Thomas' numbers are good but not as good at bruins makes them out to be. Out of the goalies that have played 38+ games (same as Thomas), he is ranked 12th in GAA and 9th in save%. Certainly respectable but not as "Awesomely amazing and uber outstanding" as some would make it out to be.

    Conversely, Fleury is ranked 16th in GAA and 20th in save% out of goalies who have played more than 38 games (mind you, Fleury has played 53 games … 15 more than Thomas). Respectable but certainly not overly impressive. Also considering that the Pens are an attack team and have many defensive lapses, Id say that its not all that bad. Id be curious to know what Fleury's numbers were before the Pens went on that AWFUL losing streak late last year/early this year where they had a stretch of something like 4W – 9L. In that stretch, they had some pretty horrible games.

  25. hockey_lover says:

    Alex Burrows is an awesome player?  You are obviously a Canucks fan.

    Burrows is NOT an awesome player. He is an awesome player because he is playing with two freakishly intertwined twins who just happen to be awesome. Let us not forget that Anson Carter scored 35 goals playing with them .. when his previous high was 28 about 5 years younger. You put Burrows on a line with two regular players, he is NOT getting 70 points .. EVER. Burrows is definitely a good player. Without a doubt he has talent. But he certainly not "awesome."

  26. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya I realize the benchwarming silver comment….but I had to make it…you know….I just couldn't help myself….he did however earn that WJC silver even though it should have been gold :(.

  27. hockey_lover says:

    Oh I know how you feel .. sometimes, ya just gotta make the comment.

    Fleury definitely did earn the silver. Up until his fcuktard move, he was stellar in that tournament. They should have won gold but he made a bad decision at a crucial point. Thems the breaks.

  28. dumbassdoorman says:

    I hated that play he made, but it was a great excuse to have a few extra beers in sympathy for the team….lol. For the record i think thomas is a good gaolie, but needs to prove himself over a few more years before he is eilite shall we say?

  29. hockey_lover says:

    I think Thomas is definitely in the upper echelon of 'tenders in the league but one step below the elite (for the record, I dont consider Fleury as part of the elite club either … he is in the same tier as Thomas).

    The problem with Thomas proving it for a few more years … dude is what .. 36? He only has a few more years to go. Even if he plays until he is 42, his game WILL eventually start to decline. He started too late in his career.

  30. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya good story though a guy that never gave up and kept playing….i like it. When I said that I knew his age and was part of the reason I said it actually, plus he won't hold rask off forever(thanks JFJ). It is a bad contract the Bruins are stuck with they are only a year away from a full blown goalie controversy in my opinion. Plus with only 12 mil in cap space to sign 10-11 players…ouch, somebody has to go.

  31. dumbassdoorman says:

    Thomas is really playing well tonight just dominating the Leafs the last few nights…..opps i mean the leaf/marlies

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