Overachievers and Underachievers In Today's NHL

Here is the final edition for 2001-02, covering the entire year. My list of everyone who deserves more attention and those who have more in common with what stinks (literally) currently in Toronto…anyhow, this is my list: again, feel free to comment and/or provide your own.

Source: ESPN.com

(World Issues Page Announcement inside)Anaheim Mighty Ducks

Overachiever: D Keith E. Carney: Get this: +14. ON THE DUCKS. Never thought that would happen.

Underachiever: D Jason York: Defensive “expert” was a horrible -11. Let’s just say this signing didn’t work out.

Atlanta Thrashers

Overachiever: RW Ilja Kovalchuk: If it wasn’t for that injury, he would have had 35 goals and the Calder for sure.

Underachiever: G Damian Rhodes: Three years of not caring and poor play leads to a banishment where he has only himself to blame for.

Boston Bruins

Overachiever: LW Glen Murray: Rediscovered his work ethic and scoring touch in Boston.

Underachiever: D Kyle McLaren: Got too carried away vs. Richard Zednik and the Montreal Canadiens and it cost the entire team. A stain on what should be a marvelous career.

Buffalo Sabres

Overachiever: C Stu Barnes: Worked himself nicely as the Sabres’ bona fide captain.

Underachiever: RW Vyacheslav Kozlov: Atlantans had better get used to his whining, the only thing he effectively did all year in Buffalo.

Calgary Flames

Overachiever: RW Jarome Iginla: The brightest of the few bright spots in Calgary.

Underachiever: C Marc Savard: Obviously enrolled in the “Vyacheslav Kozlov Course on Whining” because he too could only complain.

Carolina Hurricanes

Overachiever: C Ron Francis: How many 39-year-olds do you know that can play like they’re 21? Could he catch Gordie Howe? Maybe…
Underachiever: D Glen Wesley: 2 points, 22 playoff games. May not be the reason why Carolina didn’t win, but sure contributed: he’s capable of much more.

Chicago Blackhawks

Overachiever: LW Eric Daze: Managed to get 37 goals and became the offensive force Tony Amonte wasn’t. May still be one-year wonder, though.

Underachiever: RW Ryan VandenBussche: Recorded a team-low -10. Obviously forgot the Blackhawks improved.

Colorado Avalanche

Overachiever: G Patrick Roy: Posted a career high 1.94 G.AA and should only make it better. A pleasingly scary thought if you ask me.

Underachiever: LW Milan Hejduk: Suffered massive third-year slump with goals dipping by a little more than half from 2000-01’s 41 to this year’s 21.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Overachiever: D Rostislav Klesla: Definitely the Jackets’ future franchise player.

Underachiever: D Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre: two goals, eight points, -28, in 80 games is just offensive.

Dallas Stars

Overachiever: G Marty Turco: Played Eddie Belfour to expendability.

Underachiever: G Eddie Belfour: The only thing he can capably do on a consistent basis is get mad. Just ask the Vancouver Canucks about that one.

Detroit Red Wings

Overachiever: C Pavel Datsyuk: Most surprising of the many gems on the Red Wings.

Underachiever: LW Tomas Holmstrom: Getting a -13 on Detroit is just wrong.

Edmonton Oilers

Overachiever: C Mike Comrie: Continued his amazing ascent with a 30-goal season. Impressive.

Underachiever: LW Mike Grier: Offensive production dipped from 20 goals to eight. Needs to pick up slack if Oil want to make 2003 playoffs.

Florida Panthers

Overachiever: RW Kristian Huselius: Team leader in goals (even with Pavel Bure’s goals factored in) and one of the rare bright lights in Florida.

Underachiever: C Olli Jokinen: Here’s the deal: he’s really talented but just doesn’t use them properly. Sorry, that’s just a poor excuse: Florida fans deserve better.

Los Angeles Kings

Overachiever: D Jaroslav Modry: Developed into a nice offensive defenceman with a 42-point output.

Underachiever: LW Nelson Emerson: Injuries and sup-par play when he did play ultimately led to his departure.

Minnesota Wild

Overachiever: LW Pascal Dupuis: 15 goals in 75 games for impressive rookie campaign.

Underachiever: LW Aaron Gavey: Let go after play slipped tp six goals and -21.

Montreal Canadiens

Overachiever: C Saku Koivu: Just seeing his presence on the ice is enough to land on this list.

Underachiever: D Stephane Robidas: Ineffective against Carolina and posted team worst -25.

Nashville Predators

Overachiever: RW Scott Hartnell: Impressed by debuting with 14 goals and 41 points in 75 games.

Underachiever: C David Legwand: Slumped badly in second half with only three goals after an eight goal first half.

New Jersey Devils

Overachiever: G Martin Brodeur: Was reborn after leading Team Canada to Olympic gold.

Underachiever: C Scott Gomez: Still hasn’t found a way to rediscover his rookie scoring touch.

New York Islanders

Overachiever: C Shawn Bates: No one saw his 52-point season coming. Bruin fans are wondering why he couldn’t do this in Boston.

Underachiever: LW Oleg Kvasha: Islander fans want more than just 13 goals and heartless play, Oleg.

New York Rangers

Overachiever: G Dan Blackburn: 18-year-old came into the National Hockey League cold adjusted himself nicely as the Rangers’ back-up. Future starter? You bet.

Underachiever: LW Thereon Fleury: Cried more often than a soap opera.

Ottawa Senators

Overachiever: RW Daniel Alfredsson: Filled in admirably for Alexei Yashin with a career-high 37 goals.

Underachiever: LW Shawn McEachern: Banished to Atlanta after a measly two points against Toronto and slipping production to only 15 goals.

Philadelphia Flyers

Overachiever: RW Simon Gagne: Star continues to rise after 33-goal season.

Underachiever: C Keith Primeau: Flyer fans would want nothing more to get rid of this dud and get a real captain.

Phoenix Coyotes

Overachiever: C Daniel Briere: Production almost tripled over last year from 11 goals to 32.

Underachiever: G Robert Esche: Sub-.500 play led to steal from Flyers for Brian Boucher.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Overachiever: D Michal Rozsival: Proved to be a reliable offensive defender with 29 points in 79 games.

Underachiever: G Johan Hedberg: Slipped to 2.76 G.AA this year: was last year’s playoffs a fluke?

San Jose Sharks

Overachiever: D Jeff Jillson: Impressive rookie became steady regular as season progressed.

Underachiever: RW Teemu Selanne: Everybody knows he can do better than 29 goals.

St. Louis Blues

Overachiever: D Al MacInnis: Can still play at high level even with 20 years under his belt.

Underachiever: C Doug Weight: It’s pretty safe to say that the Blues didn’t sign him to only score 15 goals and 49 points in 61 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Overachiever: RW Brad Richards: Super soph continues rise leading team with 61 points.

Underachiever: C Vincent Lecavalier: The only thing he did consistently last season was not be consistent.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Overachiever: C Darcy Tucker: Managed to sneak past Alexander Mogilny for second in Leafs scoring.

Underachiever: D Anders Eriksson: Part of a new Leaf specialty: acquisitions that blow up in their faces.

Vancouver Canucks

Overachiever: LW Todd Bertuzzi: Broke out as a key “power” forward with an 85-point season in 72 games.

Underachiever: C Daniel Sedin: Slipped from 20 goals as a rookie to nine as a sophmore. Will be under the microscope next year.

Washington Capitals

Overachiever: D Sergei Gonchar: About the only thing that went right in a season the Capitals would rather forget.

Underachiever: RW Jaromir Jagr: Yeah, he led the team in scoring but he often played like he was uninspired and the Caps seemed to follow suit too.

That’s my list for 2001-02. Feel free to comment and/or provide your own.

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18 Responses to Overachievers and Underachievers In Today's NHL

  1. titans says:

    Eric Daze a one year wonder??? WHAT?!?! Daze’s been scoring goals for years! This year past was his best, but he’s bees gradually getting better over the years. Hardly a one year wonder.

    And Scott Hartnell an overachiever? He had 14 goals! Hardly overachieving!

    And Marty Murray woulda been a better overachiever for the Flyers.Gagne’s not an overachiever, he’s just good!

  2. Captain27 says:

    Good idea with this post…here’s my extension in regards to the Islanders:


    Adrian Aucoin: Last June, many speculated that he would just be a 5-6 depth defenseman, but turned out to be the Isles’s best defenseman last year, logging an average of 30 minutes a game also becoming Islander Co-MVP (along with Kenny Jonsson). Possible All-star selection in 2002-03.

    Shawn Bates: so good, that both Alexei Yashin and Mike Peca both wanted him flanking alongside them.

    Eric Cairns: defense started to deteriorate towards the end, but became an Islander Folk Hero with his classic beatdowns of Sandy McCarthy and Shane Corson in very crucial team moments.

    Mark Parrish: complemented Mike Peca nicely scoring 30+ goals. Impressively switched from Panther Cherry-Picker to Islander Garbage Goal Man…he took a beating out in front of the net, but deflected and scored many goals in return.


    Mariusz Czerkawski- so much for him scoring 50 goals alongside Yashin! Played much better when he knew that the team rested on his shoulders like 99-00, 00-01. Did not mesh with Laviolette’s system at all…and most of his 22 goals came when the Islanders had the lead.

    Brad Isbister- Milbury lost his patience with the low-scoring 24 y/o Power Forward and Kevin Lowe was waiting with open arms for Brad in exchange for Tom Poti…

    but Milbury supposedly ‘learned’ from trading the “low-scoring” Todd Bertuzzi at 24, and decided to let Isbister develop instead of turning him into ‘Dumb Milbury Trade, Part 9’.

    Claude Lapointe: This one is a little iffy because no one expected the former 1st line center to produce the same now as a 4th line center, but the fact that Lapointe produced so little surprised many Islander Fans. To his credit, was flanked by Steve Webb and Jason “look ma, no hands” Blake.

    Dave Scatchard- not as much upside as Brad Isbister, but still pretty young. Played almost every game full-time with the Isles last season, but only 12 goals came about. But impressed Laviolette enough to earn the “A” as a 26 y/o.

    Thats about it…the Islanders as a team overachieved by placing 5th in the Eastern Conference with only a $33 million dollar payroll.

    They showed a lot of heart and character…and their chemistry together was solid…with the only exception being Mariusz Czerkawski who always found time to ***** about something.

    The only thing the Isles lacked last year was toughness and grit…hopefully Milbury’s moves for Jason Wiemer and Arron Asham do just that.

  3. IamTeemu says:

    like titans said, Daze has been doing this his whole career. he just had an above average year, and stood out more since Amonte’s production decreased. Daze had a great year, but my overachiever for the Blackhawks is Phil Housley. They picked up this guy in the Waiver Draft, and he scores the most goals of any d-man

  4. bcuffari says:

    yup yup


  5. bcuffari says:

    Glen Murray was having a good year in L.A. He led the team in points right before he was traded.


  6. aaron says:

    Yeah, Homer had a god awful season, but he made up for it by being second on the team in goals during the playoffs.

  7. wiscbadge1 says:

    How can you say Claude LaPointe was an underacheiver? He hardly got any ice time, yet was the Islanders best PK’er this season. He is a role player, and a damn good one.

  8. bruinsfan12 says:

    Good article except you missed the most important point..

    underachiever of the year goes to MARTIN LAPOINTE! and most overpaid a-hole of the year too!

  9. bcuffari says:

    Martin Lapointe did what he was supposed to do. He wasn’t brought in to score 45 goals, he was brought in to score 25-30 goals and provided leadership and a much need physical bite. Would you say he fufilled those expectations.

    I know I didn’t get to see him as much as you did, but I’m pretty sure I am accurate on this.

    Don’t let the money dillute what he was brought in to do. The Bruins paid because they thought they were in desperate need of a player like him.

    I betcha it’s safe to say that every team in the league would take Lapointe even with his contract, I know I would.


  10. DARTHJIM says:


  11. bjtew says:

    I’m glad someone else is complaining about Glen Wesley. He makes 2.5 million for Christ sakes. I know that isnt alot by Ranger standards but is a fortune by Canes standards. What does Oneil make now? 3.5 mil or so? Is Wesley that much better than Aaron Ward who made roughly 900k? I cant believe the Canes are going to arbitration with Adams and Ward when they have dead weight like Wesley tying up money. Trade him for a pick already.

  12. bjtew says:

    Francis has overachieved his whole NHL career. ESPN has just been forced to admit that since the Canes went to the SCF. The two over-achievers for the canes were Erik Cole and Bates Battaglia with the nod going to Cole.

    Underachiever is Wesley without a doubt. Sami had an awful postseaon but at least he had a good reg season. I cant say the same for Wesley WHO MADE AS MUCH MONEY AS SAMI.

  13. amok says:


    Brent Sopel: He started off the season with 0 points in 23 games and then gets 21 points in his next 24 games. He finished the season quietly, but 25 points and a +21 is still quite a season for “the golden Brent” as he was called during his streak. And he did only play 66 games.

    Bryan Helmer: Bryan Who? He only played 40 games and scored 5G 5A, but when he did chip in offensively it always seemed to be at the right time. I was surprised he was used as much as he was.


    Jan Hlavac: He still could be a great acquisition, but he’s gotta put up more than 31 points in 77 games.

    Good calls on the players you picked. the only ones I’d disagree with are Gagne, Gonchar, and Richards. Like titans said, Gagne’s just that good and the same goes with Gonchar and Richards.

  14. Paul says:

    How is Kyle Mclaren an underachiever? He is Boston’s best D-MAN as well as one of the best checkers in the NHL. Just because he laid out Zednik with a bad hit, doesn’t make him an underachiever at all. I do agree about Murray, hopefully he can post those numbers with the absence of Guerin. Mclaren will have a great year with Boston if he stays healthy.

  15. cwhockey says:

    The two underachievers banished to Atlanta are now in a place where their every move won’t be watched so closely. They will provide some leadership and offensive skill to a team that desperately needs it. And the good thing is Atlanta will not expect them to both be great offensive weapons. If Kozlov only helps Kovalchuk become more comfortable on the ice, then he is worth it. Don’t care if he scores five goals or twenty five goals. And I just have this feeling he won’t whine as much in Atlanta; call it a hunch.

    What might have been two busts last season for their respective teams will give the Thrashers a boost. Playoffs, doubtful. But any improvment will help.

  16. titans says:

    Who was watching Kozlov in Buffalo? For that matter who was watching the Sabers at all?

  17. meetak says:

    #1 overachiever in the League

    Ottawa’s Todd White C 5’10” 181 lbs

    salary- $350,000

    20 goals

    30 assists


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