Monday, December 6, 2010

Ilya Kovalchuk, The Worst Season in History?

Is New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk in the midst of the worst single season for a forward in NHL history? At his current pace, he will finish with 79 games, 16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points and a minus 47 +/- rating. If so, he will be only the 12th man in history to have 16 or less goals and a +/- so low (remember +/- didn't become an official stat until 1967). A truly awful season for Kovy, especially considering the money he is getting paid.

Below are a few more seasons that would be in the running for worst all-time.

Jude Drouin,
Winnipeg Jets 1979/80
78-8-16-24, -38

At 31 years old in 79/80, Drouin was near the end of the line and would indeed play only 7 more games the following season. Drouin had just three years prior tallied 24 goals, and the year before 62 points. He topped out with 27 goals and 73 points in 72/73.

Eddie Joyal,
Los Angeles & Philadelphia 1971/72
70-14-7-21, -43

This would be Joyal's last year in the NHL after having seasons of 33 goals one year and 57 points another with the Kings. He jumped to the WHA in 72/73 and spent the last four years of his career with the Alberta/Edmonton Oilers.

Alexandre Daigle,
Ottawa 1995/96
50-5-12-17, -30
The first overall pick a mere two years prior to this clunker of a season, Daigle was at this point well on his way to fashioning what very well may be one of the worst careers ever in NHL history.
Pat Boutette,
Pittsburgh 1983/84
73-14-26-40, -58
Boutette had scored the previous three years 28, 27 and 23 goals. In 83/84 he would record the third worst +/- rating by a forward in NHL history. He would retire after 47 games the following year.
Dwight Foster,
Colorado 1981/82
70-12-19-31, -53
Foster had tallied 24 goals and 52 points with the Bruins the previous year before this clunker. He would also score 17 with a +/- of only -9 the next year. Must have just had some real bad luck in '82.
Bob Bourne,
Los Angeles 1987/88
72-7-22-18, -31
A once integral part of a Cup dynasty, Bourne had three 30 goal years with the Isles and had scored 17 just two years before this, the last one of his career.
Johan Garpenlov,
Atlanta 1999/00
73-2-14-16, -30
This one may be the actual worst of all-time...2 (TWO) goals for a guy who had scored 18 as a rookie with Detroit and years of 22, 18 and 23 with San Jose and Florida. Somehow, Garpenlov was given over 15 minutes of ice time per game this season.
Brian Sutter,
St. Louis 1977/78
78-9-13-22, -38
Sure he was only 21 years old this season and sure the Blues were pretty awful this year but for a guy who would score 41 the following year, this one is simply brutal.

Merlin Malinowski
New Jersey & Hartford 1982/83
80-8-25-33, -40
This one has it all, a player who scored 25 goals just two years earlier notching a mere 8 in 80
games. Plus he had a -40 rating. This would be Merlin's last NHL season at the age of 24 as he went to Switzerland and played until he was 31. He even represented Canad in the 1988 Olympics.

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