In continuing to track the players who left over the summer, it is clear, even this early, that those who we expected to be missed will be missed, and those we expected to not matter haven't mattered much. With the excitement of the offseason clearly clouding the judgment of some of our friends around the league, we tried to warn them. Kobe wasn't going to suddenly become more than Kobe, and the expectations for some of the others shoudl have gone down, not up.
Still, they raised their hopes. With only the exceptions we expected, the disappointment has reigned supreme. Enjoy those players, new teams.
#88 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks
Mar 09, 1985
|2011 - Brent Burns||5||2||1||3||0||0||1||0||0||21|
Three points in five games, tying him for third on the team in points and second in goals, one of the two goals a power play goal, 21 SOG. Yep, Inglewood Jack is doing just fine in his new digs. He is taking more shifts per game than anyone else on the team, second on the team in TOI behind Dan Boyle, still munching minutes with the best of them.
Looks like a career year for Burns if he keeps this going.
#9 / San Jose Sharks
Apr 19, 1981
|2011 - Martin Havlat||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Havlat finally made his season debut with the Sharks last night. He did register an assist, but zero SOG. He is skating with Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe, so Havlat should be the playmaker on that line. We'll keep an eye on him, as he already has injury issues this season, and well... because people seem to think he is some sort of stud two way forward. Enjoy that.
#13 / Defenseman / Edmonton Oilers
Apr 04, 1986
|2011 - Cam Barker||6||0||0||0||1||6||0||0||0||9|
Now six games in, no points. Barker is getting plenty of chances with top TOI, and plenty of PP TOI. Still, as expected, zero results. We're shocked.
Mittens isn't doing much in the KHL. Thirteen games played, six points (1G, 5A), still averaging about 13 1/2 minutes per game. Certainly contributing, but nothing overly impressive. Since last week, he added one assist. Huge loss.
#15 / Left Wing / Chicago Blackhawks
Aug 24, 1973
|2011 - Andrew Brunette||6||2||2||4||0||0||2||0||0||8|
Bruno is doing just fine in Chicago, as was expected. Six games, eight shots, two goals, two assists. The Hawks have to be happy with the results so far. Playing second PP unit minutes, Brunette has rewarded the coaches with two PPGs early in the year. One of the few players on this list that anyone here is going to miss, Bruno continues to fly under the radar and simply continues to produce.
#17 / Right Wing / Colorado Avalanche
Apr 17, 1982
|2011 - Chuck Kobasew||7||1||0||1||-2||4||0||0||0||11|
Well hey now. Look at that. Seven games in, and there is a goal on the board. On a team that has seen some solid early season success, those numbers cannot be what the Avs hoped to get out of Kobasew. Still skating on the second line, he better start producing sometime soon, or he won't be anymore. The question you have to ask yourself here is - Would you give up anyone on the Wild roster to add him?
Yeah. Didn't think so.
Listed on the Sharks injured reserve after the second knee surgery this summer, Sheppard is not currently skating.
#24 / Left Wing / Dallas Stars
Feb 14, 1983
|2011 - Eric Nystrom||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
Just two games under his belt. it would be difficult to judge where Nystrom is at with the Stars. Low TOI, low shifts, no PP or PK time. That may change a bit as he gets acclimated. Or... maybe it won't. Too early to tell.
#60 / Goalie / Florida Panthers
Sep 13, 1976
|2011 - Jose Theodore||5||303||3||2||13||2.57||163||150||.920||1|
Again, Theodore continues to impress on a team no one expected to do much of anything this year. The numbers are showing a solid season, if only the team in front of him would support a bit, Theodore could have a great year ahead of him. Good news for a guy that was all but forgotten before the Wild called last season.
What it All Means
With the exception of Brent Burns, there isn't a player on this list that hasn't been more than replaced. The defense of the Wild has not been the worst in the league by any means, but the presence of Burns is missed, as we expected it to be. Maybe the Sharks wanted Marek Zidlicky, instead? Probably not.
The point of this tracking is not to reminisce and long for the forgotten heroes of yesterday. Rather, the purpose is to ensure you that moves can be made without a major loss, even if those players are fan favorites. Only one or two players should be on the list of players you would want back on the roster. If you don't know which two, you're falling behind the curve.