The National Hockey League, unlike some of the other professional team sports, can have a team’s success or failure depend largely on a single player or two. NHL stars can be a bigger difference-maker than the big guns in the NFL, NBA or in MLB.
With goals coming at a premium against better NHL teams, it can mean the difference in a loss or a victory for a team’s speedster or sniper to do their thing at just the right time. Coaches shuffle lines and lengthen shifts just to have their star player out there against just the right opposition.
But that doesn’t mean that the top goal or point scorer on every team is necessarily a star. And on the same token, there are role players and goalies who get both the credit and the blame when their team skates to a win or defeat. You always hear about those “underrated players”…the young bucks waiting for their chance, the scrappy blue-collar player who doesn’t get enough of the adoration.
But what about the overrated players, because Lord Stanley knows, the NHL has their share of them.
From supposed team captains who should be taking charge, to top defensemen that seem to fold at just the wrong time, and even goalies who seem to play on reputation and past performance but let far too many pucks snap the twine, the NHL has their share of players who just aren’t living up to the billing.
Players who don’t live up to their contracts are overrated, and players who were the object of massive trades to become the missing piece, only to become missing on the ice all also qualify as overrated.
Not bad, not embarrassing. Just overrated and over-hyped.
This list could be long and distinguished, but here are 10 who stand out among all others. The most overrated players in hockey.