NHL: 10 most overrated players in hockey

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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Lists Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers NHL Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks Washington Captials Winnipeg Jets

  • chas territo

    Miller has been over rated since the beginning of his putrid career. Could never win any big game, see Olympic loss and other Sabre’s play off games. Yet fans in Buffalo loved this never was Goalie, I laugh because I may have been the first to say he wasn’t Elite!

  • Michael J. Coslo

    FLeury had a decent enough post season this year. By the time the Pens got to the Rangers, he would have to throw a shutout every night. Blaming Fleury for the Pens rock bottom defense last year is just wrong. The offense fell apart, the defense stunk like the dumpster behind the Red Lobster. And we blame Flower for letting in a goal or two?

  • Michael J. Coslo

    Ovie is actually the least of the Cap’s problems. And with signing the one time awesome Orpik, I’m not certain their management has figured out how to fix their problems. I was sad to see him leave Pittsburgh, but he’d lost a few steps this past year. Great leader – I was hoping maybe he’d retire, and help coach the moribund Pitssburgh defense. He’s a real leader, just over the hill.

  • A13276

    How about the former number one overall pick of the Oilers – Ryan Nugent Hopkins? $6 million a year for 6 years! He has a .70 PPG average, is the softest player in the NHL and is useless in the faceoff circle and in his own end! Hope Kadri’s agent doesn’t look at this but Kadri, in his last two seasons as a regular 2nd line centre for the Leafs under Carlyle (who never let’s up on him having to play a 200 foot game) has a .70 PPG average – and he hits!

  • Pierre Lebrun

    I guess this is what happens when a writer writes about something he doesnt even know about some are right but most of them are actually good players don’t really what hockey you’ve been watching

    • Michael Collins

      As I said in the opening…didn’t say they weren’t good. Just overrated. Its possible to be both.

  • Joe Nicklo

    Subban #2? Don’t really agree with that and I’m a Rangers fan. Agree with Nash being on there…dude is nowhere near as good as people think.

  • Matt Singerman

    Michael, you’re right – it’s possible to be both good and overrated. I like this article. For me though…….. P.K. Subban being overrated is one discussion. However, P.K. Subban being the second most overrated player in the National Hockey League is a stretch in my opinion. He is also not a mediocre defender. He is actually a very strong defensive-zone player — he back-checks hard, wins 1-1 battles, fearlessly blocks shots, and frequently breaks up odd man rushes. While he may have things to learn and room to grow/improve, I think it’s an injustice to call him the second most overrated player in the game. Erik Karlsson, for example, didn’t make this list, but if P.K. Subban did, Karlsson should have as well. He is similar to P.K. but he is a liability in his own end. Plus, any defenseman who puts up 53 pts and leads his team in playoff pts scoring hardly seems overrated, in my opinion. His leadership also cannot be overlooked. Now I am a Montreal fan, as I am the editor of A Winning Habit — I won’t lie! But is also means I watch P.K. very closely and can pretty well attest to his incredible talent. That’s just my take. (p.s) He also garners a lot of attention/hype because he plays in Montreal.

    • Michael Collins

      I’d agree on Karlsson, except he doesn’t get nearly the hype or notoriety that Subban does. If the Habs are going to prop Subban up as one of the best defenders in the NHL, then they should be prepared for the “overrated” tag to appear until he performs like one.

  • WildOmar999

    Hate mail!!!