Top 10 most disappointing skaters

Alex Ovechkin, Ryan Suter rank among struggling stars

Originally Published: February 14, 2013
By Rob Vollman | Hockey Prospectus
Alex OvechkinBruce Bennett/Getty ImagesAlex Ovechkin hasn't lived up to the big contract he was given back in 2008.

The most disappointing players are those who are assigned the most favorable playing opportunities and yet completely squander them. That's why we are using player usage charts (see below), which graphically portray how players are being used, to choose the 10 players, excluding goalies and rookies, who are off to this young season's most disappointing starts.

These players are starting primarily in the offensive zone (the horizontal axis), against generally average competition at best (vertical axis) and yet are putting their teams at a huge shot-based disadvantage relative to everyone else -- the bubbles are sized and colored according to the extent of that shot-differential disadvantage (negative differential is red, positive is blue).

Player usage charts measure three critical factors:

• The percentage of shifts they're starting in the offensive zone (the horizontal axis).
• The competition they're facing during those shifts (the vertical axis).
• How they are producing during those shifts (the size of the circle around a player's name).

Based on their playing conditions these are the top 10 players who are letting their teams down the most so far this season.

Player Usage ChartCourtesy Hockey Prospectus

1. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals

Signed to an incredible 13-year, $124 million deal back in 2008 after the first of his two Hart Trophies, Ovechkin was considered possibly the world's greatest hockey player and the man who would guide Washington to its first Stanley Cup. Not so much.


For the full breakdown of the NHL players with the most disappointing starts to the season, you must be an ESPN Insider.