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Players who were bad, left and later make comeback...

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06-14-2014, 02:07 PM
  #1
begbeee
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Players who were bad, left and later make comeback...

Hi, folks!

I am looking for examples of players who played bad for a team, then got traded, signed elsewhere, whatever - they had left the team, played for another team and later got traded or signed again with the same team they played bad for - and surprisingly now, they tear it apart and play great!

Of course I'm interested also in vice versa type of players, team's star whose later comeback was a complete disaster!

Really curious about this topic.

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06-14-2014, 07:57 PM
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Big Phil
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Both times that Wendel Clark returned to the Leafs he didn't fare well. They traded him for Sundin in 1994. Clark comes back in 1996. Then leaves. Then comes back in 2000. His back is killing him and he retires. He's 33 and it almost seemed like he was 50 at that time. He STILL isn't 50 yet. But in all honesty, I think both of those trades to bring him back were nothing more than nostalgia. He had far too many injuries at this particular time.

Another case was the Leafs doing the same thing to Gilmour in 2003. Bringing him back yet he played one game, got hurt and retired. Flames fans might enjoy the fact that he slumped off the ice for his final game in their building.

Those are the reverse ones I can think of.

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06-14-2014, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Of course I'm interested also in vice versa type of players, team's star whose later comeback was a complete disaster!

Really curious about this topic.
Kovalev put up some of his best single season numbers in Pittsburgh, specifically his 2000-01 season of 44 goals, 51 assists, and 95 points. Eventually he was traded in a salary dump to the Rangers for Rico Fata, a few spare parts, and some cash.

Kovalev was traded back to Pittsburgh for a conditional 7th round pick. He looked out of place and slow, scoring 2 goals and 7 points in 20 games. The Penguins ended up getting eliminated after 7 games, which also meant that the conditions of the trade were not meant so Kovalev ended up at least being a free rental.

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06-14-2014, 11:35 PM
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Beef Invictus
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Bernie Parent. Nothing special when Philly drafts him (in the expansion draft, from Boston, I think?)...goes to Toronto to backup and study under Plante. Makes his way back to Philly, and has an insane two year stretch.

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06-14-2014, 11:58 PM
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mrhockey193195
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Perhaps a guy like Petr Nedved fits the bill? Plays one season with the Rangers, is very underwhelming, goes to Pittsburgh and plays fantastic with that high-octane offense, and then comes back to NY and is the Rangers top offensive producer for about three seasons.

For the reverse scenario, first name that came to mind was Messier in NY. His second stint wasn't a disaster in terms of personal production (given his age), but it was a far fall from what he was like when he left in 97.

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06-15-2014, 12:28 AM
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Passchendaele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Both times that Wendel Clark returned to the Leafs he didn't fare well. They traded him for Sundin in 1994. Clark comes back in 1996. Then leaves. Then comes back in 2000. His back is killing him and he retires. He's 33 and it almost seemed like he was 50 at that time. He STILL isn't 50 yet. But in all honesty, I think both of those trades to bring him back were nothing more than nostalgia. He had far too many injuries at this particular time.
What?

He scored 15 pts in his first 13 games back as a Leaf in '96. Scored 30 goals despite missing 17 games the following season.

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06-17-2014, 12:57 AM
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Steve Nash with Phoenix

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06-19-2014, 11:03 AM
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JJ Daigneault. Not a great defenseman by any stretch. But came into Montreal and was atrocious. I often wondered at first if he had ever played defense. Montreal shipped him to the minors. When he came back he was a totally different guy. He wasn't that guy that tried to score on every shifts anymore, he was the guy that tried to prevent the other team from scoring. And he could still pass the puck and skate it out when the opportunity arose. At his peak, he was a top 4 D for the Habs in their 93 cup run. A far cry from the guy who just couldn't play and spent parts of 2 seasons in Sherbrooke in 88-90.

Another guy was Cliff Ronning. I remember seeing him in St.Louis and he didn't look like he belonged. He had some skill but he couldn't seem to put it on display except in very brief flashes. Then he spent a year in Italy, absolutely dominated and came back and forged himself a very nice career as a #2C in St.Louis then Vancouver.

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06-19-2014, 11:39 AM
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Forsberg's first comeback with the Avs was fantastic -- he actually had the best assists-per-game ratio in the entire league, although over a very small sample size. His second comeback was disastrous at best.

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06-19-2014, 12:04 PM
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Michel Therrien is a good example as a coach. He was a bad joke the first time round with the Habs. Seems like a different man now.

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06-19-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Bernie Parent. Nothing special when Philly drafts him (in the expansion draft, from Boston, I think?)...goes to Toronto to backup and study under Plante. Makes his way back to Philly, and has an insane two year stretch.
Parent was actually quite good in his first stint with the Flyers - about two standard deviations better than league average:

http://hockeygoalies.org/bio/parent.html

The team behind him wasn't as good, of course, which didn't help his perception. Favell looked similar (in a time-share) so the Flyers' system at the time may have helped goaltenders.

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06-19-2014, 02:01 PM
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Beef Invictus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupa Batman View Post
Parent was actually quite good in his first stint with the Flyers - about two standard deviations better than league average:

http://hockeygoalies.org/bio/parent.html

The team behind him wasn't as good, of course, which didn't help his perception. Favell looked similar (in a time-share) so the Flyers' system at the time may have helped goaltenders.
Yeah, he wasn't bad, but as some Flyers from that team describe it, Parent left as a solid goalie and came back as a monster. From what I recall of Parent interviews, his time under Plante's tutelage brought his game to a different level.

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06-19-2014, 02:22 PM
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Trebek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Yeah, he wasn't bad, but as some Flyers from that team describe it, Parent left as a solid goalie and came back as a monster. From what I recall of Parent interviews, his time under Plante's tutelage brought his game to a different level.
Very true - learning from his idol definitely gave him a new mental edge.

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06-19-2014, 02:44 PM
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Skobel24
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A few examples for Calgary:

Mike Vernon
Granted, this is mostly due to his age, but his return to Calgary wasn't triumphant.

Jamie McLennan
His first stint here was great. During 2004, Noodles kept the Flames in the playoff race when Kipper went down. He returned in 2007, and played horribly.

Olli Jokinen
He played poorly until he was finally dealt to NYR. He came back the following offseason, and wound up being a very reliable two way center for us. It's not a stretch to say he was arguably the Flames best player in 2012.

Brian McGrattan and Steve Begin
This case is a bit different from the rest. Both players were 4th liners at best, never really did much for the team. They both returned in 2012-2013 and did much better than expected. Begin was quickly recognized for his work ethic, and Bmac became a fan favorite. Begin unfortunately was forced into retirement due to an injury.

Jamie Lundmark
Another different case, Jamie was an AHLer at best with other teams, but for some reason, did really well with the Flames. In 2009, during the infamous 9 game losing streak that ended with the Phaneuf trade, Jamie was probably the best Flame on the ice during that period. When he was brought back, he developed chemistry with Iggy and Olli pretty quickly, and was stapled onto the top line for a bit.

Jordan Leopold
He played amazing for the Flames when he started here, developed great chemistry with Regehr, and was probably the best shutdown pairing in the NHL in 2004. After being traded for Tanguay, he was eventually brought back at the trade deadline in 2009. He played like ****, and was gone the following offseason.

Dion Phaneuf
Oh god. I really hope this doesn't actually happen.

I suppose you could argue Cammalleri as well. He certainly isn't his old form that he was when he first played in Calgary.

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Old
06-19-2014, 06:05 PM
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Chris Kunitz. I wouldn't say he was actually bad with Anaheim in 03-04, but he was a college UFA signing, and for a 24 years old, 6 points in 21 games isn't that great (although it was in only 9 minutes of ice time). After that weird waiver situation with Atlanta he came back to the Ducks in 05-06 and became a strong contributor on their cup team.

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