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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Players who appeared promising early on in their careers, but it didn't last

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Old
12-05-2010, 04:02 PM
  #1
Habsfan18
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Players who appeared promising early on in their careers, but it didn't last

Who are some players that come to mind that appeared promising for their first few NHL seasons but then dropped off quickly?

One that comes to mind as a Habs fan is Stephan Lebeau.

In his first professional season playing for the Sherbrooke Canadiens ('88-'89) Lebeau finished the season with 78gp-70g-64a-134p which was tops on the team.

His first 4 NHL seasons were as follows (as you can see, he improved statistically every season):

57gp-15g-20a-35p
73gp-22g-31a-53p
77gp-27g-31a-58p
71gp-31g-49a-80p

Then, after notching 16 points in 34 games during the first half of '93-'94, Lebeau was traded to Anaheim for Ron Tugnett. He finished the season with his new team notching 10 points in 22 games. The next season (lockout) he finished the year with 24 points in 38 games. He then decided to take his career to Switzerland.

How about Moe Mantha? He had seasons of 54, 51, and 67 points.

Which ones come to mind for you guys?

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Old
12-05-2010, 04:21 PM
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Zaphod
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Marek Svatos is a pretty recent example, though I guess a lot of that is injury trouble. Is there any tangible explanation for Lebeau?

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12-05-2010, 04:46 PM
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mco543
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As soon as I saw this thread my first thought was Lebeau. Also, I'm not sure if they should count but the russian players in the early 90's like Dmitri Kvartalnov and Nikolai Borschevsky each performed very well in 92-93 before flaming out the next year.

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Old
12-05-2010, 05:12 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Historically, Dutch Reibel has to be one of the more famous examples.

7th, 4th, and 8th in scoring in his first 3 seasons with 48, 66, and 56 points. The year he was 4th (1954-55), he was the only Red Wing other than Howe to lead the team in scoring between 1950-51 and 1963-64.

He dropped to 36 points in his 4th season, then was traded midway through his 5th. Apparently, he had considered himself a career Red Wing and the trade made him lose his desire to play hockey and he quickly faded away:

Quote:
But in 1957, the Wings traded Reibel to the Chicago Blackhawks?a move that marked a dramatic decline in his hockey career. He had thrived on sense of fidelity and consistency of skating for the Wings. Once the ties were cut, he no longer played with his usual zeal.
Quote:
In 1957 Reibel was part of an eight player mega-trade that sent him to Chicago. The move devastated Reibel, who had bled Wings' red for all his hockey career. He had a tough time moving on, feeling betrayed by the team he was so loyal to.

He finished the season in Chicago and played the next in Boston, but his game was lost.

"Once I left Detroit, things just went downhill," he told author Frank Pagnucco. "It just wasn't the same. I enjoyed Detroit . . . you play with an organization for so long."

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12-05-2010, 05:44 PM
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reckoning
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Daniel Marois. Had 31 and 39 goals his first two seasons playing with Damphousse in Toronto, but a few years later was in the IHL.

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12-05-2010, 05:49 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Jim Carey was 21 years old when he won the Vezina. Then his lack of side to side mobility was exposed in the playoffs, where he sported a .744 save percentage to go along with a 6.19 GAA. He would only play one more full season in the NHL, split between Washington and Boston.

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12-05-2010, 06:11 PM
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Rowdy Roddy Peeper
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Joe Juneau. The guy went from a 100+ point scorer in his rookie season, to a PPG guy, to a 60 or so point guy, to someone who'd score a point every 2nd game.

All in the span of about a half-decade.

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12-05-2010, 07:41 PM
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mrhockey193195
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In recent years for the Rangers, Petr Pruch, Jan Hlavac and Mike York.

Overall, the first few that come to mind are Lacher, Juneau, Carey, Turek, Cechmanek (though he was in his 30s in his rookie year), and Brian Boucher.

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12-05-2010, 08:10 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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Jimmy Carson

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Old
12-05-2010, 08:54 PM
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cupcrazyman
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as a kid collecting hockey cards back when you were 10,you wished the players you had 20 cards of would turn out to be the next great player.

Tony McKegney.

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12-05-2010, 09:07 PM
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Evgeni Malkin. He went from breaking the 100 point barrier twice in his first three NHL seasons while collecting an Art Ross, Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in that time frame to being a scrub who can't even score at a point per game rate anymore.






*Cue the "not sure if serious" pictures*

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12-06-2010, 12:02 AM
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MXD
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Ryan Walter had no 50+ pts season after his 5th season.

And no 50- pts seasons after 5 seasons.

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12-06-2010, 01:24 AM
  #13
Ziggy Stardust
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I'd say Jimmy Carson is the best example of this. Rob Brown started off with a bang, and then by his early to mid 20's he was back in the minors. Another was Kevin Stevens. He fell apart as a player after he turned 28. I guess not having Mario as his center had that effect.

You can also add Dan Quinn to that list. He was a former 1st round pick and was scoring at a point per game rate until he was 24, then he started producing less and less and became a journeyman.


Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 12-06-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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12-06-2010, 01:35 AM
  #14
Athtar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Historically, Dutch Reibel has to be one of the more famous examples.

7th, 4th, and 8th in scoring in his first 3 seasons with 48, 66, and 56 points. The year he was 4th (1954-55), he was the only Red Wing other than Howe to lead the team in scoring between 1950-51 and 1963-64.

He dropped to 36 points in his 4th season, then was traded midway through his 5th. Apparently, he had considered himself a career Red Wing and the trade made him lose his desire to play hockey and he quickly faded away:
Wow.....That's incredible.

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Old
12-06-2010, 01:40 AM
  #15
Jedrik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Joe Juneau. The guy went from a 100+ point scorer in his rookie season, to a PPG guy, to a 60 or so point guy, to someone who'd score a point every 2nd game.

All in the span of about a half-decade.
Was my answer, but thought I would skim to see if anyone else posted him.

Jim Carey's another one.

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12-06-2010, 05:35 AM
  #16
Regal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
I'd say Jimmy Carson is the best example of this. Rob Brown started off with a bang, and then by his early to mid 30's he was back in the minors. Another was Kevin Stevens. He fell apart as a player after he turned 28. I guess not having Mario as his center had that effect.

You can also add Dan Quinn to that list. He was a former 1st round pick and was scoring at a point per game rate until he was 24, then he started producing less and less and became a journeyman.
I was thinking Jimmy Carson as well. He didn't seem to care enough about hockey I think. Stevens I think was more about his substance abuse problems, and maybe some injuries, though obviously Lemieux helped him in his younger days.

I know he's not quite in the spirit of the thread, and he's had some very good seasons since his prime, but even with the Suter hit, I'm disappointed Kariya didn't do more after he looked so promising his first 5-6 years. He was really only a bit of a step down from Crosby/Ovechkin levels at that point

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12-06-2010, 07:47 AM
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Psycho Papa Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Ryan Walter had no 50+ pts season after his 5th season.

And no 50- pts seasons after 5 seasons.

That's what happens when you go from 1st line minutes on a bad team, to elite 3rd liner on a very good to excellent team. Walter didn't lose his skill all of a sudden, the Habs, specifically starting with J.Lemaire, just used him very differently than the Caps did. The guy was just a very versatile forward who wore many hats in his career. As his 1987 playoff proved, he still had the offensive skill, but for the most part the Habs felt he was more important in a checking role.

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12-06-2010, 08:13 AM
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tony d
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Jim Carey and Joe Juneau. Carey moreso, he looked to be the next great goalie but then ended up playing terrible and, correct me if I'm wrong, giving it all up saying He didn't even like hockey or something to that effect.

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Old
12-06-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
I'd say Jimmy Carson is the best example of this. Rob Brown started off with a bang, and then by his early to mid 30's he was back in the minors. Another was Kevin Stevens. He fell apart as a player after he turned 28. I guess not having Mario as his center had that effect.

You can also add Dan Quinn to that list. He was a former 1st round pick and was scoring at a point per game rate until he was 24, then he started producing less and less and became a journeyman.
Its amazing what playing with Mario did for these guys. Oh, and Stevens was big into drugs, that was the main cause for his downfall I am sure.

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Old
12-06-2010, 12:32 PM
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Dissonance
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Early on, Sylvain Turgeon looked like he'd be an excellent (if soft) sniper in the league for a long time—scored 40 goals as a 19-year-old rookie and was just a goal away from being top-10 two years later. Then Ron Hextall nearly chopped his arm off during a Canada Cup training camp and he never recovered. Went from a consistent 40-goal scorer to a guy who struggled to get 40 points.

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Old
12-06-2010, 01:33 PM
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mco543
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I bring this up every time someone mentions Kevin Stevens down turn as a player but for God's sake the guy had his face completely destroyed. Suffering a catastrophic injury like that will change you as a player.

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Old
12-06-2010, 01:44 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Taylor Hall

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Old
12-06-2010, 04:13 PM
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seventieslord
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Jimmy Carson came to mind immediately. Sylvain Turgeon as well.

Lesser examples of guys who appeared to have more talent briefly but settled into lesser roles before fading were Mike York, to a lesser extent, Harry York, also Adam Hall seemed to get a lot of good press as a rookie but he's not doing much now.

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Old
12-06-2010, 06:02 PM
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Oleg Tverdovsky and Zarley Zalapski were two young all-star offensive dynamos who had trouble finding jobs once the offensive dried out.

recent guys that come to mind would be Brad Isbister whoput up very good numbers in his early 20s with the body of a potential monster power forward, and it looked like the Yotes were absolutely insane for giving him up a year or two prior. As the Islanders got better, he got worse, and was out of the league shortly after.

The Hasek era sabres had a core of young forwards who once went elsewhere where quickly forgotton. Their top scorers at one point were guys like Derek Plante, and Jason Dawe. Guys who could be top six guys on bad teams, or really nowhere else. Even Brian Holzinger put up numbers there as a kid, then once elsewhere was a low line filler.

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Old
12-06-2010, 08:22 PM
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Stephane Morin

40 points in 48 games as a rookie with Quebec in 1990-91. Everybody was salivating at what he would do with the rest of his career: The rest of his career was 13 more points.

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