After seeing some good "Worst of.." for the last decade for other teams, I thought it might be fun to give it a try for the Devils. Mixed are some poor drafts, poor trades and poor signings. If you can think of anyone I missed please leave a comment. The first few were sort of a reach, more of a "They played for us?", but that’s the price you pay for being so successful over the years.
Dishonorable mention: Darren Langdon
#10 - Jean-Francois Damphousse
01-02 6 games, 1 win, 3 losses, 2.45 GAA, .896 SV%
You have to feel bad for anyone that is Marty’s back up, but the main reason why he makes this list is because of who was drafted directly afterwards. Brenden Morrow. The Devils had so little faith in this guy that John Vanbiesbrouck had to come out of retirement mid way through the year to help the team out. At least he was involved in a trade that a year later helped us win the cup right? He would later bump around the minors for the Ducks, Flames and Habs. (Fun fact: he was later involved in a trade for Rob Niedermayer between the Ducks and Flames)
# 9 - Adrian Foster / Mike Danton
The only thing worse than playing 6 games? How about zero? Selected 28th overall in the 2001 draft Foster would go on to become one of only three first round picks that year to never see a NHL game. Four picks later Buffalo would select center Derek Roy who has quietly put up 310 points in 392 games. Mike Danton was selected in the 5th round in the 2000 draft and if we are going to have a spot for draft busts might as well have one for a guy who got sent to prison for hiring a hit-man to murder his agent.
#8 - Igor Larionov
03-04 49 games, 1 goal, 10 assists, 11 points
Feel bad putting a Hall of Famer on the list, but things never seemed to workout for the then 42 year old in New Jersey after putting up 43 points in each of the two previous seasons with Detroit.
# 7 - Richard Smehlik, Jason Wiemer, Niclas Havelid
This trio just goes to show that every trade deadline deal doesn’t always work and all three would never again play in the NHL after their shorts stays in NJ. Smehlik plays all of 12 games during the regular season and 5 during the playoffs for the Devils and has his name on the Cup because of it.
#6 - Karel Rachunek
07-08 47 games, 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points
After losing Rafalski Lou went out and signed the next two on our list and the results were less then impressive. Luckily Karel only stuck around for a year until his 1.4M contract ended then headed to the KHL.
#5 - Vitaly Vishnevski
07-08 69 games, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points
The only thing harder to comprehend besides his name was what the Devils saw in him to give him a contract. The train that was Vitaly only lasted a third of the way through his three-year 5.4M contract before he magically disappeared the KHL.
# 4 - Alexander Mogilny (Act II)
05-06 34 games, 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points
They probably should have just paid him the first time, because the second trip was a mess. The season didn’t start out well, Robinson stepped down and then people started disappearing. The former All-start and 76 - goal scorer would finish the year in Albany. The following year he would be diagnosed not able to play because of his hip and the Devils would get some cap relief with the second year of his 3.5M salary. You have to wonder if Alex could have had a better time if the perfect storm hadn’t happened to start that season. Not having Elias was huge and 25 points in 34 games wasn’t really all that bad. Rolston has 22 points in 39 games right now.
# 3 - Dan McGillis
05-06 27 games, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points
How do you try to fill the void left by Niedermayer? Remember this signing from the free agent class of 05? Dan would only play 27 games before things went a mess in NJ and he was sent to Albany. He would play out the second year of his 2.2M contract in Lowell then later try to catch on with Vancouver on a try-out contract, he was last seen patrolling the blueline in Germany.
#2 - Victor Kozlov
03-04, 05-06 80 games, 14 goals, 17 assists, 31 points
Big Victor had a huge amount of skill, but only a fraction of the desire. The former 6th overall pick spent much of his time on the fourth line before leaving NJ for the Island. Victor now plays in the KHL after a short stop in Washington.
#1 - Vladimir Malakhov (Act II)
05-06 29 games, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points
Vladimir is the last of the trio of the summer of 05. Just to get rid of his terrible 3.6M contract we had to give up a first round pick. So not only a terrible signing, but the signing resulted in a terrible trade, which is the reason for number 1 on the list. We did get Jim Fahey and Alexander Korolyuk though right?
Make no mistake, In Lou I Trust, its just fun to remember some of these names. It’s also easy to smile and laugh these off when you are sitting near the top of the league.