Every now and then, Pro Hockey Talk will ask for insight from some of the best team bloggers out there. For this feature, we asked a simple question: “Who is your team’s most frustrating player?” Just for fun, I also provided my “guess” as to who that player might be.
First, here is my guess for New Jersey.
Dainius Zubrus – Much like the case of Jason Arnott and Dustin Byfuglien, it’s easy to get frustrated with big, talented players. Still, where there’s smoke there’s fire here: 21 points seems insufficient from a 6-5 player who was once a first round draft pick.
For the New Jersey perspective, I tabbed John Fischer from In Lou We Trust. The blog is one of the leading sources for information and analysis on the Devils.
Many Devils fans find scapegoats or players who have had poor stretches as targets of their frustration. This is a common occurrence among all sports. However, while some criticize Brian Rolston or Mike Mottau or Colin White or whoever (deservedly or not), all the Devils have a role on the team – except one: Andrew Peters.
Oh, I’m sure many will immediately tell me he’s an enforcer. A man to add some beef to the lineup. But can anyone point to how he actually helps the Devils? He’s the slowest man on the team, he doesn’t have any discernable offensive or defensive talent, he doesn’t intimidate anyone, and for a goon he doesn’t even always fight. When he is in the lineup for whatever reason, the Devils are telling the other team that they are shortening their bench by halfway through the game. From where I sit, Peters brings no benefit to the team on the ice.
Quite frankly, his “game” by itself is an excellent argument to ban fighting in the NHL. I wouldn’t miss Andrew Peters, the hockey “player.” Yet, he’ll be a Devil for another season because he somehow got a 2 year deal in the summer. How that happened I don’t know, but Peters’ lack of benefit frustrates me the most.