With Dank and Edler duking it out for the MVP at the quarter mark of the season, let's turn our attention to the other end of the spectrum. We will have different definitions in respect to who the worst player has been (though not a Kevin Bieksa diehard, I'll defend him tooth and nail if some suggest he's the least valuable), so I opted to go with the tried and true "did I even notice him out there?" rationale. From there I glanced at some stats and drummed up five guys who are probably great blokes, salt of the earth, love to have a beer with 'em-type people who have given the Canucks little to nothing to justify their take home. A few can be classified as financial gambles and, not surprisingly, the majority of them aren't on the roster currently.
If I missed anyone, make your case in the comments.
Rick Rypien: Tough to bemoan a fourth liner who is out indefinitely with personal issues, but let's face facts: his TOI is down to around five minutes, his lowest since the 2006-07 season and his fight card so far isn't impressive. Obviously there was the whole Minnesota meet and greet. Even by fourth line standards this isn't good.
Peter Schaefer: As long as we're staring at the fourth line, there's our former soul-patched plugger who many cite as the reason Brendan Morrison isn't a Canuck (which is wrong, feel free to correct your friends). Schaefer was definitely cheap, but eventually presented a whole lot of nothing in 16 games (except this). Schaefer was a feel-good story who didn't pan out; retirement or Europe looms on the horizon.
Alexandre Bolduc: Our new Ryan Johnson lasted less than a single game before Drew Doughty knocked him out in the opener with a high-ankle sprain. This comes on the heels of last year where Bolduc got fiercely served by John Scott and was on the IR with a shoulder injury, so you have to wonder if - like Johnson - he plays a game his body can't cash. At $500,000 he's as cheap as they come, however with the fourth line actually playing well can Bolduc re-establish himself ahead of Perrault and Bliznak? In 23 NHL games he has one point, so perhaps the better question is do you even care if he does?
Keith Ballard: Ballard's the only big-ticket name on my list and his trade could come back to haunt Gillis, especially if Quinton Howden establishes himself. Until then we have to contend with a mini-Wade Redden saga in regards to Ballard who fought injuries to crack the line-up and, instead of moving up the depth charts, found him sitting out in favor of Norris Trophy runner-up Aaron Rome. Ballard's certainly a good guy who said all the right things when he was benched and his disappointing start would be otherwise masked if he was affordable, but as the sixth highest paid player he represents a poor ROI for the franchise. His NTC also thwarts any entertainment of rosterbation and trade proposals for the time being. History would suggest he'll be just fine in the long run, but hey, we're a fickle fan-base.
Ryan Parent: Parent wasn't obtained to be a key piece of the team, but he certainly had a shot to stick in the bigs. The 23-year-old has yet to play more than half a season and - when Hamhuis and Ballard got injured - he had his chance, playing prime minutes with Bieksa initially before being paired with Rome. The result: four games of a whole lot of nothing (check GAON/60; he got lit up badly). He also suffered a groin strain which he can add to his list of bumps and bruises. He's currently on a conditioning stint in Manitoba.