Superstar / Star Performance - 41 Games in

Last season, the NFHL implemented a rule, designed to hold players (and GMs) accountable to their talent ratings.  Basically, the elite (88+ Overall) and the stars (85-87 OV) were mandated to perform to their skill level. The union cried foul as did a few general managers (some more quietly than others).  Ultimately, players did what players do.  They buckled down and played to the best of their abilities. And the vast majority, 46 out of 56 players met the standards.  Those that didnít saw their skills erode with the chance to bounce back the following season.  We will save that for another article. This edition will examine this year's crop of Superstar standards.  At the end of the season, the standards were as follows:

 

1994 - END OF SEASON 

.  

Rating 

GPG

APG

PPG

88+

0.44 

0.67 

1.10 

85-87

0.33 

0.50 

0.83 

 

1995 - 41 Games in the season

  

Rating 

GPG

APG

PPG

88+

0.45 

0.69

1.08

85-87

0.33

0.52

0.81

 

Prorated over a season the totals are: 

 

Rating 

Goals

Assists

Points

88+

36 (36)

55 (54)

87(89)

85-87

27 (29)

41 (40)

65(66)

 

Red indicates prior period

 

This year fifty-five players met the requirement. Of those, 18 players are short of the standard.  The good news is there is still a lot of hockey to be played and letís be optimists.  Based on last year's play, about 5-6 will play themselves off the list.  The rest?  They have next season to prove it was a fluke and not the beginning of a downward slide to their career.  


Whoís still on the chopping block?  

 

The Superstars
 

1.             Michel Goulet Ė Flyers - Stats:  34 GP - 14 - 22 - 36

          The former MVP and last yearís leader in Star points has been on the passive side ever since being saddled with a 7 game suspension for injuring the Bruins Jeff Larmer earlier in the season. Once he gets out of that funk he will be off this list.    

 

2.             Igor Larionov - Rockies - Stats: 41GP -17 -15 - 32

          Last season for ďLarryĒ and Igor is conserving the tank for what really matters; the post-season. After a disappointing end to last season, Igor is gearing up so that his career doesnít end with a whimper like his teammate Peter Stastny.  

 

3.             Mark Messier - Panthers - Stats: 40- 11 - 17 - 28

          After putting up a career high 121 points in 1992, the Moose has been on a steady downward slide.  99 points, then 85, and this year 56??  Those miles are starting to catch up.  

 

4.             Steve Thomas - Panthers - Stats: 48 - 20 - 29 -49

          A regular on the list until a mid-season trade to Florida.  Will the acquisition of Denis Savard lift Stevie?  More likely than not, he will increase his play. 

 

5.             Dale Hawerchuk Blue Jackets - Stats: 37 GP - 14 - 17 - 31 

          Besieged by trade rumours, Ducky is not helping his trade value by going into the tank.  But he got that cheddar.  $18 million for 4 years, for a 32-year-old on the downside of his career.  Thatís going to be a tough sell, especially if he doesnít pick up his play.  

 

6.             Joe Nieuwendyk Jets - Stats 38 GP - 16 - 23 - 39 

          Joeyís play near gave the Jets brass an ulcer with him being on this list so long last year.  And here he is again right back on the list.  Last year it took him until Game 79 to meet the standard. Convert a few more passes from linemates Kirk Muller and Jari Kurri and Joey will be off the list.  

 

7.             Carey Wilson Flyers Stats:  40 GP - 15 - 22 -37 

          Another player that was on the list for some time last season.  Then he got traded to the Flyers and went el fuego.  Once his linemate Michel Goulet gets going, Wilson will likely come off the list.  Heís basically on the exact same scoring pace as last year.  

 

8.             Steve Larmer - Bruins  -  Stats: 41 GP- 11-  22 Ė 33

Uh, oh.  Stevie Larmer is back on the list.  Unlike the others above him we donít really see a path for him to get off this list barring some a hot streak from Ziggy Palffy. Larmer is averaging over 21 mins per game and getting plenty of icetime.  But that whole line is just not clicking.  Maybe they have a soft schedule at the end of the year that could help.  

 

9.             Gerard Gallant  - Jets-  Stats: 36 GP - 13 -20  - 33

          Like Michel Goulet, Gallant has not played in as many games as many of the others.  A few multipoint games and he should be off the list. If not, linemate Brendan Shanahan could join him.  

 

The Stars

 

10.         Doug Gilmour - Blue Jackets - Stats: 42 GP - 6 - 18 - 24

          He sits 8th in points and while averaging less than 18 minutes per game.  Going to be hard to put up the points like that. 
 

11.         Gary Roberts Nordiques - 41 GP - 13 - 10 - 23 

          Playing a physical style of play with linemate Wendy Clark and Todd Gill on defence, the 2nd line of Quebec is somewhat feared at least physically.  On offence, not so much which is the reason Gary is on this list.  
 

12.         Stephanie Richer - Panthers -  Stats: 43 GP- 14 - 20 - 34

          Richer has rebounded after getting traded from the Kings, averaging a point per game.  If he keeps that up, he will be off by the next report.    
 

13.         Normand Leveille - Penguins - Stats:  31 GP - 6 - 14 - 20 

          Normand has never been a great point producer. In fact, he hasnít recorded a 70 point season since 1991 while with the Blues.  Itís been his goal scoring ability thatís kept him a top six forward in the NFHL.  This year, heís on pace for 15 goals which would be less than half his total (32) last year.  With all the injuries hitting the Penguins, Leveille will get every opportunity to bounce back.  We shall see.  
 

14.         Dan Quinn - Red Wings - Stats: 42 GP - 13 - 16 - 29

          Quinn has been on fire since landing in Motor City for Dennis Savard.  Will Quinn be another in a long line of players who fit into the Detroit scheme?  Or will the Savard departure be the straw that broke the camelís back.  Stay tuned.  

  

15.         Sergei Nemchinov - Nordiques - Stats: 42 GP - 10 - 17 - 27

          Remember the days when he had Sakic and Sergei was one of the most underrated 2nd line forwards in the league.  The Nords seem to be riding last yearís upset of the Whalers a little too hard this year.  They are 3 points out of the playoffs and Nemchinov is quite a bit off the pace needed to remain a star in this league.   
 

16.         Scott Mellanby - Nordiques - Stats: 42 GP - 12 - 19 - 31

          The third of the Nords on the list. Mellanby averages almost 4 mins in PIMs per game.  Hard to put up points like that. Then again, thatís the style of play favoured by Blues, I mean Nordiques management.  Itís not flashy, but itís entertaining.  
 

17.         Bernie Nicholls - Canucks - Stats: 41 GP - 12 - 17 - 29

          The Canucks are hoping to jump start Bernie by teaming him up with former MVP Adam Oates on the first line while the team deals with injuries to Cam Neely and Esa Tikkanen. Thatís nice and all, but he needs PP time if heís going to get points.  
 

18.         Kevin Dineen - Rockies - Stars: 38 GP - 9 - 6 - 15

          Kevin, meet Russ Courtnall.  Ten minutes per game in a third line role.  Barring a trade, Dineen will be a regular on this list.

  

The list of underperformers and full year projections 

 

Player

80-G

80-A

80-P

Michel Goulet

33

52

85

Igor Larionov

33

29

62

Mark Messier

22

34

56

Steve Thomas

29

53

82

Dale Hawerchuk

30

37

67

Joe Nieuwendyk

34

48

82

Carey Wilson

30

44

74

Steve Larmer

21

43

64

Gerard Gallant

29

44

73

Doug Gilmour

11

34

46

Gary Roberts

25

20

45

Stephane Richer

26

37

63

Normand Leveille

15

36

52

Dan Quinn

25

30

55

Sergei Nemchinov

19

32

51

Scott Mellanby

23

36

59

Bernie Nicholls

23

33

57

Kevin Dineen

19

13

32

 

Projections are based on their current scoring average.