Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I'm not a big fan of Rickard Wallin

I call him the invisible man - you hardly notice Rickard Wallin when he is in the lineup. He played a fair amount early in the season but until the recent injuries to Grabovski and and Primeau, he had been relegated to the press box for much of the past month.

He doesn't appear to do anything particularly well. He has no speed, shot, or physical presence. He has no goals and just 3 assists in 31 games. Only 5 players have played more games than Wallin without scoring a goal but most of these players are fighters.

Wallin is projected to score ZERO goals this season. He hasn't even come close to scoring a goal. He has been averaging 11:30 minutes per game for a total of 356 minutes of ice time with not much to show for it. He has to be one of the worst players in the NHL.

I'm not sure what the Leafs saw in him during last year's World Championships that would make them want to sign him to a contract or why he isn't finishing the season with the Marlies. Did he come as a package deal with Jonas Gustavsson? Is their organizational depth so thin that they need to keep him on their roster?

He actually has scored at the NHL level. Prior to the lockout, he played 19 games for Minnesota and scored 6 goals. Perhaps he was more suited for the NHL game prior to the lockout or maybe at 29 he is already beyond is prime. I guess he may just be filling a roster spot on a rebuilding team while prospects develop in the minors. Maybe the Leafs expected more out of him. I noticed that the Bruins signed Miroslav Satan as a free agent last week for about the same money that Wallin got. Wouldn't that have been a better option for the Leafs in the short term?