NHL Signings That Have Been a Bust

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell; Photo Perry Nelson-USA TODAY SPORTS

So many drastic signings occurred before the beginning of the NHL season, and many teams may already regret their offseason additions.

1. Edmonton Oilers Signing Jack Campell

Jack Campbell had a good season last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Oilers needed a solid starting goaltender. As Toronto’s backup goalie, Campbell’s save percentage was .914 last season. But unfortunately, he hasn’t been hot starting with the Oilers. Edmonton’s backup goaltender, Stuart Skinner, has a better average save percentage of .921 with ten games played, while Campbell’s is .875 with 11 games. Because he is 30 years old, there is more of a risk of injuries that Edmonton has to look out for. Hopefully, Campbell will be able to pick it up a notch later in the season for the Oilers.

2. Columbus Blue Jacket Signing Erik Gudbranson

Columbus signed Gudbranson to a four-year, $16 million free-agent contract this offseason which may be a bit of a problem for them. He’s a below-average defenseman who should not have a salary that high that the Blue Jackets can’t afford. The 30-year-old has only 5 points this season in 19 games with a -5.

3. Anaheim Ducks Signing John Klingberg

The Anaheim Ducks had a couple of off-season signings, but signing defensemen John Klingberg was wrong. The Ducks gave away defenseman Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson to save more money in exchange for Klingberg. But throughout the season, he only has eight points in 20 games with a -12. Lindholm is currently thriving with the Boston Bruins and has 18 points in 20 games. The Ducks could have traded Manson only and kept Lindholm to have a solid defense team. The only decent defenseman they have is Cam Fowler, but it was a bust for them to sign Klingberg, knowing they have no defense.

4. Nashville Predators Signing Ryan McDonagh

Tampa Bay lost McDonagh to the salary cap this offseason, and the Predators acquired him for a low price for Philippe Myers and Grant Mismash. Predators are stuck with McDonagh for another three full seasons at $6.75 million per year after this season. Because he is now 33 years old, McDonagh’s good days are likely far over. His performance has deteriorated over the last few years. In 20 games played, the defenseman has only six points.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins Signing Jan Rutta

The Penguins have been struggling with defensemen this season and had several offseason signings in which they are currently overpaying one of them, who would be Rutta. Being a decent defender and having experience in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he makes a fine third-pairing player. But the Penguins signed him to a three-year deal worth $2.75 million per season. The 32-year-old has five points in 22 games currently. The only problem with this signing is the money spent on Rutta when the Penguins need help in other areas on the roster.

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