You know those celebrities who kind of just disappear for a couple of years? Some come back with their biggest role or performance, some stay away from the show biz for the rest of their lives. Well some athletes are like that. They can either be forgotten about in the minors, have a quiet retirement, or start playing in the beer leagues. Here is my list of some of the most forgotten about players.
Maxim Afinogenov, The Russian right-winger played 9 years for Buffalo and 1 for Atlanta. He surpassed 20 goals three times and 60 points three times. Then, rather quietly, on Aug. 6 2010, Maxim signed with St.Petersburg SKA of the KHL. Will Afinogenov be the next Alex Radulov or Jaromir Jagr and come back to the NHL? Nobody knows.
Jonathan Cheechoo, This NHL goal scoring leader in 05/06 has had major point decreases since that year. Cheechoo had 93 points in 05/06, then 69 points in 06/07, 37 in 07/08, 29 in 08/09, 14 in 09/10 all the way to the minor leagues. Cheechoo who was sent to Ottawa in the Dany Heatley deal was supposed to be a solid second or third line winger but instead was signed by St. Louis in July 2011. He is currently playing for Peoria of the AHL.
Rob Davison, He may not be a superstar, but you may recognize him as the one who scored that 197 ft. shot on Vesa Toskala in March 2008 as a New York Islander. Rob is now playing Trinec Ocelari HC in the Czech league. Davison only has 18 career points in NHL play but will always be known for the only goal he scored in that 07/08 season.
Alex Frolov, The Russian sniper played 7 seasons in Los Angeles racking up career highs of 35 goals and 71 points. On July 27th Frolov signed with the New York Rangers. The Rangers did not get what they had hoped for. Frolov played 43 games and only had 16 points. Then in May 2011, Frolov signed with Omsk Avangard of the KHL. I don’t think Alex received the recognition he deserved when playing in L.A. He never appeared in an All Star Game, but he did represent Russia at the 2006 Olympic games in Turin, Italy.
Jamie Lundmark, Drafted 9th overall by the New York Rangers in 1999, has struggled to stay in the NHL since being drafted. Lundmark has played for 6 different AHL and 5 different NHL teams. He has under 100 points in the NHL. He most recently played with Milwaukee of the AHL before signing with Timra IK in a Swedish league on January 10, 2011. Jamie is currently playing with Riga Dynamo of the KHL. Lundmark played great in his junior years, he just hasn’t faired quite as well in professional hockey.
Bryan McCabe, This 220 lbs. defenseman had his best years with Toronto reaching 68 points at one point in his career. Once he was traded to Florida his career started to fall down. His point totals started to drop and then again was traded, this time to the New York Rangers. He then became a free agent after his 19 game stint in New York and is currently still a free agent. In his late thirties you can expect to see him retiring within the next few years if he doesn’t find any teams to sign with.
Fredrik Modin, This 14 year veteran played for 6 teams including Tampa Bay, the team he won his only Stanley Cup with in 03/04. Modin supassed 50 points three times and 30 goals twice. Modin represented Sweden at the Olympics twice and has gone to one NHL All Star Game in 2001. Fredrik was traded from Atlanta to Calgary on Feb. 28, 2011 and then retired that same year on May 19, 2011. Modin played just under 900 NHL games and picked up 462 points.
Ethan Moreau, Ethan was never anything special but the former captain of the Edmonton Oilers was waived on in June 2010 by the Oil. Moreau was drafted by Chicago in 1994 and has played 13 NHL seasons. Moreau was eventually claimed by Columbus in June 2010 and played 37 games with them before signing with Los Angeles in August 20 2011. Moreau has played 28 games this year for the Kings and is currently with the L.A. farm team in Manchester. Moreau who is born on September 22, the same day as me, is 36 and probably close to retirement. Ethan has 283 career points in 900 games and has over 1000 penalty minutes.
Owen Nolan, Owen has played for 7 teams including the Quebec Nordiques. Nolan has been in 5 NHL All Star Games and has 885 career points. Nolan’s last NHL team was the Minnesota Wild in 09/10. Nolan was then invited to the Vancouver Canucks tryout on August 4, 2011 but failed to make the team. Nolan is currently playing for Zurich of the Swiss league and has 26 points in 24 games. Owen has secured 6 50+ point seasons. Nolan’s career high in goals is 44 in 99/00. Owen had his career years in San Jose and proved to be a reasonable 1st overall draft pick. (In 1990).
Jarkko Ruutu, Ruutu is best known for his antics and penalties. But Ruutu was the victim of a nasty kick from New York Islanders forward Chris Simon. But Ruutu has had his share of misconduct. Jarkko has picked up 1078 penalty minutes in only 652 NHL games. Ruutu has never had more than 30 points but has had 12 goals in a season in 09/10. Ruutu is a fairly good tough guy and 4 teams agree with me. Ruutu has played with Anaheim, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Vancouver. Ruutu is currently playing with Jokerit Helsinki in a Finnish league and yes, Ruutu has more penalty minutes than games played. 192 PIM- 59 games.
Jonathan Cheechoo Ethan Moreau