For the last couple of days, and continuing for the next few days, I have been and will be looking at each team in the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders. The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season. The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch. Feel free to brows back to see previous teams, and look for more teams in the coming days.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Chutes: Martin Havlat – If he had been healthy, Havlat would have been a candidate for an amnesty buyout. Like the player he was traded for, Dany Heatley, Havlat’s stock has fallen drastically to the point where he might have a difficult time finding quality minutes with the emergence of some other players.
Ladders: Logan Couture – The former Ottawa 67’s centre’s stock has risen over the past two years to the point that he now has to be considered among the top 5 centres in the Western Conference. His heart and clutch scoring in the playoffs further illustrated that, and there is still a lot of things that he is capable of improving on to make him one of the best in the league. There is no limit to his potential.