By Jeff O’Connor
Now that he’s played close to two seasons in terms of game played as a member of the New Jersey Devils, it’s time to remove defenseman Henrik Tallinder from the organization as he has been a gigantic bust.
This is going to turn into a Tallinder hate fest; this is your one and only warning. First game back after being scratched for several games against the Islanders on Saturday? He’s going to come back a man on a mission, with drive and a determination to not be kicked out of the lineup again, right? WRONG. He took a penalty in the first period that led to a penalty shot. In the second, he took a pair of penalties with one of them leading to a power play goal near the end of the period which stretched the Isles slead further.
Here’s my biggest gripe with him…he doesn’t do anything well. You don’t have to be an all-around defenseman of any sort to play in today’s NHL, but you need to have at least one asset. Does he play a physical game? No..no…no, not at all. He ends up on his rump nearly as much as David Clarkson. Is he an offensive talent? No. As far as being on the point on the power play, I would go with just about any of the Devils D-Men except maybe Anton Volchenkov before I sent Tallinder over the boards. Does he skate well? Only when he gets a head of steam, otherwise he’s not very graceful.
The guy has been an utter disaster since he came to Newark. Let’s take a look at his first season. 16 points? OK, is what it is, but he played great defense, right? Minus-6 rating. So much for that. I’ll give him this. He only took a penalty for every four games. So he’s got that going for him.
2011-12? Only played 39 games before injury. He was on pace for slightly lower offensive numbers, but through only a half season’s worth of games was at a Minus-11 rating. Prorate that to a full season and he would have nearly FOUR TIMES as bad of a plus/minus rating as he did in his first year with the Devils.
His average ice time has gone down each season with New Jersey as well. He has missed seven number of games already this year due to being a healthy scratch; obviously a demotion for poor performance. The team’s record with him in the lineup? 3-2-4. When he’s not in? A tremendous 6-1. The team has not won a game with Tallinder in the lineup since the overtime win against the Washington Capitals at home. YES, that long ago!!!
What more needs to be said? Even if you want to label him as an AVERAGE defenseman (which he is, when he’s at HIS best), he’s not worth the $3.37 million cap hit.
It’s time to get rid of him now. There is no higher ceiling for Tallinder. He’s 34-years old. Waive him, buy him out, trade him for a few water bottles, anything…I don’t care!! He needs to be off this team, however, because he does not help the team in any facet of the sport of hockey.