Every team has its flop signings/draftings/tradings, maybe even annually. Here's a list of each team's "We didn't sign you for THIS" player for the 08-09 season.
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks flop of the year actually wasn't a new addition. Goaltender J.S. Giguere was expected to be a solid No. 1 this year, but through each game he's played, he's been inconsistent. With a 19-18-5 record, and alleged "backup" Jonas Hiller going 22-15-1, Giguere definitely didn't live up to expectations this season.
Atlanta Thrashers: Other than the entire team consistently playing as a flop, the Thrashers signing of Jason Williams didn't play out as expected. Following a season in which Williams scored 36 points in 43 games, the Thrashers signed him as a free agent expecting him to help lead the attack along with Ilya Kovalchuk. However, Williams never panned out, only managing 7 goals and 18 points in 41 games before being traded to Columbus. However, where Williams failed, Todd White (22 goals, 72 points) and Brian Little (31 goals, 51 points) picked up their game.
Boston Bruins: As hard as I try, I can't seem to find a player for the Bruins that really failed. Marco Sturm's stats are a low, but that's because of a long-term injury that had nothing to do with his level of play while healthy. Mark Recchi has a rating of -17, but was on a poor Thrashers team for the majority of the year and has only been a -2 in Boston. The entire team has risen beyond expectations to clinch the Eastern Conference, and should have quite the playoff run.
Buffalo Sabres: The season as a whole has been slightly disappointing for the Sabres, but a particular disappointment has been backup goalie Patrick Lalime. Signed to be a steady presence if Ryan Miller went down with an injury or needed a rest, he's only managed a 5-13-3 record in 21 games.
Calgary Flames: Most of the players on the Flames have played fairly well this season, but Jamie Lundmark hasn't been able to secure a job with the team. He's managed 15 points in 25 games this year, but hasn't been a consistent presence.
Carolina Hurricanes: Scott Walker's point totals have been steadily declining over the past three seasons and injuries this year haven't helped. Through 38 games, Walker only had 5 goals and 15 points. His importance to the team is slowly waning.
Chicago Blackhawks: Brent Sopel signed on with the Chicago crew last year in hopes of helping return the team to glory. While the Hawks will finally make the playoffs this year, Sopel has turned in a disappointing 08-09 campaign, only playing in 23 games, with a goal, an assist, and a -4 rating.
Colorado Avalanche: The entire year has just plain sucked for the Avs, but it's interesting to note that the Darcy Tucker signing completely failed. He's only managed 8 goals and 16 points in 60 games, played to a -13 rating, and hasn't even fought a lot, with only 67 PIM's.
Columbus Blue Jackets: The Jackets are finally in the playoffs after clinching a spot a couple days ago. In the summer, they'll be looking to re-style their roster to fit the style of play that has gotten them this far, and a likely casualty of that change will be center Jiri Novotny. Novotny has never been able to consistently hold an NHL job, and only managed 3 goals and 6 points in 40 games with the Jackets this year.
Dallas Stars: This may be the most obvious pick of the league—Sean Avery. The Avery experiment in Dallas was a complete disaster. The team went on a downward spiral with Avery in the lineup, and was only able to somewhat reverse the tailspin after kicking Sean off the team. Interestingly, Avery re-joined the New York Rangers later in the year, and has sparked them into fighting for a playoff spot.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings are yet another team who seems to have no bad decisions this year. The only real issue has been the play of goalie Chris Osgood, who, despite his outstanding record of 25-8-7, has been fairly inconsistent. Osgood's GAA is currently 3.10, and has hovered around that mark all year. He must improve if the Wings want to repeat.
Edmonton Oilers: Fernando Pisani has been unable to recreate his magic of the 2006 post-season, during which he went on a goal-scoring rampage. This year he's only managed 7 goals and 14 points in 36 games.
Florida Panthers: The play of Nick Tarnasky hasn't contributed to the Panthers' hopes of a playoff berth this year. In his 44 games so far, he's only managed 6 assists and a -2 rating.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings probably wish Denis Gauthier had played a little better this year. The veteran defenseman didn't provide all that great of a presence, and had a string of suspensions mid-season that messed with the team's chemistry.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild probably would have liked a bit more production out of Craig Weller. The ex-Coyote only managed a goal and two assists in 36 games and was a -3.
Montreal Canadiens: The entire Canadiens team went on a downward spiral in the second half of the year, so every player underachieved in one way or another. However, I still can't find the point of Montreal keeping Mathieu Dandenault on the roster. Once again, he only played half the year, and managed 4 goals and 12 points this time. The Canadiens have so many young players that could be using that playing time instead.
Nashville Predators: Patric Hornqvist needed more AHL seasoning than the Preds thought. Unfortunately, they ran out his Calder game-limit (28 games this season) and he won't be able to contend for rookie of the year next year, that is, if he can pick up his play (2 goals, 7 points) by next year.
New Jersey Devils: Nicklas Bergfors has been unable to secure a spot with the Devils. Despite getting 9 games over the past two seasons to prove his worth, Bergfors has only scored one goal and has played in the AHL the rest of the time.\
New York Islanders: Seeing as the Islanders finished last, every player could be considered a flop. However, a particular letdown was the play of Brendan Witt. Despite still being a veteran leader for the Isles, Witt was a -34, a team worst, and definitely not helping the club.
New York Rangers: Everyone's talking about how Wade Redden has been a huge disappointment for the money the Rangers gave him, but another strange season came out of Aaron Voros. Voros was at the top of league scoring during October, but hit a slump much worse than the rest of the Rangers, and ended up with only 8 goals and 16 points and went scoreless during the month of February.
Ottawa Senators: Shean Donovan has certainly slowed down at this point in his NHL career. Expected to be a role player, Donovan's totals of 5 goals, 10 points, and a -2 rating are still fairly disappointing.
Philadelphia Flyers: Despite an upswing in the latter half of the year, Claude Giroux's play at the beginning of the season was way below what was expected of him, and earned him a trip to the AHL. His expectations will be just as high next season, however, as the Flyers faithful expect him to only need one learning season.
Phoenix Coyotes: The Desert Dogs are certainly upset that the sophomore slump hit Peter Mueller so bad. The (still) future captain of the Coyotes on managed 36 points this year after breaking the 50 point barrier last season.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins definitely aren't happy with the play of Miroslav Satan. After recording just 17 goals and 36 points through 65 games, he was assigned to the AHL, a tough blow on the reputation of the veteran winger.
San Jose Sharks: The Sharks wish that veteran leader Jeremy Roenick had brought last season's magic. Despite winning more games than ever, San Jose had no help from Roenick in that department, who only scored 4 goals this year, none of which were game-winners.
St. Louis Blues: Barret Jackman was expected to be a solid veteran backbone for a relatively young defense corps. However, his play wasn't the best; a -17 rating looks really bad for the experienced defender, especially when compared to counterpart veteran Jay Mckee, who finished the year at +11.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The entire Tampa team was the biggest disappointment in the NHL, from expected top rookie Steven Stamkos (who still managed a respectable 23 goals and 46 points) all the way down to ex-coach Barry Melrose, who lasted 16 games. However, a lot will be made out of the poor play of Noah Welch, who only managed a goal and an assist with a -9 rating. Welch, through a series of trades, was the replacement of star defender Dan Boyle.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs actually improved this season, somehow. However, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that Jeff Finger's numbers (23 points, -7 rating) match up to the ridiculous contract he was given over the summer.
Vancouver Canucks: Winger Taylor Pyatt was expected to return to the 20-goal plateau this season, but due to his limited ice time with the Sedins, he only managed 10 goals this season. Fortunately, the unexpected goal-scoring prowess of Alex Burrows relieved most of the disappointment.
Washington Capitals: Michael Nylander did nothing near living up to his expected role as a top center. He only managed 9 goals and 33 points for the Caps and was a letdown.