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Is it time to worry?

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Hell hath no fury like a fantasy owner scorned and while Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby owners are enjoying their players' production, the same can't be said for a number of other high-priced talent.

Approximately 20 games into the 2010 season and owners of Zach Parise are sick because their superstar leftwinger is sidelined with a torn right meniscus. But at least his owners know where they stand and why.

What is Parise's teammate Ilya Kovalchuk's excuse?

The high-priced right winger cost his owners a first-round selection (ADP 11) yet has produced like a free agent pickup. In 19 games, Kovalchuk has just 10 points (4 G, 6 A) and an ugly -10 plus/minus rating. These statistics are from a guy who last season posted 41 goals and 44 assists (91 points) in 76 games for the Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils. Can Parise really mean that much to the Devils as a whole and Kovalchuk in particular?

Or how about Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty, who put up stunning numbers in 2009-10 (16 G, 43 A, 31 PPP), yet can barely get in the box score this season. Through 13 games, the 2008 first-round pick of the Kings (2nd overall) has just a goal and seven assists. Last year he was third among defensemen in points.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who was second to Mike Green in defensemen points has two problems - he's not scoring AND he's giving up too many goals while he's on the ice. Keith tallied 14 times and posted 55 assists with a solid +21 rating last year. But this season, he and the Blackhawks are having trouble keeping the puck out of the net. They ranked fifth best in 2009-10, yielding 209 goals in 82 games (2.54 goals-per-game). This season they have given up 67 in 23 games (2.91 goals-per-game) and rank 24th of the 30 teams. Keith has a plus/minus rating of -6 and he's also got just one goal through his team's first 23 games.

Even Green is struggling to validate his high draft selection (ADP 12). In 18 games, he has accumulated five goals and eight assists (13 points) which won't put him anywhere near the 76 points he scored last season.

Of the top-20 on Draft Day, only seven are actually starting the season like they deserved the selection (Stamkos, Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Daniel Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom, Dany Heatley and Eric Staal). Which means 65% of the top-20 aren't giving you your money's worth.

I'm not saying it's time to trade the "slackers," but you should begin looking around your league to see who might be viable trading partners.

2010-11 Selected Underperforming Stars
Player Team Gm G A P +/- PIM PPP SOG
Zach Parise NJ 12 3 3 6 -1 6 1 47
Ilya Kovalchuk NJ 19 4 6 10 -10 11 2 56
Drew Doughty LA 13 1 6 7 7 14 2 24
Duncan Keith CHI 23 1 12 13 -6 6 5 52
Mike Green WAS 18 5 8 13 6 26 5 43

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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