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I actually thought this one was going to arbitration. But the Avs have come to an agreement with Ryan O'Reily - it's for two years at $12 million.

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Chris Kreider and the Rangers have agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.35 and $2.6 million each year. Kreider has become one of the top multi-category owns in roto hockey leagues

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The third annual Fantasy Football Guide is now out. Pick it up and enjoy - or buy it here if you haven't yet. Just $5.99

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Antoine Roussel settled with the Stars prior to arbitration, signing a four-year deal worth $8 million. The Stars got a steal here - fair price for the coming season, and then highway robbery (potentially) for future seasons. If he can stay healthy, he can be everything we thought we'd see in Daniel Carcillo - a potential 45-point/200-PIM player who never got there because he couldn't stay healthy. Nice, solid, secure deal for both parties. If you're looking for a potential Burrows, you've found him. He's too good of a checker to sneak onto a scoring line early on, but perhaps injuries will allow for it later in the year.

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The Maple Leafs really shook things up yesterday, but you probably already knew this if you're living in Ontario, or use Twitter. People won't shut up about it. But for good reason. This has the fingerprints of Brendan Shanahan, who is proving himself to be more of a forward thinker with each passing month. Two members of the "Old Boy's Club" are gone - Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin. Former players who didn't embrace advanced statistics enough or fast enough as a part of running the business. It is a business - the Maple Leafs are a multi-billion dollar corporation. Time to treat it as such.

The Leafs then hired 28-year-old Kyle Dubas, who was GM of the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL (hired as such when he was 25 - never say you're too young to take a shot at something). Dubas is part of the new generation of advanced statheads. The OHL, as you know, doesn't track stats really beyond the usual goals and assists. So he generated his own system and used it to turn the Greyhounds into a 95-point team in four years. Now, Dubas is not the general manager of the Leafs. Dave Nonis is. So advanced stats aren't going to rule Leafland. But now they will have a voice and a big one. It's going to result in fewer Grabovski buyouts. It's going to result in more ice time for the faster players who can hang onto the puck (so you'll be seeing more Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, etc.). The transition will be a slow one, but you will see a bunch of underrated signing that will more often than not pan out - over the course of the next several years.

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And here is their first one - David Booth has signed with the Leafs for the low-risk price of $1.15 million. I don't see a lot of upside here. He's not the same player that he was. But he's still a very useful player and if he can stay healthy he can contribute offense from the third line. Some offense. He's a capable possession player, and you just know that Nonis ran it by Dubas before finalizing. For what it's worth, here is Vancouver's Player Usage Chart courtesy of soon-to-be DobberHockey columnist Rob Vollman's site hockeyabstract.com:

 

 

A positive CorsiRel (+1.80) despite just 45% offensive zone starts. Booth wasn't facing the best of the best when it comes to the level of competition, but he was a solid guy to throw out there a play good hockey when the Sedins were done their shift. He's not going to play with Kessel. He may play with Lupul. He won't do as well offensively as Mason Raymond did, but from a possession standpoint his (advanced) numbers matched up with Raymond's almost perfectly.

Amato will break this signing down further, later this morning.

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Former Leaf Joe Colborne signed a two-year deal worth $1.275 million. He's a durable guy who has improved slowly but steadily over the last three years. When he was drafted, his potential is through the roof. In the Fantasy Guide I have him projected for the following statline: 75-15-19-34, 42 PIM.

Fantasy Guide is out in nine days, by the way. "♪On the ninth day of Christmas my true love said to me …!"

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Sami Vatanen signed a two-year deal worth $2.525 million. I think you'll find this one to be a steal for the second year of the contract, too. A potential Tobias Enstrom. Er…a potential pre-sucking Tobias Enstrom.

A what the hell, here is my projection for Vatanen (but then you have to promise to buy it!): 71-9-27-36, 42 PIM

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Mats Zuccarello signed a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. Kind of a risky deal for both sides here. On one hand, Zuke could explode. And then the Rangers are screwed next summer. On the other hand, Zuke could implode. And then he's fighting to get any contract next summer.

I'm writing this part of the ramblings at 8pm and when I'm done, I start on the New York Rangers in the Fantasy Guide - so I don't have a Zuccarello projection to share with you, sorry. Right now I feel like a king when it comes to knowing everything there is to know about Anaheim through the Islanders…but I feel pretty dumb about the Rangers through the Winnipeg Jets. I love this annual analysis - I just dive full-bore into a team for about 10 hours straight. Advanced stats, depth charts, regular stats, inter-year trends, injury histories, line combos, contract years, fourth NHL seasons, goaltending situations - I soak it all in.

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It's a mountain out of a molehill, but it's worth mentioning here for two reasons. One, it's a slow time for hockey news. Two, maybe some of you would feel this could potentially be a distraction for Thomas Vanek. Yes, I'm talking about how he is being questioned in a gambling case. Only questioned. No big deal. I'm sure he didn't bet on his own games, for example.

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Caught this link on Twitter - Kevin Hayes, as you may or may not know (and if you don't know, then you didn't buy my Fantasy Prospects Report!), will probably not sign with Chicago by the August 15 deadline and thus will become a free agent. This writer speculates that he could sign with the Penguins and if that happens, well - one of Pascal Dupuis, Beau Bennett or Patric Hornqvist could lose a plum scoring-line spot.

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A bidding war for Peter Mueller? Yeah? Yeah! In the forum back in April I had noted that he played a full, healthy season in the Swiss League and that was what we needed to look for. He's been healthy for two seasons now and although not all that productive at the Worlds - he was productive in the Swiss League. Not draftable - but the situation is watchable.

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What could have been:

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Guess what? Another DobberHockey Event in Toronto. With special guest - Justin Goldman! Next Tuesday - six days from today, July 29. Perhaps a preview of the Fantasy Guide? Details here (but it's the same bat-time, same bat-channel as the other events). Will you be there? Let me know who to expect

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And here is my offseason fantasy outlook for The Hockey News on Columbus and Philadelphia.

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And one quick announcement - with the site upgrade some links were broken. We're slowly fixing them, but thanks to the help of a couple of members who volunteered their time - Chris and Bernhard - the links that are in the Prospects Report for each prospect are now fixed. I have re-uploaded the Prospects Report with those changes (and only those changes, I did not update!). If you want quick access for your research, you should download the Fantasy Prospects Report again.

Comments  

#2 austeane 2014-07-23 13:51
That's the unique beauty of the guide; when those deals and signing happen, the guide will be updated and even more useful.
#1 donpaulo 2014-07-23 07:09
Best of luck with your NYR analysis, because its a team in flux. Plenty of moving parts and there is almost certainly another move or two in the cards before opening night.

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