Your cap league low-down on the latest signings.
Even though the new NHL season is well underway, there are still new contracts being signed often throughout the year. Most of these contracts have a large impact on the fantasy world of cap leagues. In some cases the new pact can make or break a player's fantasy relevance. This week we will look at four veterans who signed new contracts recently.
Jason Pominville (RW - Minnesota)
One of the most consistent wingers in hockey re-upped with the Minnesota Wild for five years after this one. Pominville's statistical contributions over the years have been excellent, starting with an average of 65 points per 82 games over his career. And getting 82 games out of Pominville has been normal - he has only missed 10 games since his rookie campaign back in 2005-06. In addition to the points, he has been an excellent source for power play points, shorthanded points, shots on goal and blocked shots. He is even a decent option for faceoff wins from the wing position. Given his resume the new cap hit of $5.6 million is justified. At least for now.
The problem facing fantasy owners is that Pominville will be 31 when the new five-year contract begins. During this time his production will probably decline. He will remain fantasy-relevant but with each passing year the risk will increase. This year could be a good time to shop his rights especially if his level of play returns to his career average. Try to move him for a similar winger who is at least a couple years younger and not locked into a big contract until the age of 37. A bit of asset management can go a long way in helping your squad down the road.
Dennis Seidenberg (D - Boston)
After a pair of deep playoff runs with the Bruins, Seidenberg was signed to a four-year extension. The cost is a real bargain for what he offers to his team. In fantasy hockey his value depends on the format of your league. What makes defensemen more complicated is that, more so than with forwards, blue-liners are paid about equally for their play at both ends. Thus, a quality defenseman who is well-paid could be a cap liability in a given format if his talents extend beyond the scope of that league.
In Seidenberg's case, he is not very valuable in points-only leagues. Since 2007-08 he has contributed between 23 and 32 points per season which is a very ordinary total. In this point range you can find plenty of cap bargains. Just last year you could find a few waiver wire defensemen in Seidenberg's point range, for example Jake Muzzin ($0.58 million) and Grant Clitsome ($1.25 million).
However, in multi-category leagues Seidenberg has been and remains a very valuable asset to own. In addition to a respectable point total he contributes excellent totals in hits, blocked shots, plus-minus and shots on goal. Additionally, he can be a good secondary power-play contributor although he will have fewer opportunities moving forward due to the emergence of Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton. Overall, Seidenberg contributes more than enough for his new $4-million cap hit to remain a fair cost for his services.
Radek Dvorak (RW - Carolina)
The journeyman winger has found a new home in Carolina and has had some early success this year with two goals in his first three contests. Overall Dvorak's play in recent years leaves a lot to be desired but at such a low cost he remains an intriguing option in the correct type of league.
In his last two full seasons Dvorak has declined to a 20-point clip. The conditions could be right for him to exceed that mark but he has not scored more than 37 points in a campaign since the 2004 lockout. Thus, the outlook is very bleak in points-only leagues. Even in very deep leagues he may not be more than a short-term waiver wire pickup when he puts together a short point-scoring streak.
In multi-category leagues Dvorak could have a bit of value in the deepest of leagues. His mediocre point totals combined with good shot-blocking numbers and a decent output in hits and shots on goal could give him some value at such a minuscule price. Just be careful about adding him in a league that counts plus-minus - this could be a tough year for the Hurricanes.
Chuck Kobasew (RW - Pittsburgh)
Like Dvorak, Kobasew has enjoyed some success in this young season with two goals in three games. However, his fantasy outlook is much brighter on a superior Pittsburgh team. While his point totals have declined in recent years, his peripheral stats are solid starting with his ability to get more than one hit per game. Additionally, his PIM, shot-blocking and shooting totals are respectable and his plus-minus will be padded by his environment.
The other interesting aspect about Kobasew in Pittsburgh is the presence of superstar centermen Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin. Kobasew is far from the first option to play on the scoring lines but if the injury bug strikes he could be up for short stretches and produce at a much better clip than we are accustomed to seeing. If you are desperate for a cheap guy to occupy your last roster position in a deep league Kobasew might be a guy worth looking at.
Previously in Capped: