Part 3 in a four-part look at those players who may have played their last game for their respective team and what a move will mean from a fantasy hockey standpoint.
UFA’s – Mike Knuble, Boyd Kane, Derian Hatcher, Andrew Alberts, Lasse Kukkonen, Nate Guenin, Antero Niittymaki, Scott Munroe, Martin Biron
RFA’s – Jared Ross, Nate Raduns, Dan Syvret
Outgoing – Local papers are buzzing about how they should keep Knuble, Biron and perhaps even Niittymaki. I don’t believe that will happen. Biron is the only possibility. Rumors of the Flyers possibly signing Ray Emery won’t die and with James van Riemsdyk on board next season there simply isn’t a need (or the room) for Knuble.
Of Fantasy Note – The Flyers are pressed tight against the cap. Only trading Daniel Briere, who has a no-trade clause, will give them breathing room. If the lineup remains as is, JVR could start his pro career in the AHL, as difficult as that is to believe. Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Briere will continue to progress, spearheading the offense. Scott Hartnell, Joffrey Lupul and Claude Giroux will be secondary offense. In 2011-12, Giroux could very well lead this team though.
Phoenix (Hamilton) Coyotes (MakeItSevens)
UFA’s – Stephen Reinprecht, Brian McGrattan, Steve Goertzen, Jeff Hoggan, Ken Klee, Dimitri Kalinin, Ryan Lannon
RFA’s – Enver Lisin, Daniel Winnik, Joakim Lindstrom, Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Scott Upshall, Garth Murray, Alexander Nikulin, Keith Yandle, Josh Tordjman
Outgoing – All UFA’s are gone. Lisin, Lindstrom, Winnik, Upshall, Yandle, Tordjman and Prucha warrant an offer sheet, although Dawes may be too good to let walk.
Of Fantasy Note – There are a limited number of second and third line spots on this team and failure to win one outright could mean that several players just bounce in and out of the lineup. If a couple of them do win spots outright, then the losers will be banished to the AHL. Us fantasy hockey owners would prefer that it be the latter, which is more cut and dried. The contenders are – Prucha, Lisin, Lindstrom and Dawes for what figures to be two spots.
San Jose Sharks
UFA’s – Mike Grier, Jeremy Roenick, Claude Lemieux, Travis Moen, Tom Cavanagh, Ryan Vesce, Rob Blake, Alexei Semenov, Kent Huskins, Brian Boucher
RFA’s – Ryane Clowe, Marcel Goc, Torrey Mitchell, Tomas Plihal, Brad Staubitz, Lukas Kaspar, Riley Armstrong, Thomas Greiss
Outgoing – The Sharks may be in the mood to clean some house, so I don’t think we will see any of the UFA’s back, nor some of the lesser RFA’s.
Of Fantasy Note – Look for Evgeni Nabokov to see fewer starts next year and the Sharks bring in a capable 25-game backup.
St. Louis Blues
UFA’s – Keith Tkachuk, Dan Hinote, Brad Winchester, Trent Whitfield, Mike Weaver, Manny Legace
RFA’s – Jay McClement, B.J. Crombeen, Chris Porter, Steve Regier, Jeff Woywitka, Roman Polak, Steve Wagner, Chris Holt, Marek Schwarz
Outgoing – Tkachuk has been loyal to the Blues in the past so I don’t see them not returning the favor for one more year. Legace could be in line for that backup job I mentioned above in the Sharks’ section.
Of Fantasy Note – If Steve Wagner signs a one-way deal, he makes a decent dark horse on the blue line. I doubt he will get that kind of offer though, given that he couldn’t even stick full time with Erik Johnson and Eric Brewer both hurt.
Tampa Bay Lightning
UFA’s – Gary Roberts, Matt Pettinger, David Koci, Jason Ward, Wade Brookbank, Brandon Segal, Marek Malik, Josef Melichar, Cory Murphy, Noah Welch, Richard Petiot, Janne Niskala,
RFA’s – Martins Karsums, Radek Smolenak, Lukas Krajicek, Matt Smaby, Mike Lundin, Matt Lashoff, Kari Ramo, Mike McKenna
Outgoing – They won’t bring back any of their UFA’s, except for perhaps Petiot who really impressed them late in the season.
Of Fantasy Note – Welch is a potential 40-point defenseman who ran into a lot of bad luck. He deserves a chance somewhere. Murphy has 50-point potential, but will never hit it because of his fragility. Pay attention to the contracts of Karsums, Smolenak and Lashoff. If they are one way, these players could have fantasy value. Especially Lashoff, who could be a stud on the power play.
Toronto Maple Leafs
UFA’s – Brad May, Andre Deveaux, Boyd Devereaux, Jeff Hamilton, Ben Ondrus, Kris Newbury, Bates Battaglia, Eric Reitz, Jamie Heward, Curtis Joseph, Olaf Kolzig, Martin Gerber
RFA’s – Jeremy Williams, Justin Pogge, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Hollweg, Tim Stapleton, Jamie Sifers, Phil Oreskovic
Outgoing – Brian Burke is cleaning house and even though he loves Brad May, I don’t see him keeping any of those players. Only Pogge and Grabovski will re-sign as RFA’s.
Of Fantasy Note – Toskala could be had for a song right now and I think he will get close to 35 wins next season.
UFA’s – Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi, Andre Roy, Jamie Lundmark, Warren Peters, Adrian Aucoin, Rhett Warrener, Adam Pardy, Jordan Leopold, Curtis McElhinney
RFA’s – Dustin Boyd, Kyle Greentree, Kris Chucko,
Outgoing – Cammy and Bert would have re-sign for relatively cheap. I think they can get more elsewhere. Aucoin could be re-signed though. Wherever Lundmark ends up, I think he’ll have a Daniel Cleary type of impact.
Of Fantasy Note – Keep an eye on the dollar amount that Boyd signs for. If it’s higher than expected, it could be an indicator of his finally getting top six ice time.