If you’re in a keeper league, you probably own a player who is still an unrestricted free agent – and you definitely have a fellow GM who owns one. So what do you do? Buy? Sell? Kick some tires? How much is too much to ask for or pay? I have my dartboard hung up on the wall with mug shots of different UFA’s on it, along with different courses of action to take in your fantasy league. Here are the results.
Maxim Afinogenov – He won’t come cheap for a second summer in a row. Not after the season he just had. It is doubtful that a team will give him $2 million, so the KHL is a very real possibility.
If I own him – I would be looking for a late pick in a later year, plus a decent prospect.
If someone else owns him – I would not be trying to acquire him at all.
Alexander Frolov – He’s rumoured to be looking for $4 million. Last year he would have got it. This year, I doubt offers are even close to the $3 million mark. KHL odds are above 50-50 here.
If I own him – I would be looking to see how high a pick I could get for him. If I’m not satisfied with the answer, then I’d look into trying to swap him for a weaker UFA plus a later pick. A weaker UFA would come in at a price that a team such as the Sharks, the Blackhawks or the Penguins would like. So I’d take the pick and the gamble.
If someone else owns him – I would tease and taunt them.
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Not a whiff of news on this guy. Not a rumor. The KHL is a possibility, but his cheaper price may keep him in the league.
If I own him – I wait it out, unless somebody comes to me with something good. Which would be stupid of them, but I would thank the fantasy gods for it. If they tried to lowball me, as they should, then I would hang tight.
If someone else owns him – I would approach with a low offer of a middle-to-late draft pick, just looking for a steal. You never know. On most teams he is a 55-point player, so the only risk is...well, what league he decides to play in.
Lee Stempniak – After a scoring surge with the Coyotes late in the season, he has overvalued himself. Well, he probably hasn’t. His value is probably a fair one, but in the summer of 2010 “fair” is too high. He is the top goal-scorer left out of all the free agents (assuming Ilya Kovalchuk is in New Jersey).
If I own him – That would never happen, unless he played for Pittsburgh. I was never sold on his upside. But if YOU own him, your league obviously values 45-point players so ride it out.
If someone else owns him – I would say “ha ha, you own Stempniak!”
Patrick O’Sullivan – After being in line for a contract that paid $2.4 million this year, he’s now getting $398,000. He’s probably hoping for a one-way deal worth $1.5 million, but that ain’t happening. The one-way deal should happen, but at a number less than or close to $1 million.
If I own him – I cross my fingers and hope for a Pittsburgh or San Jose signing, because I wouldn’t get squat for him right now.
If someone else owns him – I would kick tires offering a lower pro team guy and a weaker prospect. Each of the above two are replaceable at the draft and in the meantime I roll the dice on a two-in-29 chance (Phoenix can’t sign him under the buyout rules).
Paul Kariya – The veteran is obviously declining, but I don’t think he was given the right ice time last year in St. Louis. I think on the right team he can still post 65 points. But this guy is used to multi- multi-million-dollar money. He absolutely needs to get his asking price down below $2 million.
If I own him – I cross my fingers again. If someone were to offer a middle-to-high draft pick I would jump.
If someone else owns him – I would kick tires. He’s worth a low draft pick, or a weak prospect. Worth asking the question at least. He could produce on several teams.
Marty Turco – I’ve mentioned several times in the ramblings or in the forum that Turco has seen his best days. His save percentage hasn’t been above 0.913 in seven years. If I’m an NHL GM I wouldn’t offer him a starting job, nor would I offer him $1 million.
If I own him – I would have traded him long ago. But for the purpose of this article I would deal him anyone willing to give me a high draft pick. I would play on the Philadelphia angle and how good his numbers would be there. I don’t believe that to be true, but I would bluff.
If someone else owns him – I would giggle like a school girl behind my hand and point at him with the other hand.
Jose Theodore – I don’t see any scenario where he could give any kind of decent fantasy numbers this season.
If I own him – I’d waive him, drop him, whatever the rules allow.
If someone else owns him – I would offer him Jonathan Cheechoo. Then I’d take it back and say “just kidding!”