What an exhausting day of signings. Fun and exciting but exhausting. Kudos to Dobber, Angus and Amato for staying on top of all the action. All of those quick trade breakdowns that give you the info you need to stay a step ahead of your competition – that’s what makes this site the best fantasy hockey site out there – I’m proud to be a part of this.

 

I’ll try not to step on all the work those guys did yesterday but at the same time I feel the need to use this space to offer my own take on many of these deals.

 

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I feel like Michael Ryder’s deal with the Devils was the single best signing of the day. Why? He signed for market value.

 

Ryder is one-dimensional, but that dimension is one that often receives an overpayment. At two years and $3.5 million per season, Ryder is properly paid, which you can’t say about a lot of these signings.

 

Ryder fills a huge need for the Devils as well because they had some real holes in their top six. All he does is score and he’ll do so in New Jersey.

 

Props to the Devils for locking up Patrick Elias earlier this week as well. Obviously they still have use for him in their top six but more than anything it’s just nice to see him sticking around with his one and only NHL team after a season where we’ve seen marquee names like Vinny Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla and Daniel Alfredsson all with new clubs.

 

It helps that Elias already has his rings and was never the team’s face of the franchise but he’s still been a great player for the Devils for a long time – this contract will take him to his 20th NHL season, all with the Devils. He certainly gets his jersey retired. A Hall-of-Famer as well?

 

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By the way, I hate this whole Alfredsson to Detroit business. Just hate it. The Senators are ready to make a push. They just acquired Bobby Ryan for goodness sake! Granted that happened after Alffie had decided to leave but still. He easily could have chased the ring in Ottawa. I firmly believe they are contenders now that Pittsburgh and Boston are taking steps backward.

 

Because don’t kid yourselves, Ottawa was on the rise regardless of this Ryan deal but acquiring him gives them a tremendous boost. They haven’t had a player of his ilk since… since… maybe ever, I don’t know. I can’t recall a player with his size, athleticism, skill and tenacity ever playing for the Senators.

 

You can certainly argue that there was an opportunity cost dealing those prospects and pick when the team could have just hit free agency for their power forward but no one on the market was as good as Ryan, except maybe Horton who is older and more injury prone.

 

It’s important to note that Ryan is not injury prone because that’s a huge contrast with pretty well the entirety of this Senators roster.

 

The shackles are coming off for Ryan in Ottawa too. No more second line duties. No more second unit power play. No more being forced into center duty. The Senators have all of that covered. He will be a first liner, skating beside a top 5-10 playmaking center, on a team with the league’s best coach and the league’s top (offensive) defenseman. If he doesn’t score 80 points this season he is a bust and has always been a bust. I hate to put the pressure on like this but that has to be the expectation. He’s too good and this situation is too good for anything else to happen.

 

I will add that you should absolutely NOT try to trade for Ryan now. His value just spiked. Maybe he plays up to these expectations but you won’t get any value dealing for him now. Best to sit back and hope some other guys get hyped and maybe you get good value on Ryan later.

 

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As Angus pointed out Edmonton’s signings of Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and Jason Labarbera are carry residual value. To me, this points to one man, Devan Dubnyk. Less than a week ago the Oilers were shopping for his replacement, now they bring in his backup to be. That’s a vote of confidence. What’s more, Gordon and Ference, while probably overpaid, improve the Oilers depth a lot and will make them tougher to play against. You can argue that will open up more ice for their scorers but all I am willing to say is that this helps Dubnyk. The Oilers haven’t done enough to become a playoff team yet though.

 

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The Leafs, among other moves, extended Jonathan Bernier on Friday. The hit and term are both larger and longer than what they’ve got James Reimer signed for so there’s that much more fuel for the impending goaltending battle. For the life of me I can’t tell you who will be the starter in Toronto next season. I just know that I’m not a huge fan of Reimer’s even though he clearly battles hard and gets good results.

 

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I don’t get what Nashville is doing. They just went and scooped the bottom of the free agent barrel and overpaid across the board. There wasn’t one bargain among any of the four deals they signed today bringing in Matt Hendricks, Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg and Eric Nystrom. It just seems to me they could’ve waited a week and gotten similar guys for much cheaper and less term.

 

Maybe David Poile is still drunk from having Seth Jones land in his lap.

 

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By the way, on Jones, I don’t take him anywhere near the top pick in a fantasy draft. 

 

He fell in the NHL draft for the same reason he should fall in your fantasy draft – forwards develop quicker. You are going to get way better dividends drafting most of the forwards taken in the top 10. I’m not even certain Jones is the top defenseman in this draft for fantasy purposes. There’s just too much uncertainty with defensemen.

 

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Jonathan Drouin signed his entry-level contract with Tampa Bay. He’s my pick for number one in a fantasy draft. I’ve said that a few times now.

 

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Is it just me or did the Leafs just run in a big circle? To me they flexed a bunch of financial muscle just for the sake of doing it. Buying out Mikhail Grabovski won’t even make them flinch because they have that money to spend and they replaced him aptly with David Bolland and his deal that expires next summer so there’s flexibility going forward. But there would also be flexibility if you just keep Grabovski and wait a year to buy him out if necessary.

 

Then they went out and overpaid for Clarkson, which I mean, he takes Clarke MacArthur’s spot so he’s an upgrade but it isn’t a big one.

 

And finally, they re-signed Tyler Bozak, to what is actually a very affordable deal considering what other centermen were getting.

 

But you can also argue that Grabovski had to go because of his run-ins with Randy Carlyle. 

 

What will be interesting is where Clarkson fits in for Toronto. He was a Peter DeBoer favourite in New Jersey and they also had no other options. Now he’s got to get on Carlyle’s good side and leapfrog a bunch of other players for ice time. I think we see him regress even though that already kind of happened this year after a torrid start to the season.

 

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Man, oh man, did Mike Ribeiro’s fantasy value ever just take a hit! He goes from skating with Ovechkin and the high flying Caps to the desert dogs and all the non-fantasy worthy forwards they employ.

 

I kid. We’ve seen players like Ray Whitney post very strong fantasy numbers in Phoenix. And we’ve also seen Dave Tippett coach Ribeiro before when he coaxed the two best seasons of Ribeiro’s career out of him. Ribeiro could sneakily maintain his value in Phoenix.

 

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Who are the best free agents still available? CapGeek always offers a great run-down.

 

Some highlights of the list:

 

Jaromir Jagr, Mikhail Grabovski, Damien Brunner, Tim Thomas

 

In other words, slim pickins’!

 

Hope you enjoyed the mayhem on Friday. I will try to post a few updates this morning.


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Comments (15)add comment

agentzero said:

agentzero
... Thanks for the clarification, ratataylor22.
July 08, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
rataylor22 Its true that his cap is 6 million but if you click on the star on capgeek it will show that 4.2 of it is in bonuses which iginla will likely obtain. but...the 4.2 will be absorbed by the "bonus cushion" which is 7.5 percent of total cap or ~4.8 mil if need be. So while his contract is worth 6 million his cap is effectively just his base salary of 1.8 million.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
steps backward I'm not sure that either the bruins or pens took a steps backwards: Pens are essentially the same team but without a couple of replacable forwards and with scuderi, who dramatically improves what was their biggest problem: D. I think eriksson is an underrated improvement to the bruins and is better than horton while iginla is better than jagr and seguin scored 1 goal in the playoffs and was a third liner. Peverly also had little impact this year. Bruins need to sort out their thirdline now, but I dont see anything as a steps backwards yet. The D in boston improved too. Hopefully chara sees a few fewer minutes as his getting too old to play 25 plus minutes a game.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... According to cap geek, Iginla's cap hit next season is 6 mil.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

hockey said:

hockey
Iginla deal I think the bruins got a great deal on iginla: he costs just 1.8 this season (cap hit) and the rest is performance bonuses next season which the bruins can easily afford. 1.8 million cap hit on a top six winger is pretty nice.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Agent Zero. Compliance buyouts are still in affect next offseason. Teams had the option if using up to 2 and they can be us d n either this offseason or next offseason.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Mr_Sausage said:

Mr_Sausage
Ryder I agree that the Ryder signing was a great one. I don't think he signed at market value though. With all of these huge deals out there it is clear he signed for well below market value. Great signing for the Devils.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

metaldude26 said:

metaldude26
... Thanks for the comments guys. I will clarify a bit here as I can.

rataylor - I didn't touch on the Detroit side of things but you can argue that they will be favourites in the new Eastern Conference next season after these moves. I think Weiss is an upgrade on Filppula and they got him for slightly cheaper so that's a solid move. And Alfredsson is an upgrade on whichever veteran they were going to try to fit into a top six role. Samuelsson? Bertuzzi? Alfredsson's an upgrade for sure. They still need to re-sign Brunner, unless they think Alfredsson is an upgrade. He is but it's marginal when compared to other guys who could be on the way out. Still some moves to be made but Detroit looks to have improved, while Boston and Pittsburgh are seemingly taking steps back.

And to clarify on Edmonton. They can be a playoff team but not as constructed right now. More moves are necessary for me to give them anything with certainty. This isn't to say these moves don't get them on the right track but they just aren't there yet.

Hawkdog - Jagr's a strange one because he both has little and a lot left to offer. It just depends on your expectations. Jagr is a workout fiend so he can get himself into game shape and he's so smart and big and strong that he can be effective despite having lost several steps. But he's also older than dirt and a full 82-game season is too much for him. A team that is smart about it will cut his games in the regular season to try and keep him healthy for the playoffs.

HockeymanG23 - Not saying the Senators haven't had skill on their roster before. Just saying they haven't had a power forward like Ryan pass through town. You could definitely argue Hossa or Heatley to me but that's just semantics. The point is Ryan brings a dimension they've long needed and now have. Ottawa is ready to contend.

pahlsson26 - I didn't touch on Anaheim's return but I agree it was a solid one. Silfverberg is a real player. He could be a gold mine if he can latch onto Getzlaf and Perry because they can create the time and space he needs to unleash his wicked shot. I've also never been that taken with any of the Ducks' prospects over the years. Guys like Holland and Palmieri, etc. They all have intriguing upside but for whatever reason I just don't see them hitting it. I think they got more credit than they are worth because Anaheim has always been hurting for forward depth. Now Silfverberg is a piece they can use. Re-signing Saku was big for them as well.

Can't help but feel like the Ducks regress next season all the same. They may have had the second best record in the West but they weren't the second best team. It just depends on if the Kings decide they want to play a complete season or not and of course, whether or not other teams can make a leap.

Donpaulo - My 80-point Ryan estimate factors in Spezza's likely injury. I just think the Senators have solid depth, great coaching and the best puckmover in the game in Karlsson. Ryan's going to score at above a point per game pace with Spezza in the lineup. If he gets even 50 games with him he can coast to 80 while Spezza sits the other 30. That's just my opinion. But I'm hitching Ryan's hopes more to his increased playing time and the presence of Karlsson.

Anze - Great point about the cap. I expect it to rebound as well after next season. That's why all the extensions getting signed in Pittsburgh don't bother me much. I agree very much with your sentiment that the issue with the long deals for guys like Clarkson and Horton is about whether or not they will still be talented enough by the end of them to still be effective, but that's tomorrow's problem, right? That's far too often the logic GMs use when making these deals.

AZ - Thanks for the insight on the Alfie situation.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

agentzero said:

agentzero
Alfie et al. Just wanted to note that as per Bryan Murray, the Ryan deal was done in principle a week before Alfie had to re-sign and Murray even told him about it. It sounds like it all fell apart because Murray was made to stick to his budget by Melnyk (who is a business man), until Melnyk realized Alfie might walk. Then Melnyk said pay him whatever... but he had irked his franchise player already. Sometimes it happens that quick. Melnyk is not really a great hockey owner. He meddles with stupid comments and living in Ottawa and going to many games, I really don't get the sense the fans or players get much from him... I'm not a Sens fan but I feel for them losing Alfie like this. Kind of ridiculous. He is a warrior and a gentleman and I would take him any day on my squad.

I agree with Ryan. No more excuses. 40G should be the target. The Sens have not had a power winger like this. Sure Hossa and Heatley scored a bunch, but Ryan is a different player. I think Hossa would be my choice (then and now) over Ryan anyday, as his physical strength is something that has been overlooked his entire career but is very "there", but Ryan is an altogether different power winger who is tricky to hold down when he's "on" and almost impossible to stop when he's "hot". He needs to be motivated though... I think McLean can do it.

The Leafs lost a lot in Grabo. Sure he sounds like a whiny sour patch, but he is half-right about what went on this year and he was a solid effort guy with good skill. Overpaid at 5+M maybe, but not at 4+... So what's the diff?

Also, Leafs had to buy him out this year, not next, as no compliance buyouts next year. Just regular buyouts, which hit the cap at 1/3 or 2/3 or something like that.

Gread stuff Steve. Fresh info after a wild day.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

Anze said:

Anze
If the cap goes to 80 millions... in 3 seasons as some expect ( due to the new Canadian TV deal ), 4-5 millions for top 6 forwards is reasonable. Since you will always have rookies, 4th liners, bottom pairing Ds and back-up goalies who will make less than 1-1.5M, 4 M might be the average salary of established players. The main issue with these contracts is the duration. How will Clarkson and Horton play in 3 years, never mind 6-7 years ?

The worst contract yesterday ? Ryan Slowe in NJ.

Ryder, Lapierre, Schultz seem good values to me.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Hitching Ryan's star status to a guy who hasn't played a full NHL season since 2008 sounds like a tall order to me. 80 points appears to be a reasonable estimate assuming Spezza suits up for most of them. I am half expecting another 60 game effort from Spezza and hope I am wrong about that forecast.
July 06, 2013
Votes: -1

pahlsson26 said:

pahlsson26
Ryan As a Ducks fan I'm actually glad that Bobby Ryan is finally gone. His laziness and inconsistency were infuriating at times. And I wouldn't expect him to get those 80 points. For me it's his upside and I think 70 would be more realistic.

The Ducks got a good return from this trade. It also allows Palmieri and Etem to get more ice-time, especially if Teemu retires. Now all they need is a 2C and a good D-man. Thanks to their deep prospect pool, I think we're going to see another trade in the next couple of weeks or before trade deadline. I mean Holland could be a NHL player at the moment, but there won't be a spot for him. And Rakell, Noesen, Karlsson are good bets to make the team in the next 1-2 years I think.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

hockeymanG23 said:

hockeymanG23
Bobby Ryan I'm confused by the Bobby Ryan comments. "They haven’t had a player of his ilk since… since… maybe ever, I don’t know." If you just mean on the wing how about Heatley and Hossa for just two examples, let alone Alfredsson and Spezza. But even though they've never "had a player of his ilk", he'll be a bust if he doesn't score 80 points?

I agree to not rush out and trade for him, Nash didn't exactly score at an outrageous pace in New York when he went there either like many may have presumed. Whether he breaks out or not, there has been plenty of talent to pass through the Sen roster, Ryan isn't the first.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

hawkdog said:

hawkdog
good read Ottawa is looking good for sure!

How much gas do you think Jagr has left in the tank?
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Great ramblings. It's seemingly become a habit of mine to add ramblings style comments now so here we go again.

Understand you hate the Alfie thing. I love it. I own Datsyuk and Nyqist in fantasy. More than anything, the Weiss signing IMO helps Datsyuk tremendously. Weird right? Here's why. With Weiss, they can finally play Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the same line AND not have to worry about depth issues. And on his other wing he gets Alfie or Franzen. Probably Alfie. So good. I traded Hosa for Datsyuk during the playoffs and that deal just keeps looking better for me. Nyqist, provided he hangs in the top 6 (he's so good, I think he will easily) also gets a nice boost here.

Speaking of which. If Ryder isn't the best contract of the day, than Weiss might be. For the same reasons. Paid his value.

Agree about Nashville. They and Toronto IMO had terrible days, but that deal Jersey gave Clowe could be the worst deal handed out today.

Disagree on Edmonton. They will be a playoff team next year. Not a contender, but a NYI type of story.

Other side of the Bobby Ryan deal. Can Silfverberg force himself on to the top line with Getz and Perry? Not guaranteed, but I think he can. Your thoughts?

Lastly, not a signing, but SJS announced Brent Burns will stay at forward. If he retains his dual eligibility, he's someone guys might sleep on but is phenomenal value.
July 06, 2013
Votes: +0
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