Notable RFAs still un-signed - Hodgson, Stepan, Kadri, Pietrangelo.
The Rangers are in a bit of a bind. They don't have much cap space but would love to lock up Stepan long term. With the cap temporarily dropping this year, I could see them trying to give Stepan a one-year "prove your worth" deal. If it goes well (like 2013 did), he can expect a big pay day next summer.
Similar to Duchene this year, and PK Subban next year. However, I imagine Stepan and his reps are seeking a four or five year deal in the neighbourhood of $5 million per. Pay for potential.
Pietrangelo's potential deal is the most interesting one to me. He's still young and the team would have to go really long term to buy up any UFA years. Giving an RFA a contract worth $5 million equates roughly to $7-$7.5 million for a UFA on the open market.
Mark Fraser is back with the Leafs - one year and $1.25 million. Fair deal for a rock solid bottom pairing defenseman.
The Sharks have re-upped their American Army Knife - Joe Pavelski. Five years, $6 million per. Fair deal for both sides - his offensive production depends a lot on where he plays (third line C and first line RW have different roles and requirements). Even so, he will see a ton of time on the PP.
Pavelski and Couture are the future of the Sharks, and his fantasy hockey value is finally starting to catch up to his "real life" value.
The Rangers have signed winger Mats Zuccarello to a one-year deal worth $1.15 million. Derek Stepan remains an RFA....
The Jets sure aren’t afraid of giving big money and long term deals to their core players.
Zach Bogosian is the latest – a seven year deal worth a total of $36 million (a shade over $5 million per season).
Thoughts? Definitely a pay-for-future-performance contract, as Bogosian hasn’t proven to be worth that money up to this point in time.
But his upside is immense, and the production will come if and when the Jets start to give him more offensive responsibility.
As an AHL off-ice official, I saw Shore play in San Antonio, He also has a knack for being in the right spot; it's like the puck bounces right to him frequently. He is often close-in, pounding away at the goalie, which could be one reason for the low shooting percentage. He was clearly the best SA player on the ice every night and will be really solid with some talented linemates.
Another guy I like Howden - that dude can skate like the wind! Young and raw, I'm surprised he stayed up, but Florida was desperate last year, and he can forecheck with his speed. He needs to work on his shot and on positioning, but his speed is unreal.
I got to see Markstrom a lot the last couple years - he doesn't have many holes and IMHO will live up to the hype.
And on Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak (defensemen):
I'm not real high on Robak. He was minus-23 last year, although he was often teamed with Nolan Yonkman, who is a slow-moving, obsolete battleship (minus-34!). Robak is a better scorer than Petrovic right now, but is inconsistent and doesn't have great shot selection.
San Antonio's power play was horrible overall, but Robak didn't do much to make it better. Petrovic has more potential at the NHL level. Even if his scoring doesn't develop, he has size, toughness and plays stronger D. He was plus-8 on a terrible team. If he can get some scoring going, he could complement Campbell and Gudbranson nicely.
Fantastic insights (he’s an off-ice AHL official who saw a lot of San Antonio games).
Franson finished eighth in points among defencemen. To give you an idea of how crazy that is, every other person in the Top 40 other than Brent Burns (who spent this year as a forward and does not count) played at least two more minutes per game than him, and he was scratched for three games.
Paul Stastny is a talented offensive center who is playing the role of a shutdown center in Colorado. That probably won’t change with Duchene, O’Reilly, and MacKinnon all on the roster, but if he ever gets dealt (or if one or two of those three struggle), expect his production to increase dramatically.
It’s hard for Stastny to be as productive offensively as he could while he is up against elite talent on every shift (and starting most of those shifts in the defensive zone). This is an example of the important context that advanced stats can provide. Stastny isn’t “struggling,” he’s simply playing a much tougher role than he did back in 2009-10 when he produced 79 points.
I'm not sure there is a UFA who signed this summer that will have as big an impact on his new team as Mike Ribeiro will in Phoenix.
Here is a post on dispelling the notion that Ribeiro is strictly a contract year player.
One of my favourite shootout goals ever:
Why hasn’t Vinny Prospal signed anywhere yet? He has led Columbus in even strength production per 60 minutes in each of the last two seasons (a great indicator of a player’s offensive ability).
There probably isn’t room in Columbus for him, but I can think of more than a few teams that could use a playmaking winger in their top six/nine.
I’m off to San Francisco for a week tomorrow. I have done the major touristy things there, but any good food/bar spots to check out? Or any other recommendations?
Oh yeah - the fantasy guide is out in TWO DAYS!
The beauty of an online (PDF) release, and what separates us from the competition, is that we are able to update the DobberHockey Guide throughout the rest of the summer and right up to puck drop in early October.
Other guides released in magazine format have to be written and submitted for publishing in late June with quick updates on free agency in early July.
As we all know, a lot can still happen in August and September. How about a strong training camp from a bubble player or a rookie? How about a late summer trade or signing?
The fantasy impact(s) of these moves can be significant, and we will have you covered.
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