Free Agent Frenzy
After day one of the annual insanity that is free agent frenzy lets take a look at the fantasy winners and losers with a fantasy hockey perspective.
Alex Radulov signs in KHL
Dmitry Chesnokov breaks the story that Radulov has signed a four year deal in the KHL.
His contract will pay him over $9 million per year! Radulov will also have the opportunity to play with his brother. Now 26 years old, he will be 30 when this contract expires. His fantasy value is now completely gone. If you own Radulov, release that roster spot and fill it with a draft pick, or a free agent.
Martin Brodeur Remains A Devil
Was there really any question he would sign elsewhere? Brodeur signed a two year $9 million deal that will pay him $4.5 million until he turns 42.
This is a good signing for the Devils as it secures Brodeur as a lifetime member of the Devils. Teams secure fan loyalty by having franchise players play their entire career for them. Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson come to mind. Even if Brodeur fails to deliver the level, of goaltending he provided in the playoffs he will still hold value to the organization. From a fantasy perspective, the contract changes nothing. As Brodeur ages his value decreases but his performance in the post season has given fantasy hockey owners a sell high window right now. I would exploit it!
Jason Garrison gets paid!
Garrison signed a six year $27.6 million contract that will pay him $4.6 million per season with the Vancouver Canucks. This contract is widely regarded as a bust considering Garrison has had one good year and will no longer be playing on the power play with Brian Campbell. A reasonable comparison is Bryan McCabe who signed a big contract after a great season playing with Tomas Kaberle. I am not convinced this contract will haunt the Canucks. Garrison provides much more than just the 16 goals he scored last season. Garrison can transition the puck out of the defensive zone, has great size and skating ability and is very good defensively. He blocks shots, makes hits and has a cannon for a shot. Hot will play big minutes for Vancouver along side Alex Edler and on the power play with the Sedins. While he is no longer a bargain making $700,000 he is still a fantasy point producing defender.
Sheldon Souray Signed for three years in Anaheim for $11 million. He will receive an average of just over $3.6 million until he is 39 years old.
For a player that was banished to the AHL just two years ago and was passed over on waivers twice by every team in the NHL, and has a injury history, this deal stinks!
Yes he managed a decent season playing in 64 games and scored 21 points for Dallas but that was a one year deal for $1.65 million contract. The buy low sell high window on Souray has passed. Souray had a quick and strong start to the 2011/2012 season. If you currently own Souray I would suggest hoping he has a good start in Anaheim and sell high!
Ottawa Senators made some moves by trading forward Nick Foligno to Columbus for defender Marc Methot. Ottawa also signed forward Guillame Latendresse and defenseman Mike Lundin
Overall I see this as a loss for Ottawa. Nick Foligno is a player on the rise. He had a good season with Ottawa providing some very big, and controversial hits has played all 82 games for two seasons in a row and produced 47 points last season. While Latendresse could be a comparable replacement, he has a serious concussion and injury history and is unlikely to play all 82 games. The additions of Methot and Lundin on defense will fill voids left by the departing Matt Carkner and Filip Kuba. Methot is a physical stay at home rugged defender who also struggles to remain healthy. Lundin is another defensive defender which hurts the overall fantasy value of all the Sens players slightly.
P.A. Parenteau was signed by the Colorado Avalanche to a four year $16 million contract earning him an average of $4 per season. Parenteau has produced two strong seasons for the Islanders playing alongside John Tavares. Will the playmaker enjoy similar success setting up the likes of Stastney, Duchene and Landeskog? Perhaps but what was most attractive about Parenteau was the ability to acquire a little know fantasy point producing player with a friendly $600K cap hit. In a capped pool, his market value just took a major adjustment. He is no longer a solid buy low candidate.
While it is unfair to compare UFA contracts to RFA contracts it is interesting to note that Stastny, Jones, Parenteau, and Landeskog all have higher cap hits the Matt Duchene.
Jordan Staal signed the 10 year $60 million contract he refused to sign in Pittsburgh, making him a Carolina Hurricane for a decade.
Ryan Smyth will retire an Oiler after signing a two year deal worth $4.5
Dustin Penner went from pancake eating goat with a horrible contract to Stanley Cup contributor earning him a $3.25 million one year contract. It's hard to let players walk after they help you win a championship. While only a one year deal the risk is negligible, but Penner could have a strong season as he endured significant personal challenges last year. Once they were resolved and he was also physically healthy he began to produce.
Matt Frattin quietly had a very strong AHL playoff for the Toronto Marlies. He resigned for two years for $850,000 a steal for the Leafs!
Scott Clemmensen - Florida Panthers for two years. Is Florida out of the Luongo race?
Jonas Gustavsson - Detroit two years, $3million. Solid back up for Howard.
Colby Armstrong - Montreal one year $1 million after buyout from the Leafs
Ray Whitney - Dallas two years $9 million. Big bucks for a 40 year old. Very risky!
Filip Kuba - Florida two years $8 million. A minus -26 one year, +26 the next.
Alexi Ponikarovsky - Winnipeg one year $1.8 million. Reunited with his pal Nik Antropov
Chris Mason - Nashville one year $1.25 million to back up Rinne.
Jay McClement - Toronto two years $3 million. With Bozak, Steckel, Grabovski, Colbourne, Connolly it is difficult to see where McClement will fit in in Toronto. More moves to come?
Sami Salo - Tampa two years $7.5 million. Reunited with Ohlund but very VERY injury prone.
Jordin Tootoo - Detroit 3 years $5.75 million. Under $2 million a year is great value.
For a complete list of all the free agent signings visit
Remaining top free agents
Zach Parise - New Jersey, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Detroit, LA, Philadelphia
Ryan Suter - Nashville, Detroit, Philadelphia, Minnesota
Shane Doan- Phoenix, Toronto, Dallas
Jaromir Jagr - Philadelphia, Montreal, Calgary, New Jersey
Jiri Hudler - Toronto, New York Rangers, Detroit, Washington
Alex Semin - Detroit, Washington
Olli Jokinen - Buffalo, Islanders, Toronto, Calgary
Matt Carle - Philadelphia
Available in trade
Rick Nash - Rangers, Sharks, Red wings are top contenders. Toronto, Ottawa are out.
Roberto Luongo - With Florida out, is Toronto only choice?
Ales Hemsky - Edmonton is shopping Hemsky hard.
Bobby Ryan - Buffalo is offering Derek Roy + sweeteners
Jay Bouwmeester - With Giordano and Wideman Bouwmeester is odd man out.
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By: Peter Harling
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