Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - Inside Free Agent Frenzy

  • Inside Free Agent Frenzy - Defensemen

    So what does the average free agent defenseman from this year look like?

    Well, he has signed a three year deal worth $13,070,588 or $2,862,066 Annual Average Value (AAV) and has played on average 62 games with 4 goals and 17 points.

    If that sounds like a lot, well, it is. I understand that teams are signing these guys for the future. However, by the time a player reaches UFA status, we usually know who they are as far as NHL production goes. Also, many of these players are signed to be defensive anchors on their new NHL teams. The problem is you only get the offensive stats, even if these players are paid to play defense.

    I will review defensemen today and follow up with forwards shortly. Remember, these numbers don't include Sidney Crosby's mammoth deal, Jordan Staal or any player who didn't hit the open market. This is simply free market analysis. There has also been a lot of talk about how players salary doesn't affect the average fan, and while I agree with that, it does affect many fantasy players in deep cap leagues.

    It can be frustrating to watch a bargain player like PA Parenteau lose value by signing a big money contract. So with teams handing out $222 million in contracts to defensemen with $48 million in salary for next year as well as $209 million equaling $53 million in salary to forwards for next year lets take a look at some of the least productive signings so far in free agency.

    For this I will not be using each players projections, but simply their three-year averages for games played and points versues the Annual Average Value of their newly signed contracts.

    Sheldon Brookbank signed in Chicago. His $2.5 million cap hit means he is getting $40,322 per game and $326,086.96 per point.

    Bryan Allen is a terrific defender, but his fantasy value has never been lower in a cap league where he will make $46,052 and if he continues his career average will earn $238,636 per point.

    Greg Zanon is moving to Colorado's deep blueline so he'll be luck to maintain his career pace of $225,000 per point while making $30,821 per game.

    Aaron Rome makes this list as well with $30,405 per game and $236,842 per point.

    Jason Garrison was sought after by many teams and Vancouver did overpay to land him. His numbers could improve, but if they don't fantasy owners will be shelling out $73,015 per game and $233,898 per point.

    Sheldon Souray will probably not be able be much healthier than he has been over the last three years. That means fantasy owners can expect him to cost them $72,607 per game or $215,686 per point.

    The same can be said for Matt Carkner and his knees. He'll should make $28,125.00 and cost you $214,285 per point.

    One of of the biggest names to sign is next on this list. He could see his totals rise, but there is no sure bet that Ryan Suter can improve on his average of 41 points over the last three years. If they stay the course Suter makes $97,902.10 per game and $185,372 per point.

    So that is the bad news. Lets take a look at some value.

    Jack Hillen could see his offense rise a bit under Adam Oates in Washington. If he can stay on the ice for more than the 63 games he has averaged over the course of the year he should be able to improve on his 18 points a year. Even if he simply maintains that production he will cost fantasy owners $10,372 per game and $39,795 per point. Look at him as a sleeper in deeper cap pools this year. Interestingly, if you look at points per game between Brookbank and Hillen the contrast is staggering. Hillen costs just over $2 million as an investment in points per game. While Brookbank costs you just over $20 million.

    Joe Corvo is back in Caronlina and should see more ice time than he did on Boston's crowded blueline. If he continues his three-year average he will earn $28,708 a year and $72,289 per point.

    Adrian Aucoin's role in Columbus is unclear. At his age, and on that team he may struggle to maintain his average of 74 games and 20 points a year. However, if you think he can do it try and find room for him on your roster as he'll earn $27,149 a game and $101,694 per point.

    Matt Carle is another major signing. The new deal is fairly neutral. He will make $67,622 a game and $146,017 per point. It is expensive, but if you think he can improve on a an average of 38 points per game this may be the best time to grab him. If you are deciding between Carle and Suter it is interesting to note that Carle has average 38 points and Suter 41 points over the last three years. That comes to an $2.4 million difference, in favor of Carle, in points per game versus AAV.

    One final player to note is Filip Kuba. I would avoid him for several reasons. Age is not in his favour. His three biggest years have come in his contract year and he will no longer be playing next to Erik Karlsson. The new deal with Florida earns him $63,157 a game if he maintains the same health as the previous three years and if he can stay on the ice and find production with our a Norris winning partner he is inline to make $157,894 for each of his 25 points. That is a lot of ifs, ands, buts as well as years.

    Who do you think was the least productive signing so far among NHL defenders?
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