Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gomez For Higgins

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To New York PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Christopher Higgins F 26 57 23 RFA
Ryan McDonagh D 20 0 0 RFA
Pavel Valentenko D 21 0 0 1 year/$850,000
Doug Janik D 29 15 1 UFA
2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Montreal PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Scott Gomez F 29 77 58 5 years/$7.357 million
Tom Pyatt F 22 0 0 1 year/$850,000
Mike Busto D 23 0 0 N/A

Wow. Now, this is one hell of a deal, obviously looking for some cap room in the Big Apple, as the Rangers have now sent Scott Gomez packing to Montreal for Chris Higgins. The Rangers have to make a deal with Higgins, as he will now head to restricted free agency, but he shouldn't be too close to what Gomez was making, so there will be some significant cap savings there.

Gomez will now be a first line centre in Montreal, but they have many holes to fill up front, so there is yet to be a good picture of how he'll do there.

Higgins in a new environment will be interesting to see. He struggled with some injuries last season, so he'll get a good, fresh look at a new team and maybe some new enthusiasm will make him a better player.

Devils Re-Sign Oduya

The Devils announced on Tuesday that they have re-signed one of their potential UFAs for the summer in Johnny Oduya. The 27-year old defender was slated to hit the market tomorrow, but the Devils managed to reel him in with a 3-year deal worth $10.5 million. This works out to be a $3.5 million salary cap hit in each of the three seasons. Oduya was thought to be a prized defender, if he was to have hit the open market.

In 2009, Oduya finished second among Devils defenders with 29 points (7 goals & 22 assists) in all 82 GP. He ranked 57th among all defensemen in pool points, which makes him a necessity on someone's team come fantasy draft time, as he doesn't sit too deep in the rankings. He isn't considered one of the most offensive defenders, but he does put enough points on the board to make a small difference. His durability is also a very good quality to pick-up for your team.

Zach ParisePaul MartinMartin Brodeur
Patrik EliasJohnny Oduya
Jamie LangenbrunnerColin White
Dainius ZubrusBryce Salvador
David Clarkson
Brian Rolston
Jay Pandolfo

The Devils also rank themselves as one of the higher average salary teams in the NHL, as they currently have 12 players signed on (with Oduya) at an approximate cap hit of $42.1 million, leaving $14.5 million to sign on nine players this summer. Fortunately for the Devils, they continue to have a very reliable backend, which has to help Martin Brodeur, in his quest for more NHL records.

Blake Re-Signs in San Jose

The San Jose Sharks have decided to keep veteran defenseman, Rob Blake, in the fold for another season. Blake signed a 1-year deal, reportedly worth $3.5 million on Tuesday. Blake was signed on by the Sharks last summer, a few days into the free agent frenzy and it looks like he impressed the San Jose brass enough to keep him on for another season.

In 2009, Blake marked an improvement year with 10 goals and 35 assists in 73 GP, which ranked him 171st in pool scoring in the league, 15th among all blueliners. He marked a 14-point improvement over his last season in Los Angeles, which has to mean great things for the Sharks, especially since they have another good power play defenseman in Dan Boyle, already on the team.

Joe ThorntonDan BoyleEvgeni Nabokov
Patrick MarleauRob Blake
Devin SetoguchiChristian Ehrhoff
Joe PavelskiMarc-Eduoard Vlasic
Milan MichalekBrad Lukowich
Jonathan CheechooDoug Murray
Jody Shelley

The $3.5 million cap hit that Blake will weigh on the Sharks payroll is actually down by $1.5 million, so that has to make the Sharks management extremely happy. The Sharks now have 14 players signed onto their roster, but the cap hit is still rather high, sitting at $50.3 million (approx.). Among the 30 teams in the league, the Sharks have the second-highest average salary for players expected to be on their roster ($3.59 million), see the table above. This will likely wreak some havoc in signing some of the team's other potential targets, but some movement may also be on the horizon as well.

Avs Re-Sign Budaj

The Avalanche announced on Monday that they have re-signed goaltender, Peter Budaj, to a new 1-year deal worth $1.25 million. Budaj, 26, was scheduled to be a restricted free agent come July 1st, but the team decided to keep his services in check and have him around to likely be the back-up in the 2010 season.

In 2009, Budaj split the goaltending duties with Andrew Raycroft, winning 20 games, one by shutout and also posting an assist for 45 pool points. Those numbers did not sit well in the standings or in many fantasy pools, so it is widely believed that the Avalanche are now shopping for some more goaltending talent. Budaj, in this case, would serve as a competent back-up to whoever they pick-up. Saying that, Budaj's fantasy value will likely take another hit, unless the talent the team brings in is sub-par and Budaj would have to reprise his role as the number one guy. Look for Budaj to still get some quality minutes in the Avalanche net, just maybe not the 3,200+ minutes he had in 2009.

Milan HejdukJohn-Michael LilesPeter Budaj
Ryan SmythRuslan Salei
Wojtek WolskiBrett Clark
Paul StatsnyScott Hannan
Marek SvatosAdam Foote
T.J. Hensick
Cody McLeod
Chris Stewart
Darcy Tucker

The small cap hit that Budaj has is a benefit to the team that now has 15 players signed on at an annual cap hit of $45.9 million, leaving about $10.8 million remaining for the remaining 8 players. The Avalanche will have plenty of players to look at this summer and we are still awaiting word as to whether or not Joe Sakic is returning for another year.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Guerin Signs in Pittsburgh

Another quick hit to the signing parade, as the Penguins have now added Bill Guerin back into their mix for another year. The Penguins decided to give him another season at a reasonable cap hit of $2 million. Guerin was acquired at the deadline from the Islanders and was a big help in the Stanley Cup winning playoff run in the Spring.

In the regular season, Guerin was still good for 21 goals and 27 assists in 78 games between Long Island and Pittsburgh and was a key veteran addition in the Spring. With 21 goals and 48 points, he can still be considered a reasonable fantasy player, if you go a little deeper in the draft. He could even see an increase in scoring, especially since he will be playing a full season with talent like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He'll be a hard player to pass up, but don't get him too early.

Evgeni MalkinKris LetangMarc-Andre Fleury
Sidney CrosbyAlex Goligoski
Chris KunitzSergei Gonchar
Jordan StaalBrooks Orpik
Bill GuerinMark Eaton
Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke
Pascal Dupuis
Maxime Talbot
Erik Godard

The Penguins are looking to be a little top heavy, in terms of their salary numbers and the number of players. With the signing of Guerin, the Penguins will look towards July 1st with 17 players signed at $49.7 million (approx.), not leaving much more space for name players. The Penguins may be another team that may head to their farm system for some of their filler talent.

Waiving to Buy-Out

The Blues did a little bit more to help out their salary cap situation for the free agent frenzy by unconditionally waiving Jay McKee with the intentions of buying him out. The $4 million cap hit will be taken down and spread out over a couple of seasons. McKee will immediately become an unrestricted free agent when the buyout completes on Tuesday.

Peter Schaefer, who played the entire 2009 season in the AHL, which was certainly not worth the $2.1 million salary. With one more season left on his contract, the Bruins did not want to have him sit in the minors with that big salary, so they will buy him out this week and they will let someone else deal with him.

The Panthers will also be buying out Brett McLean this week, making him an unrestricted free agent. McLean, 30, had 19 points in 80 GP in 2009, which was considered not to be worth the $1.7 million cap hit in his final year of his deal. So, you can add these three names to your UFA list for the summer.

Blues Re-Sign Two

A couple of depth players signed on again with the Blues on Monday. Forward Brad Winchester and defenseman Mike Weaver both signed 1-year, $800,000 deals, helping their cap number heading into the free agent frenzy on Wednesday.

Winchester finished the 2009 campaign with 13 goals and 8 assists in 64 GP. Those are some career numbers for him, but they are not significant enough to make an impact on a fantasy team.

Weaver signed on with the Blues for some defending depth, since the team struggled with injury. He played in 58 games, registering only 7 assists. With some of their injuries coming back this year, his numbers will either stay that low or end up going down further.

Hawks Re-Sign Bolland

The Blackhawks announced on Monday that they have re-signed forward Dave Bolland to a new deal, which will last five years and be worth $16.875 million, with a cap hit of $3.375 million per season.

In the 2009 regular season, Bolland ranked 148th in the league in pool scoring with 19 goals and 28 assists in 81 games. It was a career year for him, as he finally managed to jump into the line-up on a full-time basis. His deal looks to be banking on a 20-goal season going forward, which is a pretty good bet after the year he put in. He is someone to look for in your pool draft at a reasonable spot.

Patrick KaneDuncan KeithCristobel Huet
Jonathan ToewsBrent Seabrook
Andrew LaddBrian Campbell
Dave BollandBrent Sopel
Patrick Sharp
Dustin Byfuglien
Adam Burish

The signing of Bolland has now put the team up to 12 players signed at a rate of just over $39 million for the coming season, with plenty of free agents to sort out this year. With some of the UFAs on the list, the Blackhawks will be likely heading back to their AHL affiliate to help fill their roster up to the maximum of 23 players.

Huricanes Re-Sign Jokinen

The Hurricanes kept Jussi Jokinen from hitting free agency on Wednesday by signing him to a 2-year, $3.4 million deal on Monday. Jokinen was an instrumental player in the Hurricanes good run in the playoffs and he was rewarded with a brand new deal.

In the 2009 regular season, Jokinen finished with 7 goals and 20 assists in 71 games played. Jokinen doesn't come with a great deal of regular season fantasy value at the moment, but he is usually known for quite a few more points.

Ray WhitneyJoe CorvoCam Ward
Eric StaalJoni PitkanenMike Leighton
Rod Brind'AmourTim Gleason
Sergei SamsonovNiclas Wallin
Matt CullenFrank Kaberle
Jussi Jokinen

Scott Walker

Patrick Eaves

Brandon Sutter

The $1.7 million salary cap hit was very helpful to the Hurricanes' cause, giving them now 16 players at only $44.2 million. With the new cap number announced, the Hurricanes obviously thought it was a good time to put that kind of number together for Jokinen. There isn't too many more holes to fill this summer, but with the way that free agency is setting up, they can certainly be in the mix come playoff time in 2010.

Penguins Re-Sign Adams

The summer signings have begun a little early, as the Penguins have announced that they have signed Craig Adams to a new 2-year deal on Monday. Adams was set to become an unrestricted free agent, but will no remain with the Penguins for the foreseeable future. There were no financial terms released with this signing news, so there will be no team update with this release.

Last season, Adams finished with 7 points in 45 GP between Chicago and Pittsburgh. Doesn't carry much fantasy value.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vandermeer for Prust

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Calgary PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Brandon Prust F 25 36 3 1 year/$500,000
2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Phoenix PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Jim Vandermeer D 29 45 7 2 years/$2.3 million

This deal is one that should open up the pocket books a little for the Calgary Flames, as they have moved Jim Vandermeer to the Coyotes and in return they re-acquire Brandon Prust, who they dealt to Phoenix at the deadline in the Olli Jokinen deal. As you can see above, the deal is a pretty large savings, especially since Prust is a two-way player and his cap hit won't actually affect the team if he's playing in the minors. Opening up that sort of space means big things for the Flames and signing Jay Bouwmeester, who they acquired in the early part of Saturday.

The Flames now stand with 15 players signed onto their roster for a cap cost of $45.4 million.

Coyotes Acquire Lepisto

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Phoenix PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Sami Lepisto D 24 7 0 RFA
2008-2009 Statistics2010
To WashingtonPosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
2010 5th Round Pick

There isn't a great deal of meat to this trade, but Sami Lepisto does have a little bit of potential still to realize in the NHL. He was thought to be bringing some good offensive upside to the Capitals, but the Caps stacked themselves up with plenty of good defensemen over the past few seasons, squeezing Lepisto out of the picture. In Phoenix, he could make a name for himself.

Not overall a big fantasy trade here... yet.

Wild Acquire Brodziak

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Minnesota PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Kyle Brodziak F 25 79 27 RFA
2009 6th Round Pick

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Edmonton PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
2009 4th Round Pick
2009 5th Round Pick

The Wild have managed to use their fourth round pick to snag an established NHLer by acquiring Kyle Brodziak from the Oilers. This really is a good move, since the likelihood of good things in the fourth round somewhat diminishes, although the Oilers seemed to have someone in mind here. The Wild are in somewhat of a limbo situation with some of their bigger players, so filling up the roster right now doesn't seem like a bad idea. With only 27 points in 2009, Brodziak shouldn't be an expensive addition to the team either.

Flames Acquire Rights for Bouwmeester

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Calgary PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Jay Bouwmeester D 25 82 42 UFA

2008-2009 Statistics2010
To Florida PosAgeGP/MINPointsCap Hit
Jordan Leopold D 28 83 24 UFA
2009 3rd Round Pick

The Flames managed to pull off the deal for the most coveted potential free agent this summer. The Flames have sent Jordan Leopold and their third round pick on Saturday to the Panthers for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. It was certainly understood that the Panthers were not going to be able to re-sign Bouwmeester to a new deal, so they were shopping the defender around to make sure that they at least get something in return for his signing rights before July 1st.

Both defensemen are still really young and have a lot to give to their new teams, if they can be signed before July 1st. The Flames have $10 million to use on 7 available spots, where the Panthers have over $16 million for 7 spots. Certainly the Panthers had more room for Bouwmeester, but they didn't have the team or the management for him to feel comfortable about signing for the long-term. This will all get some better analysis if these players have signed, but the Flames have likely got themselves in better shape with this deal.