Part 4 in a four-part look at those players who may have played their last game for their respective team and what a move will mean from a fantasy hockey standpoint.
UFA’s – Todd Marchant, Brad Larsen, Rob Niedermayer, Scott Niedermayer, Francois Beauchemin, Brett Hedican, David LeNeveu
RFA’s – Mike Brown, Erik Christensen, Troy Bodie, Brett Festerling, Brian Salcido, James Wisniewski
Outgoing – The Ducks have already prepared for the loss of Scott Niedermayer and/or Beauchemin when they acquired Ryan Whitney and Wisniewski. The Ducks have already stated that they will match any offer for Wisniewski.
Of Fantasy Note – If Salcido signs a one-way contract and both of the aforementioned rearguards move on, he’ll have instant fantasy value. Wisniewski and Whitney’s production hinge greatly on Niedermayer not returning. If he returns, it hurts them.
UFA’s – P.J. Axelsson, Stephane Yelle, Martin St. Pierre, Mark Recchi, Shane Hnidy, Steve Montador, Johnny Boychuk, Manny Fernandez
RFA’s – Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Byron Bitz, Matt Hunwick, Kevin Regan
Outgoing – Not only are the UFA’s likely gone, but one of Kessel and Krejci have a strong chance of leaving too. Especially if both of them get offer sheets. There is no way the Bruins can match two offer sheets.
Of Fantasy Note – St. Pierre has always intrigued me, as most skilled, smaller players do. They tend to be written off by fantasy owners and then suddenly they find the right situation as they hit their mid to late 20s and explode. See Martin St. Louis and Steve Sullivan for details. If he signs with a weak team like Atlanta and is given a cheap one-way contract, I will be paying close attention to his training camp – and you can bet I will take a flyer on him if I’m impressed.
UFA’s – Chad Larose, Erik Cole, Ryan Bayda, Michael Ryan, Dwight Helminen, Pat Dwyer, Dan Lacouture, Dennis Seidenberg, David Tanabe
RFA’s – Tuomo Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen, Jakub Petruzalek, Anton Babchuk, Bryan Rodney, Casey Borer, Brett Carson, Justin Peters
Outgoing – They’ll keep Cole. At least, if he’s smart they will. He has his greatest success with Carolina and it goes both ways.
Of Fantasy Note – Jokinen will bounce back to at least 55 points next campaign. Babchuk is a huge boom or bust.
UFA’s – Martin Havlat, Samuel Pahlsson, Tim Brent, Pascal Pelletier, Matt Walker, Aaron Johnson, Nikolai Khabibulin
RFA’s – Dave Bolland, Troy Brower, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Kris Versteeg, Jacob Dowell, Cam Barker, Antti Niemi, Corey Crawford
Outgoing – I don’t think the Hawks can afford Havlat or Khabibulin. All these UFA’s are gone. Versteeg and Bolland are prime candidates for offer sheets from other teams.
Of Fantasy Note – Both Niemi and Crawford will negotiate hard for a one-way contract. One of them will be the backup next year and given Cristobal Huet’s injury history, they will get a chance to steal the top job. The type of contract is key.
Detroit Red Wings
UFA’s – Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Darren McCarty, Tomas Kopecky, Aaron Downey, Chris Chelios, Ty Conklin
RFA’s – Jiri Hudler, Ville Leino
Outgoing – No way they can keep Hossa. Leino will sign a one-way contract. Hudler is a prime candidate to sign an offer sheet, but the Wings will match I’m sure.
Of Fantasy Note – Leino will get at least 45 next year. Word out of Detroit is that Jimmy Howard will back up Osgood next season and Conklin will be let go.
UFA’s – Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora, Ruslan Fedotenko, Bill Guerin, Mike Zigomanis, Bill Thomas, Chris Minard, Janne Pesonen, Craig Adams, Jeff Taffe, Connor James, Hal Gill, Philippe Boucher, Rob Scuderi, Mathieu Garon
RFA’s – Paul Bissonnette, Tim Wallace, Alex Goligoski, Ben Lovejoy, John Curry
Outgoing – I think the Pens will be interested in bringing back Guerin, Fedotenko, Pesonen, Scuderi and Zigomanis.
Of Fantasy Note – Losing Satan and Sykora will open the door from one of Luca Caputi, Eric Tangradi or Janne Pesonen. However, the latter may want to sign somewhere where he will have a bigger opportunity.
UFA’s – Mats Sundin, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Rick Rypien, Taylor Pyatt, Jason Jaffray, Michel Ouellet, Jason Krog, Mattias Ohlund, Rob Davison, Ossi Vaananen, Nolan Baumgartner, Jason LaBarbera, Curtis Sanford
RFA’s – Kyle Wellwood, Jannik Hansen, Shane O’Brien
Outgoing – GM Mike Gillis has stated that he would like to re-sign the twins, but to do that it would mean that Sundin will not return. The Sedins returning – with a large raise – will only mean the Canucks will be worse than last season, as they will be less able to load up the forward lines.
Of Fantasy Note – Recently signed potential RFA Steve Bernier will have a couple of seasons in the 40- to 55-point range before making a big jump to the high 60s or even higher.
UFA’s – Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov, Quintin Laing, Donald Brashear, Alexandre Giroux, Graham Mink, Tyler Sloan, Bryan Helmer, Staffan Kronwall, Brent Johnson
RFA’s – Eric Fehr, Boyd Gordon, Chris Bourque, Shaone Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina, Jeff Schultz, Sami Lepisto, Sean Collins, Daren Machesney
Outgoing – There is a chance that the Caps sign the two Russians Fedorov and Kozlov, but either way it won’t have a fantasy impact on those players nor on the rest of the roster. Fedorov has said that he will not retire and would like to stay and the Caps are interested.
Of Fantasy Note – Bourque and Lepisto would love to sign one-way deals, but have little ground to stand on for that demand. This is Lepisto’s last real chance to make an impression as a blue-chip fantasy prospect.