More Mike Santorelli, goodbye to Danny Briere and a lot at a number of fringe fantasy defenseman to traget or avoid ...
Michael Santorelli signed a one-year, $875,000 contract with the Anaheim Ducks Monday. The fantasy impact is minor, but his addition could make it more difficult for Jiri Sekac or Rickard Rakell to climb up the depth chart, in the case of an injury.
Santorelli is equally capable of lining up as a top-six winger or centering the fourth line. His signing is extremely beneficial for Anaheim's depth, and they were already extremely beefy in net and on the line blue line. There aren't many holes here.
Additionally, Nick Ritchie or Stefan Noesen are a little -- maybe even a lot -- less likely to see a significant -- if any -- audition this season.
Here is a quick stab at the Anaheim forward corps:
I've maintained all along that Hagelin would be a better fit on the third line, so Chris Stewart would have to jump up. Stewart hasn't been overly effective offensively since the 2012-13 season, and like Hagelin, he projects better in a lower rank.
Additionally, Sekac will be playing out his last season as a restricted free agent, so it would make sense for Anaheim to test just what they have asset wise with him.
One more note, Nate Thompson is out through December and potentially into the New Year, so the Ducks have hole.
Ultimately, the Ducks added another trooper to a tight unit poised to take another run at winning the Western Conference. They've got a few candidates worthy of being a top-six winger (Hagelin, Stewart, Sekac and maybe even Sanotrelli), but with ample cap space, it would seem more likely they make an in-season acquisition to land a second-line winger.
Although, perhaps, Stewart rebounds or Hagelin fits, at least Anaheim has options.
Daniel Briere retired Monday. He was a gutsy guy who absolutely owned the post season. 30 points -- 12 goals -- over 23 games during the Flyers run in 2010 and eight goals and 13 points through 11 games during the 2012 playoffs, which included the dramatic first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Most notably about Briere, and while Martin St. Louis would receive more recognition for emerging as the undersized star, Briere added a gritty element to his game and topped 50 penalty minutes nine times.
Briere noted the reality of his situation in the linked article, and paired with the importance of being home with his family, it seems like the right choice for No. 48. He was going to have a difficult time finding a job, likely. Plus, he cashed in a few times.
Shifting quickly to Colorado, they look to be headed right back to the basement. Losing key cogs in consecutive seasons will be difficult to overcome, and while Nathan MacKinnon should take a significant step forward, they're still an injury away from looking awful.
When you compare them to the Ducks and other top-end teams, Colorado doesn't have the players capable of climbing a depth chart and keeping pace for a few weeks. Blake Comeau and Mikhail Grigorenko, potentially, but they'll be counted on in third-line roles. Their advancement will only hide the hole temporarily and expose a larger one.
Also, don't underestimate the loss of Jan Hejda on the blue line, assuming he isn't re-signing with the Aves, of course.
Saturday, I took a look at fringe forwards from my rankings, so here is a look at some rearguards.
Seth Jones, Nashville Predators: We all love Jones, and he has flashed what he is capable of since joining the league. He also ascended last season after a rough start and hurdled over the sophomore wall. Still, he is firmly behind Shea Weber and Roman Josi at even strength and on the power play, so Jones' upside is limited in that regard. It is likely his fantasy stock has enough helium to carry him into overrated territory.
Michael Del Zotto, Phildealphia Flyers: With Mark Streit in tow, Del Zotto will have a difficult time joining the No. 1 power-play unit. Typically, second-unit duty suffices, but Philadelphia's top unit is among the best in the league. Still, Del Zotto seemed to be in on every goal from January 1 on, and finished with 24 points over his final 39 games. His ice time jumped, too. Another sneaky truth, he played to a plus-1 over his 28 games after the All-Star break. The Flyer is worth a late flier.
T.J. Brodie, Calgary Flames: The common narrative is he fell off the map after Mark Giordano was injured, but Brodie didn't really produce much after the first two months of the season. Brodie scored 20 points over his final 56 games, and the fact the Flames felt the need to land Dougie Hamilton should raise a red flag to half mast. Brodie is an extremely talented defenseman, but don't blindly assume he is a lock to hit 40 points again, and there may never be another level of offensive production.
David Savard, Columbus Blue Jacket: Here is a profit opportunity. Savard settled in with Jack Johnson on the top pairing last season, and Savard received power-play time. He should have gained invaluable experience with the Canadian team during the World Championships this spring, too. Post All-Star break, Savard had 20 points, 35 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating over 37 games. Plus, he has shown similar career trajectory at the major junior and minor league levels.
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadians: With a role on an excellent team for an entire season, we'll have a better understanding of Petry's fantasy value. Andrei Markov is slow, and while he'll still receive more power-play time, likely, Petry could leapfrog the veteran in other spots. Petry produced the best points-per-game pace of his career during his 19 games with the Habs last season, which would prorate out to 30 points over 82 games. He is unlikely to be a year-long staple in your lineups, though.
Enjoy your day, folks.
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