Monday, July 31, 2017

Sabres Ink Beaulieu

The Buffalo Sabres signed one of their off-season acquisitions on Monday afternoon, penning a new deal with defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who they acquired from the Canadiens back in June.  The move was made by the Canadiens, who were in need of just a little bit more cap space, understanding that they had depth on the blueline and Beaulieu was a marketable asset, as well as a restricted free agent.

The deal on Monday was a 2-year pact, reportedly worth $4.8 million, which by all accounts, could be a very cost efficient deal for the Sabres, especially looking at Morgan Rielly in Toronto or Jonas Brodin in Minnesota, both in the same age range, scored less than Beaulieu in 2017 and both make north of $4 million per season.

Talking about scoring, Beaulieu was 60th among all defensemen in scoring, picking up 4 goals and 28 points in 74 games and the opportunities he could get in Buffalo do allow for an upswing in scoring, if all pans out well.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Ryan O'Reilly 7.500 Rasmus Ristolainen 5.400 Robin Lehner 4.000
Kyle Okposo 6.000 Zach Bogosian 5.143 Chad Johnson 2.500
Jason Pominville 5.600 Marco Scandella 4.000
Evander Kane 5.250 Josh Gorges 3.900
Matt Moulson 5.000 Nathan Beaulieu 2.400
Johan Larsson 1.475 Jake McCabe 1.600
Benoit Pouliot 1.150 Justin Falk 0.650
Jack Eichel 0.925
Hudson Fasching 0.925
Alexander Nylander 0.894
Sam Reinhart 0.894
Nicolas Deslauriers 0.775
Jacob Josefson 0.700
Seth Griffith 0.650

The Sabres still have one more key piece of the puzzle to re-sign in this off-season and that's forward Zemgus Girgensons, who is still early on in his career and likely shouldn't be commanding too much, especially with his scoring numbers.  Nevertheless, with the Beaulieu deal done, the Sabres have $7.6 million in leftover space, when using the projected roster above.  There's still a few bubble players to possibly move up and/or down, so they should be more than okay with their cap situation today.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Niederreiter Right For Wild

The Minnesota Wild also saved themselves a trip to the arbitrator's table this week, as the August 3rd hearing for Nino Niederreiter will not be needed.  The Wild and the speedy forward have come to terms on a 5-year, $26.25 million deal, which will extend through the 2022 regular season.

The 24-year old Swiss player has really found a good home in Minnesota, establishing himself and gaining steam year over year for the last few years.  The 2017 season saw him hit career highs in goals and points, 25 and 57 in all 82 games played, good enough to make him 72nd overall in hockey pool scoring, 50th among all forwards.

How high can the trend line possibly go up for Niederreiter?  43 points in 2016... 37 points in 2015... yes, we're going a bit backwards, but I trust you get the point.  When the pool projections come out, could he still possibly continue upwards or will his production start to even out?

According to DobberHockey, Niederreiter spent a lot of time with Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal, two players still with the club and in key positions to still produce.  Another full season with these two and all three could be doing some good things.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Zach Parise 7.538 Ryan Suter 7.538 Devan Dubnyk 4.333
Mikko Koivu 6.750 Jared Spurgeon 5.188 Alex Stalock 0.650
Nino Niederreiter 5.250 Jonas Brodin 4.167
Tyler Ennis 4.600 Matt Dumba 2.550
Eric Staal 3.500 Kyle Quincey 1.250
Charlie Coyle 3.200 Mike Reilly 0.725
Jason Zucker 2.000 Ryan Murphy 0.700
Chris Stewart 1.150
Luke Kunin 0.925
Joel Eriksson Ek 0.894
Justin Kloos 0.793
Christoph Bertschy 0.776
Landon Ferraro 0.700
Cal O'Reilly 0.700

The Wild still have to make a deal with Mikael Granlund and Marcus Foligno yet this off-season and they are quickly running out of cap space to do it.  This current projected 23-man roster only leaves $6.6 million left spend on top.  It's been suggested that Granlund could be looking for $6 million per season, while Foligno could still come in cheaply, but will it be cheap enough?

The Wild have done some curious things in this off-season, but things that have potential to pay off, mainly on the blueline.  It's really going to hinge on what Granlund gets paid, to see what kind of final lineup the Wild can put together, but they could still be an interesting team to watch this season.  They still have a good goalie to pin their hopes on, the defense isn't quite the same, but not far off and a personnel change up front, here and there, might inject a little more speed to their game and that couldn't be too bad, right?

Sheary Avoids His Hearing

The last big item on the champ's to-do list can now be checked off, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Conor Sheary have agreed to terms on Sunday.  The 25-year old forward signed a new 3-year, $9 million deal, well ahead of his August 4th arbitration hearing.

The previously undrafted forward has really appeared out of nowhere in the last couple of seasons and has really made his mark with the two-time defending Cup champs and his second season, this past one in 2017, has so far been his best, playing in 61 games and picking up 23 goals and 53 points.

In terms of the rankings, Sheary finished 96th overall and 71st among all forwards, which is better than anyone that is currently on the Colorado Avalanche roster today.

Sheary's contributions in the playoffs have probably made him more notable than anything, 10 points in 23 games in 2016 and then 7 points in 22 games in the last run.  It sure helps when you have a linemate like Sidney Crosby to help you out.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Evgeni Malkin 9.500 Kris Letang 7.250 Matt Murray 3.750
Sidney Crosby 8.700 Justin Schultz 5.500 Tristan Jarry 0.631
Phil Kessel 6.800 Brian Dumoulin 4.100
Patric Hornqvist 4.250 Olli Maatta 4.083
Carl Hagelin 4.000 Matt Hunwick 2.250
Conor Sheary 3.000 Ian Cole 2.100
Ryan Reaves 1.125 Derrick Pouliot 0.800
Jake Guentzel 0.734
Dominik Simon 0.693
Josh Archibald 0.675
Bryan Rust 0.640
Scott Wilson 0.625
Tom Kuhnhackl 0.625
Carter Rowney 0.613

The Pittsburgh Penguins are not in terrible shape, ahead of the 2018 season, as their current projected roster is still $2.5 million clear of the salary cap ceiling.  There are definitely some bubble players on that projected roster, players that could slide down and that can be ousted by someone working a little bit harder, but their talent waiting in the wings are not exactly costly either.

The only thing I can see standing in the way of another big season for the Penguins is their own health.  Their big stars are all on the injury prone list and their depth will certainly be tested throughout the season, but the longer they can stay healthy, the better this team can finish at the end of the regular season and we all know how they can turn it on in the playoffs.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

2017 Hockey Pool Draft Day Announced!

It's that exciting time in the summer again, where we are watching all of the major free agent signings in the NHL tail off, prospect camps for teams have already come and gone and now we continue to enjoy the warm weather in the summer and quickly mark our calendars for this year's hockey pool draft.

This year, we have the benefit of not having a preseason tournament, like the World Cup of Hockey, delaying and compacting the 2017 regular season and it also forced the hockey pool draft day, which I like to have done on the last Saturday before the regular season, to fall on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

This year, we're heading back to the same location, but it has a different name... what was Nicastro's last year, it is now North On Centre Public House and we should be in for a much better event this year.  You can find the location, here on the map.  If you weren't with us last year, North On Centre has a great upstairs room, which has a projector, tons of seating and another bar for us.  They will have their regular Saturday specials on, which include $3 tacos and $6 pints of Caravel Brewery beers, a good local brewery.

So... when is this awesome event, you ask?

September 30, 2017 at 1pm

The NHL regular season gets started on October 4, so teams should be all set to rock and roll by that Saturday, possibly still with a couple of cuts to make, but otherwise some full rosters.

The format shall remain the same, in terms of team sizes and scoring... why mess with a good thing?  14 players, which will include eight forwards, four defensemen and a pair of goalies.  The scoring will be as follows:
  • goal - 1 point
  • assist - 1 point
  • win - 2 points
  • shutout - 2 points
Dale B. won last year's pool with 668 points, taking home the trophy and the $750 1st place prize, narrowly beating Brian from down under.  That's a pretty sweet prize for a $60 buy-in, wouldn't you say?

Prizes were paid down to 3rd place and let's not forget about the mini-games, where there will be three more games during the year for teams to try and win their money back.  Last season, we had the goalie survivor pool, the penalty minutes pool and the outdoor games pool, all of which will be on the mini-game wheel, when we give it a few spins, once we conclude the draft.

I think that's pretty much everything.  I am hoping to get 25 teams (or a few more) again for the coming season.  With the inclusion of the Vegas Golden Knights, we'll have a couple more goalies to pick from, which is usually a position of contention in the draft, so the more players will make the draft a little merrier.

We'll see you at the end of September!

Predators to Keep Johansen Around For a While

The big signing news from Friday was the Nashville Predators coming to terms with their last big restricted free agent, forward Ryan Johansen, giving him a league maximum 8-year deal, worth $64 million, an $8 million cap hit per season.

Johansen has shown some flashes of brilliance, so far in his young career, but has had troubles with consistency, ever since coming over from Columbus to Nashville, he hasn't quite seen the scoring flair that was expected of him yet.  In the 2017 regular season, the soon-to-be 25-year old (birthday on Monday) played in all 82 games, but only scored 14 goals and 61 points.  That was still good enough for 57th overall in league scoring, but still a little ways off his career highs.

In the playoffs, before his thigh injury, Johansen was a big reason why the Predators were going as far as they did, as he had 3 goals and 13 points in 14 games, but missed out on the better part of the Conference Finals and the entire Cup Finals as well.

The injury shouldn't be lingering, as the thigh problem he had suffered in the playoffs was dealt with surgically, as soon as it was diagnosed and all the reports in the off-season have suggested that he is ahead of schedule for his rehab.  I would be fairly confident in saying that he should be ready to go for opening night.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Ryan Johansen 8.000 P.K. Subban 9.000 Pekka Rinne 7.000
Filip Forsberg 6.000 Roman Josi 4.000 Juuse Saros 0.693
Craig Smith 4.250 Mattias Ekholm 3.750
Viktor Arvidsson 4.250 Alexei Emelin 3.000
Nick Bonino 4.100 Ryan Ellis 2.500
Calle Jarnkrok 2.000 Matt Irwin 0.650
Austin Watson 1.100 Yannick Weber 0.650
Scott Hartnell 1.000 Petter Granberg 0.613
Kevin Fiala 0.863
Cody McLeod 0.800
Frederick Gaudreau 0.667
Pontus Aberg 0.650
Colton Sissons 0.625

The contract is a whopper of a deal and it makes him the 2nd-highest paid player on the team, only behind P.K. Subban.  The Predators are doing well with spending well withing their own budget and without any more free agents left to lock up under their own roof, I am showing that this 23-man projected roster still leaves about $6 million in cap space.

The additions of Nick Bonino and Scott Hartnell up front and Alexei Emelin on the blueline are very interesting additions to a team that lost James Neal to Vegas and still may not get Mike Fisher back, as he weighs out his career options.  I don't think there are any guarantees that this team will necessarily be better, but they certainly are not trending in the wrong direction either.  I think you'll be able to find a lot of points with the Predators and in good spots too.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gone to Europe (Jul 27)

Much ado was made about the Montreal Canadiens' decision to not bring back defenseman Andrei Markov, which was made public on Thursday morning. Markov, a 38-year old unrestricted free agent, has played his entire NHL career with the Habs, playing in 990 games with the club, was hoping to come back on a 2-year deal, but the term and the salary demands were far to steep for the team, who reportedly tried to offer him a 1-year deal with less money, but negotiations failed in the end.

It was revealed in a phone conference later in the day, that Markov has also decided to head back home to Russia to play in the KHL, likely ending his NHL career.

Last season, Markov was a productive member of the Montreal blueline, finishing 41st among all defensemen in scoring with 6 goals and 36 points in 62 games.  He has also had a productive career within the Opiated Sherpa hockey pools, contributing to two money teams, a 2nd place finish in 2013 and a 1st place finish in 2014.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Spooner & Bruins Settle

The Boston Bruins and forward Ryan Spooner avoided their arbitration hearing as well this week, agreeing to a new 1-year, $2.825 million deal for the 2018 season.  The hearing was set to go later on in the day on Wednesday, but like most arbitration filings, they have been settled before the hearing or the verdict.

In 78 games with the Bruins last season, the 25-year old scored 11 goals and 39 points, which was good enough for 206th overall and 147th among all forwards.

If all goes well in camp, you would have to think that Spooner would be reunited with both David Krejci and David Backes, his main linemates in the 2017 season, trying to recapture his numbers in the 2016 season, where he had career highs in goals and in points, 13 and 49, respectively.

The Bruins could do with a little more offense to help bolster their club and provide them a little bit more strength, once they hit playoff time and Spooner's drop in production between seasons needs to be remedied to help that happen.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
David Krejci 7.250 Torey Krug 5.250 Tuukka Rask 7.000
Patrice Bergeron 6.875 Zdeno Chara 4.000 Anton Khudobin 1.200
Brad Marchand 6.125 Adam McQuaid 2.750
David Backes 6.000 Kevan Miller 2.500
Matt Beleskey 3.800 Charles McAvoy 0.917
Ryan Spooner 2.825 Brandon Carlo 0.789
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson 0.917 Paul Postma 0.725
Riley Nash 0.900
Jake DeBrusk 0.863
Sean Kuraly 0.809
Frank Vatrano 0.793
Tim Schaller 0.775
Peter Cehlarik 0.743
Noel Acciari 0.725

The Bruins have a number of bubble players on their current projected roster and still have $7.7 million in unused space after these 23 players are accounted for, plus $2.7 million in buyouts on the books.  The last big piece of the puzzle this season is David Pastrnak, who may require a good portion of that $7.7 million in remaining space, but I couldn't quite see him getting paid more than Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand quite yet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Streit Back to Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens did well to source out some quality veteran help for their blueline and they were able to do so on a good budgetary deal, signing 39-year old Swiss defenseman Mark Streit to a 1-year, $700,000 deal on Tuesday morning.

Streit started his NHL career in 2006 with the Canadiens and he is now coming a full circle around, since this could be his last season in the NHL, giving it one more spin.

Last season, Streit split time between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, playing in 68 games, scoring 6 goals and 27 points, which was still good enough for 62nd among all defensemen, making him pool worthy still.

Joining the Canadiens should offer him some ice-time still, as the top three may be set, but depending on the day, the bottom three or four can find themselves swapped around pretty easily, also finding their way up to the press box from time to time.  Streit's offensive abilities could still translate for this team, making him a reasonable option for your hockey pool team, especially if you have salary cap constraints.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Tomas Plekanec 6.000 Shea Weber 7.857 Carey Price 6.500
Jonathan Drouin 5.500 Jeff Petry 5.500 Al Montoya 1.063
Alex Galchenyuk 4.900 Karl Alzner 4.625
Max Pacioretty 4.500 David Schlemko 2.100
Andrew Shaw 3.900 Brandon Davidson 1.425
Brendan Gallagher 3.750 Jordie Benn 1.100
Torrey Mitchell 1.200 Mark Streit 0.700
Paul Byron 1.167
Ales Hemsky 1.000
Artturi Lehkonen 0.925
Phillip Danault 0.913
Andreas Martinsen 0.675
Charles Hudon 0.650
Chris Terry 0.650

The Habs are far from locked in with this projected 23-man roster, but it is a pretty basic idea of what they could possibly look like, come puck drop in October.  This current group is coming in with a shade over $7 million left in unused cap space.  That's more than enough to find some extra help on a possible 1-year deal, if needed.

The addition of Streit is actually a pretty good one, in theory.  Streit is a very good puck mover and the Canadiens are going to remain a counter attacking team, which will rely on their speed at the forefront.  I think Streit could do a lot of good things on this team and could post a reasonable amount of points, but his ice-time may be limited to a certain degree, so I wouldn't go too crazy with his 2018 projections.

Rangers Lock Up Zibanejad

Another arbitration case hearing pushed to the side, as the New York Rangers and forward Mika Zibanejad have agreed on a new 5-year, $26.75 million deal on Tuesday morning.

The 24-year old Swede was a pretty good fit with the Rangers in the 2017 season, after being acquired in a trade from Ottawa last summer, playing in 56 games for his new club, scoring 14 goals and 37 points, finishing 226th overall in hockey pool scoring, 154th among all forwards.  It was a shame that he missed out on 26 games, due to injury, 25 of those games to a broken leg.

The new deal shows the player that he does have value within the organization and he appears to be one of those pieces that they feel comfortable building around.  The Rangers are going to be a slightly different looking club, with Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi out already and Kevin Shattenkirk, among other small additions, in for the coming year.  Bringing back Zibanejad into the fold officially ensures they have one of the bigger pieces for the coming year ready to go on time and the Rangers have only minor league pieces to deal with before the end of the summer.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Rick Nash 7.800 Kevin Shattenkirk 6.650 Henrik Lundqvist 8.500
Mika Zibanejad 5.350 Marc Staal 5.700 Ondrej Pavelec 1.300
Chris Kreider 4.625 Ryan McDonagh 4.700
Mats Zuccarello 4.500 Brendan Smith 4.350
J.T. Miller 2.750 Nick Holden 1.650
Jesper Fast 1.850 Brady Skjei 0.925
Michael Grabner 1.600 Anthony DeAngelo 0.863
Kevin Hayes 1.300
David Desharnais 1.000
Jimmy Vesey 0.925
Pavel Buchnevich 0.925
Adam Tambellini 0.803
Cristoval Nieves 0.755
Matt Puempel 0.725

With the chance of some minor changes made to this projected 23-man roster, the Rangers should have plenty of salary cap space to work with, if needed.  I currently have the Rangers with a little over $2.8 million in cap space today, with the roster above.  Forward Nicklas Jensen appears to be the only RFA left on their list that has a decent shot at a roster spot out of camp, if he gets his deal done in time.

The Rangers appear to be loading up from the back end with the inclusion of Shattenkirk to their roster moving forward, as the loss of Stepan, replaced really by only David Desharnais, leaves a little to be desired, in terms of scoring confidence.  Sure, they opened up the cap space for their prized new defenseman, but I don't think we've seen enough game-changing in Shattenkirk to suggest that he'll make the biggest difference for the Rangers this season.  Only time will tell, I suppose.

Lehner Gets One More Go

The Buffalo Sabres are committed to having Robin Lehner as their number one goalie for at least one more season, as they have signed the restricted free agent keeper to a 1-year, $4 million deal on Tuesday morning.

The 2016 season was supposed to be the official start to his role as the number one in Buffalo, but that season was limited heavily, due to injury, so he got his first full season at the helm in 2017 and his numbers were not very impressive, but neither was the overall look of the team in front of him.  The 26-year old Swede finished the year with 23 wins in 59 appearances, giving him 51 points on the season, only good enough for 23rd among all goalies.

The Sabres will open the 2018 season with a slightly different looking blueline in front of Lehner, having added Marco Scandella through a trade with the Minnesota Wild in this off-season, hoping to add some more quality behind Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges.  Offensively, the Sabres also added Jason Pominville and Benoit Pouliot, trying to add that veteran presence to what is still a fairly young club and it will be interesting to see how these pieces mesh together.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Ryan O'Reilly 7.500 Rasmus Ristolainen 5.400 Robin Lehner 4.000
Kyle Okposo 6.000 Zach Bogosian 5.143 Chad Johnson 2.500
Jason Pominville 5.600 Marco Scandella 4.000
Evander Kane 5.250 Josh Gorges 3.900
Matt Moulson 5.000 Jake McCabe 1.600
Johan Larsson 1.475 Justin Falk 0.650
Benoit Pouliot 1.150 Casey Nelson 0.650
Jack Eichel 0.925
Hudson Fasching 0.925
Alexander Nylander 0.894
Sam Reinhart 0.894
Nicolas Deslauriers 0.775
Jacob Josefson 0.700
Seth Griffith 0.650

Budget-wise, I'm showing that there is less than $9.4 million of unused cap space, with the current projected 23-man roster that is listed above.  The Sabres still have key players like Zemgus Girgensons and Nathan Beaulieu to sign from their restricted free agency, both should fit, in theory.

I think Chad Johnson has to be a very favourable looking back-up goalie at this point in the summer, as I would question Lehner's value as a number one goalie these days.  Johnson did some good things with the Flames last season and he's got a good battling mentality, which will be very useful for a team that may need some time to find their chemistry.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fringe Signings (Jul 24)

The Ottawa Senators added to their stable of capable defensemen, signing Johnny Oduya to a 1-year, $1 million deal, which will also give him the opportunity for $1.25 million more in 35+ contract bonuses.

Oduya will bring a wealth of experience to this Senators club and he should be able to help fill in some of the gaps that Marc Methot left behind.  Between Dallas and Chicago in the 2017 season, the 35-year old played in 52 games, scoring 2 goals and 9 points, good enough for 168th among all defensemen.

I don't think he's a guy you should be looking for at the draft, but he'll be one of those good pick-ups midway through the season, if he can find his groove with the Senators.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also avoided arbitration with defenseman Brian Dumoulin, as they came together on a 6-year, $24.6 million deal on Monday morning, not too far ahead of their hearing.

Dumoulin has been a steady part of the Penguins' blueline over the last couple of seasons, also a big help for their championship wins, so bringing him back was a no-brainer.  In 70 games last season, the 25-year old scored 1 goal and 15 points, ranking 120th among all defenders.

His numbers have stayed pretty steady over the last two seasons, so he's going to prove to be a reasonable injury replacement, rather than an initial pick at the draft as well.

Monday morning was a good time to get some deals done, as the Nashville Predators avoided their arbitration case for the day, re-signing forward Austin Watson to a 3-year, $3.3 million deal.

The 25-year old appeared in 77 games for Nashville in the regular season, scoring 5 goals and 17 points, good enough for 288th among all forwards, a ways back from the rest of the pool worthy forwards, but his trend line is certainly going in the right direction to be a late addition to your pool team, if needed.

Now, the Predators only have Ryan Johansen left to deal with in this off-season and they still have roughly $13.4 million left in cap space, which should be more than enough to get that deal done for the long-term.

The afternoon was just as good for deals, as the New York Islanders added a 4-year, $6.4 million deal signed with defenseman Adam Pelech.  Pelech was a restricted free agent without arbitration rights, so this was one of your regularly negotiated deals.

Last season, Pelech played in 44 games for the Islanders, scoring 3 goals and 10 points, ranking 159th among all defenders in scoring.  This is a pretty good deal for the player, who is just coming out of his entry-level contract and hasn't suited up for a whole season with the big club yet.  Obviously, things must be moving in the right direction for him and those point totals should do well to increase.

Hellebuyck's Deal is Done

The Winnipeg Jets have avoided an arbitration hearing with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, signing the keeper to a 1-year, $2.25 million deal, announced early on Monday.

The Jets goaltending situation last year was rather suspect and not in the usual sense, where everyone picks on the goalies, because everyone else in front of them were terrible.  No, the Jets goaltending could accurately pinpoint where the season fell out from underneath them a little, missing the playoffs yet again.  Hence the reason why the Jets went out and signed Steve Mason early in free agency.

Hellebuyck got the bulk of the work in the 2017 season and his numbers ranked well, but 26 wins and 60 points in 56 appearances wasn't quite going to cut it.  He was 17th among all goalies in points in the year, 59th overall in scoring, which isn't too bad considering.  That would have made him into a 3rd round pick, if we were to have redone the draft.

The signing does create another bit of a logjam in the Jets' crease, heading into training camp, as they now have three goalies signed onto deals over $1 million and one of them will have to pass through waivers to head down to the minors, if required.  Michael Hutchinson will likely be the third goalie in this situation, but anything can happen, as we all have seen from time to time.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Mark Scheifele 6.125 Dustin Byfuglien 7.600 Steve Mason 4.100
Blake Wheeler 5.600 Toby Enstrom 5.750 Connor Hellebuyck 2.250
Bryan Little 4.700 Tyler Myers 5.500 Michael Hutchinson 1.150
Mathieu Perreault 4.125 Dmitry Kulikov 4.333
Shawn Matthias 2.125 Jacob Trouba 3.000
Adam Lowry 1.125 Ben Chiarot 1.400
Andrew Copp 1.000 Joshua Morrissey 0.863
Patrik Laine 0.925
Joel Armia 0.925
Kyle Connor 0.925
Nikolaj Ehlers 0.894
Marko Dano 0.850
Nic Petan 0.758

The Jets are only the second team in the bunch to have a projected 23-man roster with three goalies, the other being Ottawa, but there isn't a great deal to worry about here, as the Jets are carrying $7.5 million in cap space under the ceiling still.  If the Jets were to continuing to comb through the unrestricted free agent market, they may still be able to pull something from off the shelf and afford it with more room to move.

Whether or not the Jets have solved their goaltending issues with a guy like Mason is really up for debate and of course, we won't know for sure until he hits the ice and his performances start to be measured.  Surely, they had to be somewhat disappointed that Hellebuyck couldn't assume the number one mantle right away, but now they find themselves in a spot where they can be competitive within their division and they want to maximize that return for themselves and their fans.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Arvidsson Re-signs in Nashville

The Nashville Predators came to terms with one of their remaining key restricted free agents on Saturday afternoon, re-signing Viktor Arvidsson to a new 7-year, $29.75 million deal.

The 24-year old Swede broke out in the 2017 season, scoring 31 goals and 61 points in 81 games for the Predators, vaulting all the way up to 51st overall in hockey pool scoring and 31st among all forwards.  His previous high, set the season before was 16 points in 56 games, 445th overall, so no one saw this one coming.

Getting that extra bit of scoring certainly helped the Predators, as they finished the regular season strong and then made their way all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, thanks, in part, to the 13 points he put up through the playoffs as well.

It will be very interesting to see if Arvidsson can replicate those sort of numbers in the 2018 season and it will be also quite interesting to see how high he goes in the hockey pool draft, wondering if anyone is going to take him at face value or wait and see, trying to get themselves another bargain pick.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Filip Forsberg 6.000 P.K. Subban 9.000 Pekka Rinne 7.000
Craig Smith 4.250 Roman Josi 4.000 Juuse Saros 0.693
Viktor Arvidsson 4.250 Mattias Ekholm 3.750
Nick Bonino 4.100 Alexei Emelin 3.000
Calle Jarnkrok 2.000 Ryan Ellis 2.500
Scott Hartnell 1.000 Matt Irwin 0.650
Kevin Fiala 0.863 Yannick Weber 0.650
Vladislav Kamenev 0.833 Petter Granberg 0.613
Cody McLeod 0.800
Frederick Gaudreau 0.667
Pontus Aberg 0.650
Colton Sissons 0.625
Miikka Salomaki 0.613

This new-look Predators team still has a little bit more work to do in re-signing Ryan Johansen and Austin Watson, but they still have plenty of space to work with, as the 23-man projected roster above still has about $13.7 million left in cap space.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fringe Signings (Jul 22)

The Arizona Coyotes and forward Jordan Martinook settled their contract negotiations before they found their way into the arbitration hearings, signing a 2-year, $3.6 million pact.

The soon-to-be 25-year old appeared in 81 games for the Coyotes last season, scoring 9 goals and 24 points in total, finishing 227th among all forwards, not too far out of being pool worthy.

The Coyotes still don't look overly dangerous on paper and a guy like Martinook, much like Emerson Etem, will likely be used in the instance that kids like Nick Merkley, Lawson Crouse and/or Brendan Perlini are not quite ready to be in the NHL full-time.  The Coyotes have a lot of roster spots with bubble players in them right now and without proper scouting on them, it's only speculation to where everyone ends up.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Red Wings & Tatar Settle

The Detroit Red Wings and Tomas Tatar did go through the arbitration hearing on Thursday, but before the ruling could drop, the two sides agreed on a new 4-year deal, reportedly worth $21.2 million.

Things were thought to be rather dicey between the team and player, leading up to the arbitration hearing, but getting a 4-year deal done, suggests that either those reports were severely overblown or they were able to mend their fence and get back onto better terms.

Last season, Tatar's season was good, but it certainly wasn't great.  He was a 25-goal scorer for the Red Wings, finishing with 46 points, playing in all 82 games.  That was good enough for 107th among all forwards in scoring.

Tatar's $5.3 million cap hit does put him among some other decent 25-goal scorers in the league, like Logan Couture ($6 million) and Brayden Schenn ($5.1 million), so it isn't an unreasonable deal for the Red Wings at the end of the day.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Henrik Zetterberg 6.083 Mike Green 6.000 Jimmy Howard 5.292
Tomas Tatar 5.300 Danny DeKeyser 5.000 Petr Mrazek 4.000
Frans Nielsen 5.250 Niklas Kronwall 4.750
Gustav Nyquist 4.750 Jonathan Ericsson 4.250
Justin Abdelkader 4.250 Trevor Daley 3.178
Johan Franzen 3.955 Xavier Ouellet 1.250
Darren Helm 3.850 Nick Jensen 0.813
Riley Sheahan 2.075
Luke Glendening 1.800
Dylan Larkin 0.925
Evgeny Svechnikov 0.863
Anthony Mantha 0.863
Eric Tangradi 0.650
Tyler Bertuzzi 0.645

With Johan Franzen on the shelf for what should be the rest of his contract, he will spend this season on the Long-Term Injured Reserve, which is the only way the Red Wings are going to fit Tatar's deal under the ceiling.  This 23-man roster, with Franzen in tow, is $3.81 million over the cap ceiling, so the Red Wings will have every intention of using Franzen's LTIR help for the better part of this season, one would have to believe.

It gets worse too... the team still has to re-sign Andreas Athanasiou, which won't come too cheaply.  There's a fine chance that the Red Wings may only be playing with 21 or 22 players on their active roster for the better part of the season, unless they are able to dump Franzen's deal on another NHL club.