Unrestricted Free Agency 2009 Part 1

Dobber Sports




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Part 1 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.


Atlanta Thrashers
UFA’s – Marty Reasoner, Eric Perrin, Joey Crabb, Nate Oystrick, Clay Wilson
RFA’s – Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn, Jordan LaVallee, Joe Motzko, Boris Valabik, Anssi Salmela, Grant Lewis, Scott Lehman, Kari Lehtonen, Dan Turple

Outgoing – The team may bring back Marty Reasoner, but the other UFA’s will probably ply their craft in Europe. Armstrong, Slater, Lehtonen and Valabik will almost certainly be re-signed and Salmela will at least get an offer.

Of Fantasy Note – There is plenty of cap room here for this team to bring in a top six forward. If that forward is a pivot, do not expect Rich Peverley and Todd White to repeat what they have been doing. If that forward is a winger, then Peverley is a good bet to top 55 points and White should at least hit 60. With Perrin and Crabb gone, look for Spencer Machacek to make the team.

Buffalo Sabres
UFA’s – Maxim Afinogenov, Andrew Peters, Matt Ellis, Dominic Moore, Jaroslav Spacek, Teppo Numminen, Mikael Tellqvist
RFA’s – Drew Stafford, Clarke MacArthur, Patrick Kaleta, Mark Mancari, Andrej Sekera

Outgoing – Afinogenov is gone and I think you can expect Moore and Spacek to also find new teams. Tellqvist will re-sign if the team buys Patrick Lalime out. Numminen was a frequent healthy scratch down the stretch and was dressed for what seemed to be a “goodbye” game in Game 82, so I would guess he will retire.

Of Fantasy Note – On a new team, Afinogenov will still need Sergei Samsonov-like luck and the faith of his coach. A large contract would go a long ways to getting him the ice time, as coaches rarely want to make GM’s look bad. But he needs multiple opportunities on a line with a star centerman to get back to his 70-point ways. He also needs the coach to ignore his defensive gaffes. Those are some big “ifs” so take a pass. With Spacek gone to a new team, the Sabres will be looking for a power-play specialist. If Tyler Myers makes this team – and he has an outside shot – do not expect points for a few years. There will be room for Nate Gerbe to crack the roster.