If you're in a keeper league, you probably own a player who is still an unrestricted free agent – and you definitely have a fellow GM who owns one. So what do you do? Buy? Sell? Kick some tires? How much is too much to ask for or pay? I have my dartboard hung up on the wall with mug shots of different UFA's on it, along with different courses of action to take in your fantasy league. Here are the results.
Maxim Afinogenov – He won't come cheap for a second summer in a row. Not after the season he just had. It is doubtful that a team will give him $2 million, so the KHL is a very real possibility.
If I own him – I would be looking for a late pick in a later year, plus a decent prospect.
If someone else owns him – I would not be trying to acquire him at all.
Alexander Frolov – He's rumoured to be looking for $4 million. Last year he would have got it. This year, I doubt offers are even close to the $3 million mark. KHL odds are above 50-50 here.
If I own him – I would be looking to see how high a pick I could get for him. If I'm not satisfied with the answer, then I'd look into trying to swap him for a weaker UFA plus a later pick. A weaker UFA would come in at a price that a team such as the Sharks, the Blackhawks or the Penguins would like. So I'd take the pick and the gamble.
If someone else owns him – I would tease and taunt them.
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Not a whiff of news on this guy. Not a rumor. The KHL is a possibility, but his cheaper price may keep him in the league.
If I own him – I wait it out, unless somebody comes to me with something good. Which would be stupid of them, but I would thank the fantasy gods for it. If they tried to lowball me, as they should, then I would hang tight.
If someone else owns him – I would approach with a low offer of a middle-to-late draft pick, just looking for a steal. You never know. On most teams he is a 55-point player, so the only risk is…well, what league he decides to play in.
Lee Stempniak – After a scoring surge with the Coyotes late in the season, he has overvalued himself. Well, he probably hasn't. His value is probably a fair one, but in the summer of 2010 "fair" is too high. He is the top goal-scorer left out of all the free agents (assuming Ilya Kovalchuk is in New Jersey).
If I own him – That would never happen, unless he played for Pittsburgh. I was never sold on his upside. But if YOU own him, your le