Fantasy Impact: The Oilers have stockpiled their depth at forward, defense, and in goal with a tri of free agent signings. Gordon gets $3 million per on a three year deal, while Ference was signed for four years at $3.25 million per.
An excellent defensive center who will make life much easier for the skilled forward on the team. Gordon was a positive possession player last year despite playing crazy tough minutes. He is a disciplined player (low PIM totals), and he wins a ton of faceoffs. This is a hell of a signing by Craig MacTavish, and perfectly designs the term 'residual fantasy value' that I refer to from time to time.
$9 million is a lot of coin for that, though.
Gordon has zero fantasy value himself (unless somehow you are in a league that counts only faceoff wins…), but he increases the fantasy value of many of his new teammates in Edmonton.
Ference, the Alberta native, returns home to play. He has limited value – modest point totals, and solid numbers in other categories. He brings with him a wealth of experience to a blue line that could really use it. Four years and $3.25 is the going rate for a defenseman of his caliber. The term may be a bit long but that is the nature of the beast with free agency.
LaBarbera is one of the nicest guys in hockey, and he will back up Devan Dubnyk. This move signals that Edmonton is happy – for now – with Dubnyk as their starter.
Fantasy Players Impacted:
Minimal direct fantasy impact on any of these signings. Ference has value in very deep leagues, and he probably bumps one of the young guys down to the AHL (as I said earlier this week, the Oilers are chalk-full of left side defensemen in their prospect pool). Some potential Edmonton pairings on the back end:
N. Schultz – J. Schultz
Smid – Petry
Ference – Larsen
In Boston, Ference's departure opens up a spot for Torey Krug, Joe Morrow, or Matt Bartkowski.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Edmonton's offensive centers
3. Ference (bigger role, perhaps?)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Edmonton's prospect defensemen (short term only)