Notable RFAs still un-signed – Hodgson, Stepan, Kadri, Pietrangelo.
The Rangers are in a bit of a bind. They don’t have much cap space but would love to lock up Stepan long term. With the cap temporarily dropping this year, I could see them trying to give Stepan a one-year “prove your worth” deal. If it goes well (like 2013 did), he can expect a big pay day next summer.
Similar to Duchene this year, and PK Subban next year. However, I imagine Stepan and his reps are seeking a four or five year deal in the neighbourhood of $5 million per. Pay for potential.
Pietrangelo’s potential deal is the most interesting one to me. He’s still young and the team would have to go really long term to buy up any UFA years. Giving an RFA a contract worth $5 million equates roughly to $7-$7.5 million for a UFA on the open market.
Mark Fraser is back with the Leafs – one year and $1.25 million. Fair deal for a rock solid bottom pairing defenseman.
The Sharks have re-upped their American Army Knife – Joe Pavelski. Five years, $6 million per. Fair deal for both sides – his offensive production depends a lot on where he plays (third line C and first line RW have different roles and requirements). Even so, he will see a ton of time on the PP.
Pavelski and Couture are the future of the Sharks, and his fantasy hockey value is finally starting to catch up to his “real life” value.
The Rangers have signed winger Mats Zuccarello to a one-year deal worth $1.15 million. Derek Stepan remains an RFA….
From NHL.com – eight players who saw their fantasy stock rise due to impressive postseason performances.
The Jets sure aren't afraid of giving big money and long term deals to their core players.
Zach Bogosian is the latest – a seven year deal worth a total of $36 million (a shade over $5 million per season).
Thoughts? Definitely a pay-for-future-performance contract, as Bogosian hasn't proven to be worth that money up to this point in time.
But his upside is immense, and the production will come if and when the Jets start to give him more offensive responsibility.
Some good insights from a DobberHockey reader in the comments section of my Drew Shore column:
As an AHL off-ice official, I saw Shore play in San Antonio, He also has a knack for being in the right spot; it’s like the puck bounces right to him frequently. He is often close-in, pounding away at the goalie, which could be one reason for the low shooting percentage. He was clearly the best SA player on the ice every night and will be really solid with some talented linemates.
Another guy I like Howden – that dude can skate like the wind! Young and raw, I’m surprised he stayed up, but Florida was desperate last year, and he can forecheck with his speed. He needs to work on his shot and on positioning, but his speed is unreal.
I got to see Markstrom a lot the last couple years – he doesn’t have many holes and IMHO will live up to the hype.
And on Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak (defensemen):
I’m not real high on Robak. He was minus-23 last year, although he was often teamed with Nolan Yonkman, who is a slow-moving, obsolete battleship (minus-34!). Robak is a better scorer than Petrovic right now, but is inconsistent and doesn’t have great shot selection.