If you haven't picked up Dobber's 2013-14 Fantasy Guide yet – what are you waiting for? It is hands down the best guide in the business. With updates from now until September you won't get better bang for your buck. And this year's guide is definitely the best one yet. I know we say that every year but it's true. Because we are competitors and perfectionists all we want is to make the best fantasy guide we possibly can. So every year we raise the bar for ourselves.
Some of the best content in there definitely comes from Terry Campkin on the impacts of realignment and reverting back to an 82-game schedule with inter-Conference games. It's a notion I also touched on in my piece for the guide featuring fantasy stock drops. Here's an excerpt:
The year also provided the wrinkle of having no inter-conference games. It would be impossible to prove either way but it is possible that there was a disparity in talent level between the two conferences, which created an uneven testing ground for players to demonstrate their talents.
In 2013 the Eastern Conference was the higher scoring of the two conferences. So if you believe in this disparity at all then you have to suspect that either the goalies in the Western Conference are about to get bombarded or a cold front is headed East.
Personally, I think we will see a little bit of both. Goaltenders in the West are going to have it tougher when they face the high scoring Eastern teams while stars in the East will suffer from having to face the stingy Western teams. There are three teams in particular to watch for however; Winnipeg heading West and Columbus and Detroit heading East. Terry touches on the implications of those moves in the guide and I won't step on his feet here so consider this one more reason to go pick up the guide.
The St. Louis Blues re-signed winger Magnus Paajarvi on Friday. The deal is for two years at $1.2 million per. Who says the bridge contract is dead?
This deal leaves the Blues with just north of $7.6 million in cap space with only Alex Pietrangelo to re-sign. I've expressed before that I think he'd be worth all of that and then some. Franchise defensemen – true franchise defensemen – are among the rarest commodities in the NHL. I'd argue that a team hasn't won a Stanley Cup without one since the Penguins did in 2008.
A franchise defenseman is not an essential piece to winning but it makes things a hell of a lot easier and for St. Louis Pietrangelo absolutely is essential and he could be that piece for a lot of teams. How another team hasn't sniffed around with an offer sheet is beyond me. A team – and there are seven who currently have the cap space – could offer Pietrangelo $8 million or more per year and force the Blues to jump through hoops to match and be cap compliant or be stuck taking the compensation picks.
And it's worth noting that the Big Cahuna for restricted free agent compensation is now at $8.410977 million or more per year so a team could offer just south of that and only have to give up two first rounders, a second and a third assuming Pietrangelo signed and the Blues didn't match. That would be well worth it in my opinion.
Of course, it's extremely unlikely it comes to that. Few teams have had the balls to take a shot in restricted free agency for whatever reason. Perhaps they just have a fear of barns