The Fantasy Guide can be picked up online in pdf form for $9.99 – it comes with an updated spreadsheet – free. Updates are all free, download as often as you’d like. Last update was Sept.5.
A few moves over the weekend that are of fantasy interest, and it’s been a month since I’ve been able to say that. So camp must be getting close!
There are a handful of restricted free agents who still haven’t signed. And here are my thoughts:
Alex Pietrangelo wants the big bucks and frankly he deserves it. And frankly he’ll get it. The holdup here is probably term and maybe a minor difference in dollars. The Blues have cap space, but a huge contract would make that disappear, so it’s a bit of a juggling act. The invite of Ryan Whitney to training camp is just posturing. My prediction – this gets done in the middle of training camp, probably more than five years and probably more than $5.5 million per year.
Derek Stepan broke out big time last year and is the best option for a Rick Nash linemate. The Rangers haven’t been sticklers in the past and they’re not going to start now. They have $2.1 million in cap room and fully recognize that Stepan is worth more than that. So to me, the delay is some contract juggling. Thank goodness Brad Richards only has eight more years left at $6.7 cap hit. If they can convince Stepan to sign for $2.5-$2.7 million, then the problem is solved by moving Taylor Pyatt or Derek Dorsett.
Nazem Kadri is probably going to miss training camp and I could see him missing two or three games. But his stance has to be softening after seeing the contracts signed by Mikkel Boedker and Marcus Johansson.
Cody Franson, from what I hear, is softening his stance and I think will have a contract done this week. How much of the pie will be left for Kadri after that happens? I still believe the Leafs move John-Michael Liles to clear up the logjam and cap space. And they’ll get a pick for him.
Cody Hodgson – nothing new on this front, from what I could dig up. This one could stretch into camp, but I’m not as close to this situation as I am with Kadri (I’m in Toronto) so tough to say if it will go into the season.
Jared Cowen seems to be playing a bit of hardball here, but as a defenseman he has a bit more leverage. They seem to be signing for more than forwards in the same situation. But I think this gets done in time for camp, or close to it.
I mentioned Brad Richards earlier and I felt inspired to go deeper with him. What is left on his contract is absolutely nuts. It’s crazy. The cap hit is huge and the term is even bigger. The Rangers had the chance to get out from under that and they chose not to. Next year maybe? But I don’t understand the wait. Even if he finds his old magic back, it’s not $6.7 million, eight year magic. It wouldn