Last Minute Contract Signings

Eric Daoust




Today we cover some recent contract signings and each player’s impact in both points-only and rotisserie scoring formats.


As an offseason of weirdness wraps up and a new season begins, there are still signings taking place in the NHL that have an impact on the fantasy hockey world. With so few cap dollars remaining it was difficult for the remaining free agents to find an ideal home. As a result, the majority of them have to sign for less than they would have during a typical summer where the cap ceiling rises instead of dropping. This is to the benefit of fantasy owners in cap leagues.

Damien Brunner (New Jersey)
2013-14: 2,500,000
2014-15: 2,500,000


Damien Brunner arrived on the scene last year and delivered as advertised in Detroit. As an unrestricted free agent he was not quick to strike a deal and may have lost out on some money. Bad for him, good for fantasy owners.


In points-only leagues Brunner’s new contract with a cap hit of $2.5 million, which is close to the league average, should be seen as a good bargain. Not only does he have a good track record putting up points in the NHL and overseas, but he also walks into a good spot in New Jersey to be relied on as one of the go-to guys up front. He should be a fixture in the top-six and on the power play.


In rotisserie leagues it is a different story. Aside from goals, assists, power play points and shots on goal Brunner is a poor multi-category contributor. He offers no grit and does not block shots. Given the abundance of cheap all-around forward contributors available, you can probably find a better alternative for the price.

Mason Raymond (Toronto)
2013-14: 1,000,000


Mason Raymond has had a strong training camp and preseason, which earned him a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The cost of just $1 million is noteworthy for a player with this much speed and talent. However, he does not possess as much offensive upside as Brunner which makes him a marginal fantasy asset.


Raymond once posted a 53-point season but has not been the same player since suffering a fractured vertebrae back in 2011. The last two seasons he has been pretty ineffective offensively which led to Raymond's troubles finding work this summer.


In Toronto, Raymond once again has an opportunity to become a solid depth scorer. Helping matters are injury-prone Joffrey Lupul and now-suspended David Clarkson ahead of him on the depth chart. There might be enough opportunity for Raymond to become a valuable depth option in deep points-only leagues.


However, much like Brunner, Raymond is not a very good rotisserie player. In addition to decent totals in goals and assists he also shoots the puck frequently. Beyond that it gets thin. Raymond is not a factor in hits, PIM or blocked shots and only has 13 total power play points over the last three years.


In Raymond’s price range you can find many of the league’s elite producers in the physical categories both up front and on defense. In most situations you will be better served using cheap gritty players to do the heavy-lifting in your peripheral categories while spending the big money on top offensive players. In the deepest