Capped: Depth Kills

Eric Daoust



This week we take a look at a couple of affordable players whose cheap salaries are not all they are made out to be.


Anyone with experience in cap leagues knows the value of players that can provide valuable numbers at a low cost. These bargains are rarely of the star variety. Rather, they are usually guys that occupy secondary roles yet still play key roles for their NHL teams. In deeper leagues the players considered cost-effective extend to bottom-six players that have a salary near the league minimum.


While some bottom-six players provide an outstanding bang for the buck in fantasy leagues, their minimal cap hit along with their lower placement on the depth chart does present an added risk. Gabriel Bourque and Richard Clune of the Nashville Predators are two examples of cheap players who are perceived as effective depth players in deep cap leagues who have seen their ice time decline this year.


Today we will look at some factors influencing this outcome and the importance of assessing these factor when evaluating cap bargains in the future.


The 2012-13 campaign provided both Bourque and Clune with breakout performances that saw them each earn two-year contract extensions at an insignificant cap hit. Bourque provided excellent secondary scoring with 11 goals in 34 games. Clune, on the other hand, finished in the top 10 in both hits and PIM.


This year both have suffered from seeing fewer minutes on the ice and their fantasy numbers have suffered as a result. The biggest factor in their decline in ice time comes as a result of the team signing a slew of free agents this summer including Eric Nystrom, Matt Cullen, Viktor Stalberg and Matt Hendricks. All four earned big paychecks which means that they will have opportunities to produce. As it turns out, the new arrivals have had a negative impact on ice time for Bourque and Clune.


Gabriel Bourque