The implications of the Tyler Johnson/Ondrej Palat contracts on your salary cap fantasy league
After looking over the overall implications of Tyler Johnson’s new contract last week, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed another success story, Ondrej Palat, to a contract identical to the one signed by Johnson. With so many highly-talented prospects in the Lightning organization, seeing a pair of emerging young talents from this crop sign big contracts begins to shape the team’s landscape for the foreseeable future. For many, the signings represent a big step backwards in fantasy value, mainly due to the loss of opportunity.
The top six
This chart of Lightning forward contracts, courtesy of Capgeek, is very revealing. Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, Teddy Purcell, Johnson and Palat are all highly-paid and have a history of producing top-six numbers. The latter-two emerged in the last year and the politics of contracts should keep them on scoring lines most of the time.
Ryan Malone, whose future is currently in limbo due to off-ice issues, had not been a top-six winger for the club anyway. Meanwhile, deadline acquisition Ryan Callahan could very well be headed to free agency.
The final spot in the top-six is up for grabs. One would think that top prospect Jonathan Drouin will be given every opportunity to nail down a spot on the top line over the next few years.
Players fit for depth roles
The most obvious omission is Alex Killorn who is currently a restricted free agent and has had a lot of success since his promotion to Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, it appears that Palat has leapfrogged him on the depth chart. Depending on Drouin’s development, it is possible that this year killed Killorn’s chances of seeing consistent top-six minutes, at least until Purcell’s contract