September 01, 2015



Looking at RFA’s, particularly Tyson Barrie, Danny DeKeyser and of course Ryan Johansen …


Welcome to September – your favorite month for training camps and fantasy drafts (and pick up my Fantasy Guide here for that)


There is some chatter out there about Dustin Penner and how he is getting several training camp invites, from teams including Montreal and New Jersey. The latter doesn’t make any sense, because the Devils already have several reclamation projects underway. But the former has some appeal. He would have to beat Michael Bournival out of a spot or hope for an injury, but that’s a training camp invite that would make sense for him. But I don’t think there is a single destination for him that would see him top 40 points again. Dropsy in all leagues.


Now that we’re in September, it’s time to start worrying a little about the restricted free agents who still haven’t signed with their club. Drance got into Ryan Johansen yesterday, because that’s the one which involves the free agent with the highest fantasy value. It’s also the one that seems the most likely to impact the season – either by missing games or thanks to an injury that is directly related to missing training camp time. But he’s not the only fantasy-worthy name out there. Here is a rundown of the key names:

Devante Smith-Pelly – ANA

Torey Krug, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser – BOS

Ryan Johansen – CBJ

Tyson Barrie – COL

Brenden Dillon, Cody Eakin – DAL

Danny DeKeyser – DET

Nino Niederreiter, Darcy Kuemper – MIN

Eric Gelinas – NJ

Ryan Ellis – NSH

John Moore – NYR

Jaden Schwartz – STL

Of the above, several key names pop out but the one I am most concerned about (besides Johansen, of course) is El Nino. I don’t know him, I don’t know a lot about him as a person. I just know that he requested a trade from the Islanders a couple of years ago and sulked when he was sent to the minors. With that in mind, does he over-inflate his self-worth? In his mind is he a proven star? I know nothing beyond my own hunch, but if I owned Niederreiter right now I would not be comfortable.

I say this but really – all of these RFAs will be signed well before missing more than a handful of games. And most of them will be signed in advance of training camp.