Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ian Gooding

2015-07-12

Thoughts on Kessel, Kassian, Sharp, and the NHL's All Unsigned Team

Thank you to Neil for filling in for me last Sunday while I was enjoying some quality time off sitting by the lake. But now I'm back and I'll attempt to throw something together here for the first time since July 1, when I was typing away like a madman in over 30 degree Celsius heat, helping Dobber out with the free agent signings.

One thing's for sure: we had you covered that day. Michal Neuvirth, Zack Kassian, PA Parenteau, Brad Richards, and even Viktor Stalberg were the signings I covered. Not exactly the biggie signings, especially Stalberg. I started the thread over at the Forum, and the reaction there was priceless. I guess fantasy teams won't be rushing to buy stock in Stalberg.

There are always a lot of smaller signings on July 1, but this year seemed to lack the home run kind of signings, as teams attempt to conserve a little more and avoid the David Clarkson type contracts of years past. In fact, the Vladimir Tarasenko contract may signal a reduction in the number of bridge contracts. There's a great read over at TSN about this.

But if you think about it, paying the stars before they enter their prime makes perfect sense. Too often, we see the players on the downside of their careers with the big contracts. It is a bit of a gamble for teams to sign a young player to a significant contract – case in point Dougie Hamilton and Brandon Saad. But both of these players are clearly trending upward.

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I didn't get to edit Demetri's Contrarian article last week, but I did get to read it. This was perhaps his best (and funniest) article yet. But all joking about hot dogs aside, is there one player whose fantasy value took a higher leap this offseason than Phil Kessel? I was debating setting him loose in a "keep 4 skaters" keeper league where I also own Tuukka Rask, Devan Dubnyk, Zach Parise, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, Henrik Sedin, and Eric Staal. Not anymore. (By the way, I can keep only one of the two goalies. That's another dilemma that I haven't completely made up my mind on.)

In fact, I'd estimate that Kessel's fantasy value increased at least