Ramblings: Vinnie Retires; New Salary Cap; (June 22)
Ramblings: Thoughts on the salary cap, a goodbye to Vinnie, the Jets blew it; and more…
If you didn’t already pick up the Keeper League Fantasy Pack, you can do so here. The Fantasy Prospects Report is already out, and the Fantasy Guide will be out in about six weeks. It works out to about 400 pages of gold for eight or nine bucks per magazine.
The Draft is in two days, so make sure you have the FPR in hand while you watch so you can reference it! Four of the DobberProspects writers will be in Buffalo for the event, representing all fantasy owners. Isn’t it nice to be represented by someone looking for an angle from what you care about – fantasy hockey – instead of the usual talking heads digging up outlooks based on the actual hockey?
The salary cap was set to be the same this year (or possibly lower) as it was last year which would have hurt a lot of teams. And earlier it was indicated that the NHLPA may not be using their 5 percent escalator. But actually, they will. So the cap will rise from $71.4 million to $73 million. The cap floor will be set at $54 million.
This announcement seems a little late this year, but now that it’s happened you will see a lot of teams swing into action. They had been in a holding pattern until now, waiting to see how much money they can spend.
Vincent Lecavalier has officially retired from the NHL. He leaves us with the following career stat line:
1212 GP, 421 goals, 528 assists, 949 points. He was a career minus-140 and had 848 PIM.
His best season was in 2006-07 when he had 108 points including 52 goals. The following year was almost as prolific when it comes to roto leagues as he had 92 points and 89 PIM. Five times he topped 290 shots in a season. Injuries hit after that, though he managed to hold off surgery until the offseason on a couple of occasions. But they finally caught up to him in 2010-11. After that, he couldn’t stay healthy for even 70 games in a season.
A lot of poolies were hit hard by his rapid decline, myself included. I traded a young Claude Giroux, who was coming off a 47-point rookie season, for Lecavalier (who was coming off of 70 points). Lecavalier was 30 at the time and had produced the following points: 78, 66, 75, 108, 92, 67 and 70. Pretty reliable, right? Still some good years left in him? Well, we know how that turned out. Lecavalier posted 54 points that year and that ended up being his best totals since. While Giroux broke out for 76 points. Usually I’m on the happy end of those deals, but in this case I sheepishly admit I was bamboozled into taking the supposed ‘guarantee’ and giving up the ‘potential’.
Here are Lecavalier’s Top 10 plays, career:
Michael Hutchinson has signed a two-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets for $1.1 million per season. I would say that this deal is as stupid as Cam Ward’s, but his role isn’t a prominent one and the cap his is close to negligible. But still…two years? I guess the team really does want Connor Hellebuyck playing the bulk of this season in the minors again. And they’re figuring that “if” Ondrej Pavelec lays another egg this year, then they can walk away from him and Hutch is already in place to be Hell-Boy’s backup in 2017-18. To me it speaks more to their confidence (lack of) in Pavelec. My opinion is that they should have rolled with Pavelec and Hellebuyck. And if Hell-Boy isn’t seeing the action that he needs to, or if he struggles – then worry about bringing in a backup at that point. It’s not like they’re hard to get. Hell, even Ilya Bryzgalov wants to come back! Ray Emery wasn’t signed until the end of last season! Backups are a dime a dozen. But you want to win as many games as you can and if Hellebuyck is in the AHL then you’re costing yourself wins. My opinion.
Anyway, Hellebuyck owners, you’ll just have to wait until Pavelec gets hurt…
The Arizona Coyotes have convinced Alex Goligoski to sign with them. He wouldn’t have gotten much more on the open market than the five years, $5.5 million that he signed for. But he would have gotten a little bit more, be it a sixth year or maybe closer to $6 million. So he goes there because he’ll see reasonable power-play time, tons of ice time and some good young forwards to dish to. He had a similar situation with Dallas, other than the contract. Cliffy broke the situation down after the trade.
Speaking of Arizona, they hired Mark Lamb as the head coach of their farm team – the Tucson Roadrunners. Why do you care? Well, you don’t. But I’ve been in my original keeper league for 27 years now and sometimes I get nostalgic. Lamb was on my original team, drafted back in 1989 after he had 10 points in 20 games. He didn’t pan out though – his career high ended up being 29 points.
Ryan Callahan underwent hip surgery and thankfully it was successful. Despite this wonderful success, which is usually not determined until well after full recovery and full mobility is confirmed, Callahan will be sidelined for about five months. That puts his return at approximately mid-November. So for the first month, look for Vladislav Namestnikov to see more ice time. Five months would mean he’s miss about 19 games, so that’s how long the talented Namestnikov has to prove himself. If he does well, Jon Cooper will find a way to continue giving him decent opportunities. If he does poorly, then it will be more of what we saw last year for Namestnikov.
And as for the World Cup – this could get teammate Tyler Johnson or Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel onto the roster. I’d give anything to listen in on that Brian Burke phone call to Kessel, letting him know he’s on the team after all…
Like I said in my Jimmy Vesey trade breakdown (here) – I don’t think that the Sabres sign him. Wherever he signs, it will be with a team that he’s wanted all along. And now word is that Vesey has the Sabres on his shortlist, but he’ll “likely” explore free agency. And we’ll have to wait and see on that because, despite the fact that NHL contracts run out on July 1st each year, Vesey’s can’t become a free agent until August 15.
The NHL schedule was released on Tuesday. Each team’s blogs break down some of the key points, if you want to Google it. I only read a couple and didn’t have time to gather all the interesting points from 30 different blogs. But that would be something I’d like to do soon. We’ll give the schedule a couple of days to sink in and then I’m sure an analyst (or three) will post a great summary. When I see one, I’ll pass it along.
We tweaked our player profiles again. Check it out. Just shading the game logs in blocks of five games to make them easier to scroll and track. And you may have noticed that we changed the goalie charts a few weeks ago. For example if you check out Andersen here, scroll down the chart and see his comparables side-by-side with Gibson, including average shot distance and SV% based on different distances.
Enjoy Draft Weekend!
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