How to Pull Off a Cap League Blockbuster

Alexander MacLean


This week's Capped reviews the key aspects of making a blockbuster trade in a cap league.


There have not been many transactions of note in the last week in the cap world, so we look elsewhere for topics this week. At this point in time, we are around the quarter mark of the season. NHL teams know that even at this point in the season, if you are not in a playoff spot and were planning to be, changes are coming, and fast. Fantasy general managers are not all that different. Some managers are struggling, some have injury problems, and some just always have an itchy trigger finger. Around mid-November is the time I find second-most active in trade markets, behind only trade-deadline week. As a result, I have made quite a few moves recently across my leagues, but none bigger than the one from Monday in my Cap-Dynasty league. I’ll walk you through the deal and some tips for managing your own blockbuster discussions.


The Trade Breakdown

I acquired:

C – Ryan Johansen, Nashville ($8,000,000)

G – Corey Crawford, Chicago ($6,000,000)

LW – Magnus Paajarvi, St. Louis ($800,000)

G – Anton Forsberg, Chicago ($750,000)*

A 2018 Fourth round pick in our prospect draft (Will be between pick 73 and 96)



In exchange for:

G – Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas ($5,750,000)

RW – T.J. Oshie, Washington ($5,750,000)

C – Sam Bennett, Calgary ($1,950,000)

RW – Brandon Tanev, Winnipeg ($700,000)*



*Minors eligible


To give a gist of the league settings, we start one goalie, six defencemen, and 12 forwards across our 24-team league, with an additional 27 minor spots for prospects. Categories counted are goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, shots, game winning goals, powerplay points, short-handed points, hits, blocks, faceoff wins, goalie wins, goals against average, save percentage, saves, and shutouts. It is a weekly head to head league, where a single win, loss or tie is the result of each week’s matchup.


Our salary cap sits at $75 million, with each player’s average annual contract value being the official number counted. I won’t get into the full details of our contract system, but the biggest thing to note is that a player cannot simply be dropped; they must either be traded, bought-out, or released once their real contract expires. As a result, eight-year contracts such as those sported by Oshie and Johansen are not to be acquired lightly, and can become a burden by the last few years.



My Reasoning for the Trade

Looking at my team, the biggest weakness was goaltending. I had asked about Johansen before, but talks never got far until I also asked about Corey Crawford. From there, the goalie p