Capped: A blind test to assess recent signings

Alexander MacLean



July 1st should need no introduction. It is Canadian celebrations in full force, as well as NHL GMs tossing as much money as they can at mostly mediocre players. Looking back at previous years, we all know there are some good, but mostly bad deals signed in the first week of July. Let’s sort out which deals from the opening days are good and bad, with some blind comparisons (most of the players listed will be signings from July 1st, but not all).



*Using 2018-2019 stats only.

Player A: 73 GP, 31 G, 70 PTS, 14 PPPs, 172 Shots, 676 FOWs, $8,000,000 AAV

Player B: 80 GP, 14 G, 64 PTS, 16 PPPs, 136 Shots, 782 FOWs, $8,000,000 AAV

One of these players is a 2019 free agent signing, the other is his new teammate. Both centres are high-quality players and have over six years left on their deals at an AAV of $8 million. Neither is going to suffocate the other team with volume shooting, but that’s what the wingers do best in Nashville.

Yes, Player A is Matt Duchene, and Player B is Ryan Johansen.

If Johansen had value in your league last year, then so will Duchene for the next number of years, especially with higher shot and goal totals. Add to that wingers Filip Forsber, Victor Arvidsson, Mikael Granlund, and Craig Smith to split between them, and we may be in for one of the highest scoring Predators teams yet. These two should also play a key role in the rebound of an abysmal powerplay from last season.



Player A: 79 GP, 28 G, 87 PTS, 18 PPPs, 191 Shots, $11,642,000 AAV

Player B:  68 GP, 37 G, 73 PTS, 20 PPPs, 251 Shots, $11,634,000 AAV

One of these players is a 2019 FA, the other was going to be an RFA before signing a deal a few months ago. Both are top scorers in the league and can change the offensive look for any team they play for.

Player A is the free agent signing from days ago, inking the largest deal of the summer. He is more of a playmaker than a shooter, but his fantasy value is high, nonetheless. At $11 million it is hard to roster any player, but these two are special players that should be worth it in leagues where the salary cap doesn’t completely restrict who you can afford.

Player B – Auston Matthews – should continue to grow, and even if he only plays in 70 games per season, should be one of the more productive players in the league on a per-game basis. If he is worth owning, then so is Player A – Artemi Panarin.



Player A: 51 GP, 12 G, 18 PTS, 5 PPPs, 81 Shots, $800,000 AAV

Player B:  76 GP, 8 G, 27 PTS, 12 PPPs, 121 Shots, $700,000 AAV

Out of the depth players available, these are two of the more interesting names. They could not be more different in terms of situation or style,