Ramblings: Dzingel Signs in Carolina, Ferland, Jokiharju/Nylander Swap (July 13)
On Friday, the Hurricanes signed Ryan Dzingel to a two-year contract with a cap hit of $3.375 million per season. Split between Ottawa and Columbus, Dzingel had a career year in 2018-19 with 56 points (26g-30a) in 78 games. He has also reached 20 goals and 40 points in each of his last two seasons. Given the amount and term, this is another post-July 1 contract that seems reasonable. Mike provided the Fantasy Take on this one.
It sounds like Dzingel could be used anywhere in the Hurricanes’ top 9 (I know, that narrows it down). The lineup isn’t settled anyway, as Justin Williams still hasn’t decided whether he will return, though Canes’ GM Don Waddell believes that Williams is “leaning toward playing.” A Williams return could help Dzingel’s fantasy value, particularly if Dzingel does not find his way onto the top line.
As for Columbus…
That’s a lot of assets 🤯 pic.twitter.com/F8G14ZcvTa
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 12, 2019
Granted, some of these assets were traded for each other (Matt Duchene for Vitalii Abramov, Jonathan Davidsson, and two of the picks). But this is a Blue Jackets team that has lost Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, Duchene, and now Dzingel from the team that competed in the playoffs. We know that the Toronto Raptors are the best-case scenario of what happens when a team goes all in. The Blue Jackets aren’t necessarily the worst-case, especially when you consider their surprise first-round sweep of President’s Trophy winner Tampa Bay. However, they are sure paying for it this offseason.
With over $15 million in cap space and only Zach Werenski left to sign, the Blue Jackets still have plenty of space for more. So it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that they reached out to Mitch Marner’s agent about signing an offer sheet. Other teams have no doubt contacted Marner’s camp, so this isn’t huge news. It might not be wise for the Jackets to pursue Marner anyway, not only because of the four first-round picks needed but also because Werenski is an RFA now and Pierre-Luc Dubois and Josh Anderson will be RFAs next summer.
The Blues have signed Robby Fabbri to a “prove-it” one-year contract worth $900,000. Fabbri’s injuries are well known, as he played just 32 regular-season games in 2018-19 while missing all of 2017-18. With just six points in those 32 games and just one point in ten playoff games, Fabbri probably shouldn’t be on your immediate fantasy radar, as he’ll have to try to resurrect his career from the Blues’ bottom 6. Still, this is an important season for him to prove that he can put his injury troubles behind him and have a productive NHL career.
The Flyers have signed Scott Laughton to a two-year contract with a cap hit of $2.3 million per season. Laughton’ 12 goals and 20 assists were both career highs in his third NHL season. What’s more, none of those points were on the power play, as Laughton was hardly used on the man advantage and serves a more defensive role including penalty killing for the Flyers. It won’t be easy for him to move up the Flyers’ roster, but he at least seems to be making the most with what he’s given.
Michael Del Zotto has signed a one-year, $750,000 contract to return to the Ducks. MDZ scored a goal and reached 10 points in 42 games split between Vancouver, Anaheim, and St. Louis. He did not suit up for the Blues at all during their Stanley Cup run. Don't expect him to be more than a depth defenseman who will spend time in the press box for the Ducks. For some reason, I can't see Del Zotto impeding the progress of Jacob Larsson or Josh Mahura a great deal.
Maybe you’ve seen the ads already, but Bubble Keeper Week is back! Like last season, Bubble Keeper Week will happen during the week of July 22 to 28, where bubble keepers will be featured in the Ramblings and our other regular columns.
If you don’t know what a bubble keeper is, it refers to any player on your roster who might be on the “bubble” in terms of whether you will keep them. Say you play in a 12-team league, and you’re allowed to keep somewhere between 10-12 players every year. These are the players that would be among your final keepers or would just miss the cut.
These are important decisions that you don’t want to get wrong, so we would like to help you out with these. We’re all smart enough to keep players such as Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid (assuming it’s not a salary cap or auction format, when the focus shifts to relative value), but what about those last few guys? In my Ramblings that week, I’ll pick my own players that are currently on the bubble (and hope my competition isn’t reading… though I know a few leaguemates that probably will be).
While on the subject of bubble keepers, Micheal Ferland was one of mine last summer (you can find that Bubble Keeper Week analysis here). I did not opt to keep him, though much of that was related to the price I would have had to pay under my league rules to keep him. As it turned out, my decision looked foolish early in the season when he was a must-own everywhere (11 goals in his first 21 games), but then my decision was better justified later as he turned ice cold (no goals in his last 17 games). Overall, he settled in to match his 40 points from the season before. In that 2017-18 season, Ferland also started off well (8 goals in his first 18 games) and tailed off at the end (1 goal in his last 16 games).
Because Ferland doesn’t drive the play himself, he has to line up with his team’s top scorers in order to thrive. Case in point in Carolina, where 35 percent of his even-strength icetime was with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, but over 50 percent of his even-strength points were with the Aho/Teravainen combo. If you add it all up, only 13 of his 40 points were not with this pair or not on the power play.
Go back to the previous season in Calgary (2017-18). Ferland had never scored more than 25 points, but in spending 71 percent of his even-strength time with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, he scored 77 percent of his even-strength points. He wasn’t as reliant on power-play time (just six power-play points, all goals), but it was clear that more time on the top line boosted his production. When he scored 25 points the previous season (2016-17), only 30 percent of his even-strength time was with Gaudreau and Monahan.
What this means is that he needs to find his way onto the top line with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser in order to ensure meaningful value as a scorer. There’s a decent chance of that happening, though. Canucks’ fans often griped about the lack of protection for Pettersson and the lack of pushback when something happened last season. A hard hitter such as Ferland might serve as a deterrent for teams to take cheap shots at the Canucks’ brightest young star, while at the same time not being an anchor on the line.
We’ll have to wait and see how Jim Benning adjusts the roster to fit the Ferland signing and a Boeser contract. However, Ferland could turn into one of Benning’s better signings (not that the bar is very high, though).
Don’t forget to check out Cam’s Fantasy Take on the Ferland signing, if you haven’t already.
Henri Jokiharju would have been a bubble keeper of mine, but I signed him to a two-year contract in my league last season (something that makes this league different from the others out there). So in retaining his services for at least one more season, I wasn’t thrilled to hear that he’d been traded to the Sabres. Not after they also acquired Brandon Montour and Colin Miller earlier in 2019, and not while Rasmus Ristolainen is still on the team.
Jokiharju received the equivalent of second-unit power-play minutes in his half-season with the Blackhawks last season. Yet even for those same minutes, he could be competing with Montour, Miller, and even Ristolainen for two spots (if the Sabres use only Rasmus Dahlin on the first-unit power play). That’s not going to help the cause if you were looking for him to take a step forward production-wise in 2019-20.
If Blackhawks’ fans are not thrilled about the deal, and half the Sabres’ team consists of right-shot defensemen, then this deal seems like a head scratcher on both sides. Chicago also has two other right-shot defense prospects in Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell, so that might justify the move on their end to bet on the high-end upside of Nylander. Not to mention that on the 31 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman mentioned that the Hawks had been shopping Jokiharju. And maybe Ristolainen will get traded, which will clearly help Jokiharju.
Here’s Mike’s Fantasy Take on the Jokiharju/Nylander swap.
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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