Ramblings: A thorough (and I mean thorough) look at the Restricted Free Agents, and how to play it in your leagues and drafts (Sep 02)



Ramblings: A thorough (and I mean thorough) look at the Restricted Free Agents, and how to play it in your leagues and drafts (Sep 02)


The Fantasy Guide was last updated Friday, but those were just minor tweaks. The big updates come fast and furious when camp opens in less than two weeks. Updates happen so often that you can safely assume once, twice or even three times per day – just re-download the Guide when you want the latest one. Also on Friday – I launched this Guide in French. Please tell your French-speaking brethren that they can now pick up Le Guide des Poolers 2019-20 DobberHockey right here.


There is a hunger in the hockey and fantasy hockey communities for information – any information – on the long list of restricted free agents. And the truth is, there’s really nothing. Nada. All we have is logic and common sense.

A few months back I said that I didn’t think the Free Agent Frenzy on July 1st would garner as many signings. I felt that a lot of teams would be forced to play the waiting game until prices came down, with some UFA signings even dragging into late August or even September. I said this because a lot of teams were in tough against the cap and there were many highly talented restricted free agents that they either had to sign…or at the very least budget for. Well. I had the right line of thinking and the general truth of things. But the end result was the complete opposite. The idiot GMs (Dobber for GM!) still went nuts on Free Agent Frenzy, signing UFAs as if figuring that their RFAs would meekly sign tiny bridge deals and not at seeing the way the NHL world is trending. That sliver of money that teams set aside for their young free agents, they are finding, is nowhere near enough. And so, instead of seeing UFAs unsigned in September we’re seeing RFAs. And things are looking as though they will get ugly fast. Two dominos need to fall – one at forward and one at defense. Once those players sign, most (not all) of the others will sign within days.

If the general managers “win” (hint: the only actual winners are the agents, the only actual losers will be the fans), it will mean either the players sign without missing much of training camp…or … they miss a huge chunk of games, perhaps even sitting out for the season. If the players “win” (same hint as above), it will be after missing training camp and one or two games. Who will blink first? A lot is riding on the