Capped: Impacts of recent and potential signings
Welcome back all. This week we are off of the Seattle topic, and back to your regularly scheduled programming with a bit more of a contract focused article. Good thing that there was actually some contract news around the league over the last week, so in no particular order, let's jump right in.
MacKenzie MacEachern (LW) – St. Louis Blues
New Cap Hit: $900,000
This is a nice depth signing for the Blues. The two-year deal shows there is a depth forward slot that is his to lose (though the Blues do have a lot of internal competition). He won't mean much in fantasy circles though until his ice time goes way above the nine minutes per-game he averaged last season.
Marco Scandella (D) – St. Louis Blues
New Cap Hit: $3,275,000
The Blues overpaid another defenceman not named Alex Pietrangelo. Scandella takes over Jay Bouwmeester's spot in the lineup, however contract won't likely age well for the Blues. The AAV is a little high, and almost double what my projection shows he's worth, but it's the four-year term that seems too long for a number four defenceman on the wrong end of 30.
Sammy Blais (LW) – St. Louis Blues
New Cap Hit: $1,500,000
The third Blues signing of late, Blais is also a depth forward on the Blues, but he has shown some flashes of offensive potential, and should end up as a bargain deal at his $1.5 million price tag. Blais' 155 hits in only 40 games while seeing less that 13 minutes of ice-time per game is also one of the best hit rates in the NHL (top 10 when accounting for those with more than 10 games played).
Mikhail Grigorenko (LW) – Buffalo Sabres
Voided Contract Cap Hit: $1,200,000
Grigorenko's time as an official member of the Blue Jackets was very short lived, as his $1.2 million, one-year contract was voided by the league, as the soon to be 26-year-old Russian isn't able to sign anywhere until July 1st. It is likely that the same contract is left for July first and signed at that point, but it is also possible that another team swoops in with a higher offer.
Joonas Korpisalo (G) – Columbus Blue Jackets
New Cap Hit: $2,800,000
The Blue Jackets also put pen to paper with one-half of their goaltending tandem, and this contract is valid. The $2.8 million price tag on 25-year-old (turning 26 this week) goaltender Korpisalo is a sign that they aren't fully ready to commit to him or Elvis Merzlikins as the de facto starter next season – and nor should they feel the need to. This is an excellent defensive system in front of the goalies, and both netminders performed brilliantly in stretches last season. Keeping the cost down here allows more to go around for the skaters, while keeping both Merzlikins and Korpisalo fresh and competitive. Similar ratios over 45 starts next season would be an extremely valuable campaign at that price – Columbus isn't missing Bobrovsky at all.
Dustin Byfuglien (D) – Free Agent
It has been almost a week since Byfuglien and the Jets parted ways, and we don't seem to have a clear picture of what is next for Big Buff. Retirement is the option that makes the most sense to me, but it is a possibility that Byfuglien wants a year off, or a change of pace with a new city. Perhaps moving south where the fishing is warmer or getting closer to his hometown of Minnesota might be what he is looking for, and we see him don a new jersey next season. My model has him pegged at a salary of $3 million, so if he does play, he should be a bargain in fantasy leagues.
Vasili Demchenko (G) – Montreal Canadiens
New Cap Hit: $792,500
The 26-year-old netminder has put up multiple successful campaigns in the KHL, and is a no-risk signing for the Montreal Canadiens, as his contract does not have a European out clause (meaning he can be sent to a minors affiliate if necessary). He should battle for the backup job in camp next year, and with Carey Price's injury history and heavy workloads, Demchenko could end up seeing more starts than expected from a rookie backup goalie. A nice dice roll late in drafts for goalie heavy or generally deep dynasty leagues.
Alexandre Carrier (D) – Nashville Predators
New Cap Hit: $733,333
Carrier signed a three-year, two-way deal last week that sees him with an AAV of $733,333 when in the NHL. It may seem unlikely at this point that he makes it, but with the expected loss of Yanick Weber, Dan Hamhuis, and Korbinian Holzer to free agency, there will be a spot or two up for grabs on the Predators' blue-line next season. Carrier was named an AHL all-star this year, and the puck-moving defenceman doesn't have much more to prove at the lower levels. Between his talent and opportunity, he's one to look at stashing in deeper leagues.
While we wait for hockey to return, stay safe everyone!
If you have questions, comments, or article requests, you can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean.
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