Fantasy Impact: 2020 Buyouts and Non-Qualified RFAs

Ian Gooding

2020-10-08

Even buyouts have fantasy implications, and there have been a few of them in this offseason. Let's examine what the important ones could mean to the player and the team that decided to part with their contract.  

Kyle Turris

Perhaps surprisingly, the Predators decided that Turris producing at half a point per game or less for $6 million per season wasn't going to cut it. In 2019-20, he got lost in the shuffle as one of eight Nashville forwards that played at least 55 games and produced between 0.45 and 0.55 points per game. David Poile is doing some housecleaning here, as another one of those forwards (Nick Bonino) has been traded and two more (Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith) are expected to leave as UFAs.

The Preds are saving money by swapping Bonino for pending RFA Luke Kunin. However, the Turris buyout could really signal that the Preds are clearing the needed cap space to make a run for Taylor Hall.

Fantasy Impact: Wild Trade Kunin to Nashville for Bonino

As for Turris, expect him to be signed as a depth forward somewhere on a short-term inexpensive deal.

Henrik Lundqvist

Eventually something had to give in the Rangers crease, and King Henrik became the odd man out. The Lundqvist buyout all but cements 24-year-old phenom Igor Shesterkin as the starter next season, with Alexandar Georgiev to be a backup who should play roughly 30 games. With the long-rumored buyout now complete, Shesterkin is a potential top-10 fantasy goalie next season. Even before the Lundqvist buyout, Shesterkin was a must-own in keeper leagues.

The 38-year-old Lundqvist, who has stated he is not ready to retire, is rumored to be signing with the rival Washington Capitals on Friday. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has stated that he is looking for a veteran backup goalie, as Braden Holtby will likely move on as a free agent.

Bobby Ryan

Ryan played in just 24 games last season, so it's difficult to measure his recent fantasy impact. He only averaged 13:31 per game, but he was a regular on the first-unit power play when he was in the lineup. There will likely be major changes to the Senators' first-unit power play in 2020-21, with Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk the only locks there. Josh Norris,