Fantasy Impact: Flames Hit Their Mark, Sign Jacob Markstrom

Dobber

2020-10-09

The Calgary Flames have landed the big fish. In a year where available goalies are all over the place, they landed the best one. Markstrom, 30, has signed a six-year contract worth $36 million ($6M AAV).

The Flames get: at long last, a stable No.1 netminder for the next few years. For my money, Markstrom was the best goaltender available. His Quality Starts were eighth in the league last season (25) and ninth in QS% (58.1%). In 2018-19 he was fourth (38) and sixth (63.3%). QS is a good measure of goalie value over an entire season because it levels the playing field. Goalies on weaker teams are measured against those on strong teams better than simple wins, losses and goals-against average.

Fantasy Players Impacted: Markstrom moves to a slightly better team, though one could argue that Vancouver would be close or superior in the coming seasons. But as far as the team he was actually on versus the one he is about to be on – it's an improvement. He's been a 28-win goalie for two seasons now (pro-rated) and he should be able to surpass 32 in the coming year (adjust down from 82 games, of course). His backup, David Rittich, is solid and will likely take 25 starts at the very least and probably closer to 30.

Rittich takes a huge hit here. Had the Flames failed to land Markstrom they would have set their sights on Thomas Greiss or Corey Crawford. Those would have been shorter-term deals and Rittich would have had the opportunity to usurp their position in the next year or two. Now? Not a chance. Markstrom would have to have a Bobrovsky-like season both this coming year and the next one before Rittich would even get a sniff. And I wouldn't put money on that. Markstrom would need to be the second coming of Martin Jones for several years before Rittich gets a real shot in Calgary. Quite possibly the biggest fantasy hit on Day 1 of FA Frenzy.

Here is the link to the goalie-compare tool that looks at Markstrom vs. Rittich in all the key stats

Fantasy players this helps, in order:

Jacob Markstrom