Every Sunday, we’ll share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Grant Campbell (subbing for Cam Robinson), and Dobber
1. I cannot wait to watch Jack Eichel/Taylor Hall play together. Eichel is in his prime as one of the top players in the league. Hall is still in his 20s and even in his ‘bad’ 2019-20 season, he paced for 21 goals and 66 points per 82 games while playing two of the bottom-10 teams in goal scoring last year. What is he going to do with an all-world center both at 5-on-5 and on the power play? It is an exciting prospect. (oct13)
2. I wrote a recent article about my top 20 unrestricted free agents and the only remaining free agents from that list are Mike Hoffman at #5, Mikael Granlund at #9, Alex Galchenyuk at #18, and Erik Haula at #20.
– Haula will probably need to sign a one-year deal and prove himself as a 20-goal scorer once again. He will have to stay healthy for 70+ games to do that, which is easier said than done when you’ve only played 63 games over the past two seasons. It’s a gamble worth taking for a team like Arizona or Ottawa that might need help scoring.
– Galchenyuk has very little bargaining power after an eight-goal season split between Pittsburgh and Minnesota, where he struggled mightily in both stops. As one of the few 26-year-old unrestricted free agents, he can either sign a one-year show-me deal with a team that he believes will allow him to re-find his career, or he can sign a two- or three-year contract at a lower dollar amount for more stability. I’m guessing he chooses the show-me option.
– Granlund is likely attracting a few teams’ interest still, even after five days of free agency. After years in Minnesota and Nashville, will Granlund want to be part of a rebuilding team in, say, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Jersey, or Ottawa? Or would he rather be in a more competitive market? He’s probably getting offers from both situations, so the choice should be his.
– Hoffman has 65 goals over the past two years and I can’t help but think of what Jeff Skinner signed for after scoring 64 goals in the two seasons prior to signing with Buffalo. Hoffman won’t get anywhere close to what Skinner got but there should be a four or five-year payday out there for him. (oct14)
3. It’s going to look weird after 15 consecutive years in teal. Joe Thornton has signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Leafs. Thornton is the NHL’s active leader in points (1,509), but at age 41 he might have to battle fellow aging veteran Jason Spezza (among others) for a spot in the lineup. The Leafs have made a point of adding experience to their lineup this offseaso