Ramblings: Pulock’s new contract; Mantha’s burgeoning stardom; Minnesota’s power play; Kings’ cap space – November 5

Michael Clifford

2020-11-05

Ryan Pulock was re-signed by the Islanders to a two-year deal, carrying an average annual value of $5M. As mentioned in that linked tweet by Arthur Staple, this opens a second buyout window for the Islanders. Whether they use it or not is another matter, but they have about $4M in cap space with which to sign Mathew Barzal, so they definitely need to free up more money one way or another. And, as pointed out by Shayna Goldman at The Athletic, this is the second bridge deal that Pulock has taken from the Islanders. That last point I just wanted to make to parlay it into this: I don't ever want to hear about a player being 'selfish' in contract negotiations. Every team will screw over any and every player if they feel it is warranted. I will never begrudge a player for taking a team to the cleaners.

For fantasy, this keeps him with the Islanders – barring a weird trade, I guess – for the foreseeable future. Devon Toews being shipped to Colorado obviously means good things for Pulock's power-play minutes, but if the team still splits into two power-play units, then there may not be a huge amount of PPTOI upside. Nick Leddy is still around for mop-up duties and Noah Dobson looks ready to (hopefully) step into Toews's role. It could be a situation where Dobson just takes Toews's PP minutes and not much changes.

In the fantasy game, there are not a lot of players who can produce across the board than Pulock: double-digit goals in two of the last three years, triple-digit hits and blocks in two of the last three years, while averaging about 10 PPPs a year. We should remember that he has never hit 30 assists, 40 points, 200 shots, or 15 PPPs in a single season. Not saying he can't, and I'm nowhere close to making projections yet. I would just say hold off on his extension coupled with a Toews trade meaning big things for his fantasy value.

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The more interesting signing for me was Anthony Mantha in Detroit. He was re-upped on Tuesday for four years at $5.7M per season. He was hurt for a good portion of last year but still managed 38 points in 43 games.

When looking through his stats, one thing popped out: his big jump in point rate in 2019-20 was largely driven by