Capped: Early concerns and buying opportunities

Alexander MacLean

2021-01-21

We have a week in the books and that means it's time to start sending trade offers to your fellow GMs to see who you can steal away while they panic about a bad first three games. Since this is the Capped section, we're going to focus on players who are also in a contract year, and theoretically would have more to play for. Some of these players will bounce back and have career years (or close to) in seeking the best deal they can find for themselves in free agency. Unfortunately, for their wallets and their fantasy owners, some are bound to flop. Let's try to sort out which is which.

 

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Ryan Getzlaf (C) – Anaheim Ducks

Current Cap Hit: $8,250,000

The 35-year-old veteran hasn't been on his usual scoring pace, and some reduced ice time is partly to blame. Getzlaf has one measly assist to his name through the first three games of the season. The saving grace for fantasy owners to this point has been Getzlaf's hit total which is higher than ever (15 through three games). His shot rate is struggling, and that is likely due to a reduction in ice time both at even strength and on the power play. The Ducks seem to be giving more minutes, and especially the offensive minutes to the young guns. Getzlaf is starting only 43 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the lowest number of his career, continuing a downwards trend from the last few years. He will bounce back to some extent, but his full season scoring pace in the 50s from the last two years may be the best we can expect from him at this point.

 

Kevin Fiala (RW) – Minnesota Wild

Current Cap Hit: $3,000,000

Fiala has been snake-bit through three games entering play on Wednesday, but there is no need to worry for the 23-year-old. As Cam touched on in his Wednesday Ramblings, Fiala's 18 shots through three games mean that the dam is going to burst soon. He is also seeing an absurd 5:50 per game on the power play plus another 14 minutes per game at even strength, and starting almost 70 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. Deployments just don't get any tastier than that. The buy-low window is open just a crack, but try to squeeze in before it slams shut.

 

David Rittich (G) – Calgary Flames

Current Cap Hit: $2,750,000

At the end of last season with Cam Talbot on his way out it appeared that David Rittich would be in line for an increase in starts on a rebounding Flames team. This would be happening just in time for his bridge deal to end. Unfortunately for both Rittich and his fantasy owners, the Flames managed to poach Vezina candidate Jacob Markstrom from the Canucks. Markstrom has started each of the Flames' first three games, with a shutout and two wins to show for it. Regardless of how well Rittich plays, he's stuck in a backup role likely seeing at most 25% of the starts on the season (assuming Markstrom stays healthy). There's no getting around this one if you own him, he's a sunk cost for the year, but at least that means his next contract won't be as hard on your wallet.