Here we are, Part V team by team coverage of this years unrestricted free agents. In reverse alphabetical order we go from Colorado to Anaheim.
Once again, I've used Alex MacLean's free agent salary projection list as a reference point which you can find here. The rest of this ‘Capped’ series can be found right here.
Let's jump right in.
Colorado Avalanche – Philipp Grubauer, Age 29, Goalie ($3.33M)
For the last two years there have been stories about Grubauer's durability, that he wasn't a strong enough goalie to backstop the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup, yet here we are with the Avalanche a favorite to win it all, and Grubauer a finalist for the Vezina.
One look at his statistics and it is easy to see why he is a Vezina finalist, in 40 starts he was 30-9-1, seven shutouts, 1.95 goals against average, and .922 save percentage. Wowzers.
The prediction for Grubauer's next contract is just under $6M. Jordan Binnington and Jacob Markstrom are two good comparable contracts to look at. With Grubaruer and Landeskog to sign as unrestricted free agents and Cale Makar as a restricted free agent it is both an exciting and daunting summer of negotiations for Joe Sakic.
Grubauer has made a strong case for Sakic to re-sign him. If it ain't broke, right?
Chicago Blackhawks – Vinnie Hinostroza, Age 27, Right Wing ($1M)
The only unrestricted free agent on the Blackhawks. The real intrigue here is that the Blackhawks traded for the pending free agent at the trade deadline. One has to suspect the 'Hawks will re-sign him. It is the only way that trade makes sense.
He was good for Chicago after he was acquired with 12 points in 18 games. I've always had a soft spot for Hinostrosa. He looked promising two years ago after he was acquired by the Arizona Coyotes but he never received consistent top-six minutes. He was buried in a defensive role which capped his offensive opportunities. He's got more to give offensively but I am starting to wonder if anyone will ever let us see it.
In deep pools, if he re-signs in Chicago and they continue to use Hinostrosa as they did to end this year, he could be a sleeper. It is one player I just can't rule out the possibility of putting up 40 points next year if he were to get regular second power play minutes.
He won't break the bank on his next contract so he could be a really nice deep sleeper if he gets an opportunity to showcase himself on a regular basis.
Carolina Panthers – Dougie Hamilton, Age 27, Defence ($5.75M)
It is safe to say Hamilton is in for a nice little raise. Projections for Hamilton sit at $8.885M. While not quite Drew Doughty territory, it does push the utmost limits of salary versus fantasy value for defencemen. If you can supplement a big salary on your blueline with good value contracts lik