A week from today free agency begins. Although a lot of attention will – rightfully – be placed on the great crop of RFAs, this poll is about UFAs. What you're voting on is which five of these 20 UFAs will be the biggest fantasy busts over the course of the contracts they're about to sign. What determines if someone is a fantasy bust? It's a sliding scale of fantasy performance versus salary. Thus, the more money a player is being paid, the better he'll need to produce in fantasy in order to avoid the "bust" label, whereas the less he makes over the course of his contract the poorer he's have to perform from a fantasy perspective to truly be labeled a "bust." We're talking about performance in fantasy here, not the "real world." Many of these players will have value to their teams in ways that don't count in fantasy categories. All we're concerned about in this poll is fantasy performance, with the benchmark being the metrics used to determine the Top 100 Roto Rankings.
What follows, in alphabetical order, are 20 notable who are all age 35 or less UFAs, with the toughest omissions being Blake Coleman, Phillip Danault, Alex Edler, Nick Foligno, Antti Raanta, Alex Goligoski, Mike Reilly, Alexander Wennberg, and Keith Yandle, plus anyone else bought out on or after I submitted this column July 16th. A link to cast votes is at the end of the column. For an expert's opinion – albeit from six weeks ago – as to how much these players stand to be paid, click here. Keep in mind that is just a guide – it's not meant to be a substitute for your estimates on what each of player will actually earn via his new UFA deal.
Frederik Andersen – Although he won plenty of games for Toronto, Andersen is now 31 and his GAA either declined or held steady every season of his Toronto tenure, with his SV% dropping in each of his last three. Then there's this – what was the last big name, big money, UFA goalie who didn't land with a thud? Last season it was Jacob Markstrom and before that it was Sergei Bobrovsky. In fact, I looked up data for a bunch of seasons and couldn't find a goalie who inked a somewhat recent UFA deal for more than $4M per season who didn't ultimately disappoint.
Tyson Barrie – Perhaps no UFA to be upped his value in 2020-21 more than Barrie in posting career best stats as Edmonton's go to option for rearguard offense. Yet just a season earlier Oscar Klefbom