Ramblings: 2022 Free Agency Details; Round Two Picks & More (May 18)

Alexander MacLean

2022-05-18

Next week is going to be busy for me, as I have my usual Ramblings day on the 25th, as well as pushing out the latest updates to the salary cap skater rankings on the 25th for skaters and 26th for goalies. On top of that, with all the season being finalized and having had the time to update all of my spreadsheets, I will also be releasing my updated salary projections. Keep an eye out for all of that!

With having been working on all of the cap rankings, salary projections, and the like, I have a few thoughts related to cap leagues and free agency this summer that I am going to dump here.

First off, it seems like this is the case every year, but there's an especially shallow group of both impact centres and defencemen this year. Centre-wise, we have Vincent Trocheck, Ryan Strome, Claude Giroux (who seems destined to end up in his hometown of Ottawa) and Nazem Kadri as second line options. We also have wild cards like Evgeni Malkin who has said he wants to play another three years, but Pittsburgh may not be able to afford him, and Patrice Bergeron, who is as likely to retire as he is to return as a Bruin. With only four top-six centres available (maybe five if you count Dylan Strome) there's a market shortage relative to the number of teams that will be seeking help down the middle. The teams that initially come to mind are Boston, Minnesota (lacking cap space), Colorado, Columbus, NY Rangers, Anaheim, Buffalo and Pittsburgh if Malkin doesn't return.

Something to keep in mind if you are a cap league owner of Trocheck, Kadri, either Strome, or even the likes of Andrew Copp, Nick Paul, or Max Domi.

Over on the wings there is a lot more depth on the FA list this year from the top down, starting with a pair of Flames wingers who are both projected near $10 million. Odds are both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk will re-sign which then makes Filip Forsberg the big wild card, as it doesn't seem like any guarantee that he is back in Nashville.

Forsberg is a player who broke out just in time for his big paycheck, but everyone has been expecting him to make that jump to a point per game player who can score 40 goals. This is the kind of performance that should worry you before a big payday, however his underlying numbers actually all look fairly reasonable. Forsberg's personal underlying numbers last season were excellent, with high IPPs, a few extra points from lucky secondary assists, and over 10 shots per 60 minutes of ice time. This year, he again put up his 10 shots per 60 minutes, but his personal numbers actually dropped slightly. The reason that Forsberg's num