Fantasy Hockey Poll: Biggest Unrestricted Free Agency Disappointments (2022)

Rick Roos


After several offseasons where it felt as though the UFA pool was quite shallow, from where I sit there is no shortage of likely impact players set to hit this summer's market as unrestricted free agents. Although some will play well enough to justify their price tags, history has shown several will prove to be major disappointments. Who might they be? Let's have your votes decide!

What follows are arguably the 20 highest profile UFAs to be, with apologies to the likes of Max Domi, Ondrej Palat, and Ryan Strome, among others, who didn't quite make the cut. Your task is to select the five you believe will be the biggest disappointments versus expectations over the course of their entire contract. That last part is the key, as some could outperform the others by quite a lot yet still be rightfully perceived as a bigger disappointment if expectations for them were that much higher. In other words, it's all relative. Plus, we're not just talking about how well they do in 2022-23, but rather their performance over the course of their entire contract.

Also, it doesn't matter if some of these guys end up re-signing with their current teams before July 13th; if they're unrestricted free agents as of today, then they're considered UFAs for purposes of this poll. Of course, it would be easier to wait until free agency has played out to make these assessments, especially to see where everyone lands; but with some fantasy teams looking to make offseason trades or, in certain cases, keeper decisions, before free agency begins on July 13th, I felt now was a good time for a poll like this.

*Editor's Note: Joe Pavelski was included at the time of the author writing, though he was already re-signed. He's a higher profile player and worth considering here anyways as he comes off a career high in points. Bryan Rust re-signed as well after the article was submitted for editing. *

Here, then, are your 20 voting choices, in alphabetical order. Remember that you're picking the five who'll turn out to be the biggest disappointments versus expectations over the course of their entire contract. The link to cast your votes will be at the end of the column.

Patrice Bergeron – With Bergeron almost assured to re-up with the Bruins if he doesn't opt to retire, and his scoring rate almost exactly the same the past three seasons, conventional wisdom suggests he'll do just as well in 2022-23. But perhaps this is the where he slips down another notch, as not only would he be 37 when the season starts but his legs have more miles on them due to the two regular-season's worth of games he's logged in his playoff career.

Andre Burakovsky – No question Burakovsky would have a more prominent role on a new team. The question is if he goes elsewhere whether he can step up to be a top performer with the spotlight shining more squarely on him, as