Ramblings: PTO Contracts, Power-Play Shots on Goal (Sept 10)

Ian Gooding


The salary cap has put the squeeze on teams trying to add supporting players, so we are starting to see more players being added on a professional tryout basis. Three veteran NHLers were able to land PTOs on Friday:

Zach Aston-Reese – Toronto

Calvin de Haan – Carolina

Danny DeKeyser – Vancouver

These three players don't move the needle in pure scoring leagues. However, if they are able to turn the PTOs into contracts with these teams (or potentially another team), their additions could affect other players on the bubble to make the lineup – in particular, rookies that you might be crossing your fingers on. For example, DeKeyser earning a spot on the Canucks could push Jack Rathbone down to the AHL to start the season, as both are left-shot defensemen. With Aston-Reese auditioning for a roster spot on the Leafs, Nick Robertson is also less of a certainty to crack the big club.

In bangers leagues, however, these PTO players might hold a bit of value. Aston-Reese led the Penguins with 187 hits, even though he played only 52 games for them before being traded to Anaheim. Also, de Haan finished third in the entire NHL with 172 blocked shots while finishing second on the Blackhawks with 146 hits.

One area that I think is untapped when it comes to competitive advantage in fantasy leagues is power-play information. So much of analytics focuses on 5-on-5 play, which has been proven to make sense when it comes to season outcomes by team as well as overall scoring trends by player. Yet power-play points is one important category in fantasy leagues in that it can be similar to the "double word score" in Scrabble for rewarding multicategory leaguers twice. As well, a full-time role on the first-unit power play can provide a boost to a player's overall scoring.