First off, for those who missed it, Gary Bettman made mention on Wednesday that the salary cap for the upcoming 2018-2019 season should be between $79.5M and $80M. Adjust accordingly.
Now that’s out of the way, let me take a step back and say it’s good to be back in the middle of all things hockey. The Capped articles published over the last few weeks were written ahead of time in May, and I took the last three weeks off in Europe. As a result, there was plenty of missed news, so this week’s article will be recapping news and thoughts from the last few weeks, covering Evander Kane, Max Domi, the Leafs, the Oilers and more!
All salary info from Cap Friendly.
Evander Kane – San Jose Sharks
New Cap Hit: $7,000,000 (UFA, July 2025)
Let’s start with the big guns. Evander Kane received the unrestricted free-agent contract that we all expected, except he didn’t have to hit the open market. The contract keeps Kane in teal until he turns 34. With a style of play that has led to many injuries throughout his career, the term on the deal is a little scary. Kane has only played in 70+ games three times in his career (also playing a full 48 games in the lockout-shortened season), so expect the drop-off to come fast after 30.
In the meantime, the contract could turn out to at least be a fair one for both sides. The first few years of the contract will see Kane alongside an aging Sharks team who he meshed well with after being dealt from Buffalo. If the 14 points in 17 games to close out the season are any indication, Kane may finally be able to break the 60-point barrier. A 60+ point season from the left winger, in addition to his peripherals, will make him a worthwhile commodity for the next few years in cap leagues. Even if your league doesn’t count hits, penalty minutes or some of the other deeper categories, Kane’s shot totals alone make him a multi-category beast. Had he been healthy the last three seasons, he was on pace to pass 300 shots in each one.
Max Domi – Montreal Canadiens
New Cap Hit: $3,150,000 (RFA, July 2020)
We’re here to talk about salary cap implications, as the trade of Domi for Alex Galchenyuk has already been well covered by Cam Robinson here (as well as on the rest of the internet by everyone else with an opinion). The two-year deal to Domi was fairly easy to see coming, as he had two years left until his arbitration eligibility kicked in. With his high pedigree paired to an inability to breakout in Arizona, a bridge deal was almost assured. Both the team and the player want to have a little more time before committing to something long term, and that makes a lot of sense. For the next two years, Domi should be able to provide numbers worthy of labelling his contract somewhere between “fair-value” and “bargain”.
The upside to Domi is going to be if Montreal fits him on the first powerplay. Having Jonathan Drouin and Domi, dish passes to shoot-first players Max Pacioretty, Shea Weber, and Brendan Gallagher could be the saving grace of this team. There has been lots of negativity thrown around when discussing the outlook on Domi for next season, however I remain bullish on his potential. He won’t challenge for the Rocket Richard or Hart trophies, but I am expecting him to set a new career high in points (his previous high was 52 in his rookie season).
Marek Mazanec – New York Rangers
New Cap Hit: $650,000 (UFA, July 2019)
This signing certainly didn’t move the Richter scale, however there could be some sneaky value here for deeper leagues. The New York Rangers are going younger, and have no need to overwork incumbent star Henrik Lundqvist. As a result, there could be 25 or so starts available for the backup goaltender. In small sample sizes before last season, Mazanec had flashes of success with the Predators. For those of you in deeper leagues where every goalie start matters, getting 25 starts for $650K could be a gem in the rough. The Rangers don’t have anyone else that should immediately step in, as most of their prospects are still a few years away.
Maple Leafs Recent Signings
There were two small signings by the Leafs on Wednesday. First came in Connor Carrick’s new contract. The 24-year-old defenceman earned a one-year $1.3 million deal, and looks to be penciled into the Leafs’ top six defencemen for next season (barring more offseason moves). Carrick won’t be all that fantasy relevant, and with every Toronto player’s stock getting overblown, remember that you can often find more fantasy-relevant players to fill specific categories based on your team’s needs. Carrick doesn’t necessarily stack one category, and doesn’t earn enough minutes to hit high totals as a well-rounded player.
The second contract was handed to goaltender Calvin Pickard, and has a few more layers to it. Pickard signed a one year deal worth $800K, but the most interesting aspect is that Pickard will require waivers to be sent to the minors. The Maple Leafs already have Frederik Andersen and Curtis McElhinney signed for next season, so it is entirely possible that Pickard isn’t playing out this contract for the blue and white. After his extremely successful season in the AHL, it would be surprising if Pickard passed through waivers unclaimed by another team. Pickard has some upside with his pedigree, if he does end up almost anywhere but Toronto, he could surprise.
Edmonton Oilers Recent Signings
Peter Chiarelli gets a lot of flak for his trades over the last few years, but the two most recent signings of his are both good value. Matt Benning ($1.9M) and Drake Caggiula ($1.5M) both signed two year deals, and should be solid contributors at that price point in both fantasy and real life. Neither one will find their name on the scoresheet often, however they both contribute well in peripheral categories, and could also provide your fantasy teams some much needed depth.
Recent Capped articles:
That caps off another Thursday. Enjoy the draft tomorrow.
If you want to talk hockey, salary caps, or anything even remotely related, you can find me on twitter any day of the week @alexdmaclean
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