Top 10 Cheap Value UFA Signings (for Cap Leagues)

by Tom Collins on July 4, 2016

Top 10 cheap value UFA signings that could help you in your deep salary cap league

 

Well, that was a fun Canada Day, wasn't it? NHL general managers threw more than $400 million at players on July 1. The DobberHockey crew did a great job of analyzing many of the signings (you can see the a list of analyses here).

For those of us in cap leagues, many of the players are almost priced out of any type of usefulness. But there are still plenty of signings that really helped out fantasy GMs. Here are the top 10 cheap value UFA signings from the past weekend that help keep your team salary down while chipping in occasionally.

 

10. Anton Khudobin

It was only a couple of years ago that many fantasy general managers thought Khudobin was ready to be the Hurricanes' number one netminder. But Khudobin wasn't great in Carolina after that and was subpar in nine games with the Ducks this ast season. He signed a two-year deal with Boston with a $1.2 million cap hit. He won't get the opportunity to play many games in Boston, but he'll be great for spot starts in deep leagues as the Bruins have recent history of having backups post similar numbers to Tuukka Rask. Plus Khudobin is familiar with Boston as he was a backup there during the lockout shortened season.

 

9. Yannick Weber

Yannick Weber wore number six with the Vancouver Canucks for the past three years. Shea Weber wore number six in Nashville for the past 10 or so years. Yannick should continue to wear number six with the Predators. This would keep fans from having to buy new jerseys and it would look like he has a ton of support at the games. Regardless, Weber will be a sixth dman with the opportunity to move into a top-four role if there's an injury or two. And Nashville has a great history of having productive defensemen.

 

8. Chris Stewart

I like Stewart a lot for next season with Minnesota simply because the expectations aren't there. It wouldn't surprise me if he wound up with a 40-point season even though he hasn't hit that mark since 2010-11. But there are a few good things going for Stewart: He had a great 20 games in Minnesota in 2014-15 when he had 11 points in 20 games. He will probably finish with 100 PIM if he plays 80 games and will still average two shots a game. And most importantly, he'll get more than 10 minutes of ice time. So his signing for two years with a $1.15-million cap hit gives plenty of value and not much risk in cap leagues.

 

7. P.A. Parenteau

Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a return to the glory days of Parenteau's career when he hit 67 points in 2011-12 playing on a line with John Tavares. Parenteau is now 32 and on the downside of his career. However, another 20-goal, 50-point season is easily doable. And that's a decent return for a player who just signed a one-year deal for $1.25 million.

 

6. Devante Smith-Pelly

If DSP can half even half the success over the next two years that he had in 18 games with the Devils this season, then his two-year deal with a $1.3-million cap hit would be one of the best bargains in the league. Smith-Pelly had eight goals and 13 points with the Devils, thanks in large part to a 23.5 shooting percentage. Depending on how things align, he could see a regular role in the top six.

 

5. Brian Campbell

Campbell finds himself in an excellent position with the Hawks. He is pretty much a top-four defenseman there and will get plenty of power play time on the second unit. He can still be a 30-point guy with Chicago. In cap leagues, it's much easier to roster a 30-point dman with a $1.5 million cap hit rather than a 30-point dman with a $7.14-million cap hit.

 

4. Thomas Vanek

Sure Vanek wasn't that great in Minnesota. But I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Remember that it was in 2013-14 that he had 44 points in 47 games with the Islanders, 15 in 18 with Montreal and nine in 13 with Buffalo. So he was well worth the risk for $2.6 million with the Red Wings, who needs someone to help replace the loss of Pavel Datsyuk. There's a chance for a return to respectability if he can find the right teammates in Motown.

 

3. Al Montoya

Montoya signed just a one-year deal with the Habs for $950,000. But this was an important insurance policy. Carey Price is simply too much of a Band-Aid Boy. He's suffered some sort of injury in each of the past five years.  Most of the time it's at the end of the season or in the playoffs, so the impact doesn't seem as large as it does for other Band-Aid Boys. Montoya will get a minimum of 20 starts this year, but it could be much more depending on when Price is injured.

 

2. Joe Colborne

Colborne was one of the top surprises last season with 19 goals and 44 points in 72 games. He was able to parlay that into a two-year deal with the Avalanche with a $2.5-million cap hit. This is a great fit for Colborne. He probably slides into a top-six role fairly easily in Colorado as a winger and could be a threat to get to 50 points if this is the case. 

 

1. Chad Johnson

Calgary has done its best to upgrade its goaltending situation this offseason. Johnson is a perfect handcuff because starting goaltending Brian Elliott just can't stay healthy. He hasn't played more than 46 games in a season since 2010-11. By comparison, Johnson played 45 games for Buffalo this past season and was excellent for the most part. He'll be able to snag enough starts from Elliott on his own but could be the Flames' number goalie for at least half of the season.