Saturday, June 28, 2008

Scouting/Handicapping the UFA's

1) As we move toward July 1st and 'freedom' for a rather large if not too deep/impressive group of UFA's we at FAUXRUMORS will provide an abridged list of whom we feel are the more interesting/talented players available. We will go by position starting with forwards, then defense, and finally goalies. Not in any particular order. We will list each players 07-08 team/stats, age, his previous salary, and our projection/what we are hearing with respect to where they might be headed, as well as our projected contract size/length.

2) Forwards:

  • Sean Avery: Rangers. Age 28. 33 points in 57 games. Made 1.9 mil. The Ranger's amazing record when the pesky forward is in the lineup as opposed to on the sidelines is unavoidable. The question that Sather has to ask is he worth double (or more) his current salary? We say no. At under 3 mil Avery is worth the headaches. Anything over 4 and now he will have to score 50+ points to be worth that salary. Likely contract: 4 years 16 million. Possible destinations: Rangers, Dallas, Islanders

  • Marian Hossa: Pittsburgh. Age 29. 66 points in 72 games. made 7 million. One of the bigger names available this summer. Had a good playoff with Pitt enhancing his value. That said, we at FAUXRUMORS are not big Hossa fans. Certainly not at the salary he's likely to command. He's a solid 1st line forward. We feel the 7 million he made this past year was a bit too much for his production. Likely contract: 5 years 42 million. Possible destinations: Bruins, Atlanta, Edmonton

  • Pavol Demitra: Wild. Age 33. 54 points in 68 games. Made 4.5 million. Its unlikely the Wild will re-sign the Slovak, but its still not out of the realm of possibility either. If he doesn't ask for Hossa money (more than 5 mil) we hear a deal could still be worked out. Likely contract: 3 years 16 million. Possible destinations: Wild, LA, Rangers, Toronto

  • Mats Sundin: Maple Leafs. Age 37. 78 points in 74 games. Made 5.5 million. Probably the cream of the UFA crop. Featured in our last post on how Toronto bridges-burned. He would be an excellent addition to any team that is in contention already and looking to add the 'final piece'. Due to his age we wouldn't expect a long term deal. Likely contract: 3 years 21 million. Possible destinations: Rangers, Montreal, Vancouver, retirement.

  • Joe Sakic: Avalanche. Age 38. 40 points in 44 games. Made 6.75 million. Coming off an injury plagued season, its not certain if Joe even wants to play. He's earned enough to live quite comfortably, but does the fire of competition remain in the Burnaby, BC native? We believe its yes, and its a HUGE long shot he'll be anywhere but in Denver in the fall. Likely contract: 1 year 6 million+incentives. Possible destination: Avalanche, retirement

  • Ryan Malone: Pittsburgh. Age 28. 51 points in 77 games. Made 1.45 million. The 6'4" native of Steel town appears headed away from his birth city to collect a very nice pay day. The Pens in a perfect (non capped) world would have loved to retain his services, but its impossible with the other problems that face Shero this summer. That said, we like Malone, but don't believe he deserves big money (4-5 mil). He's a solid 3rd line checking forward. However, given the dearth/depth of quality UFA's Ryan will probably get his cash. Likely contract: 5 years 20 million. Possible destinations: Columbus, Toronto, Islanders, Atlanta, St. Louis.

  • Jaromir Jagr: Rangers. Age 36. 71 points in 82 games. Made 8.36 million. Even with decreased production, and the additions of 2 high priced UFA's last summer, JJ was still the best Rangers' forward this past season/playoffs. He was also cheap until now. (The Caps were paying 4 mil of his salary as part of the deal that brought him to Broadway.) So far its been a guessing game if the Rangers want him back or if Jagr will play out his career in Europe where rumours persist that he's been offered big money to play in Russia. Haven't read/heard one rumor of JJ playing anywhere else in the NHL but the Rangers. Likely contract: 1 year+option(player) 7 mil+incentives. Possible destinations: Rangers, Russian KHL

  • Markus Naslund: Canucks. Age 34. 55 points in 82 games. Made 6 million. The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden natives production has been sliding the past few seasons. He's no longer the go to guy on Vancouver despite being paid big bucks. He has publicly hinted that he may return home to continue playing. That is the most likely scenario unless a team approaches him and offers him a good deal to stay in North America. Likely contract: 3 years 15 million. Possible destinations: Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, Sweden.

  • Daymond Langkow: Calgary. Age 31. 65 points in 80 games. made 2.44 million. Langkow has been a consistent contributor to the Flames offense the past few seasons as well as playing a solid two-way game that Sutter loves. He rarely misses games and would be a solid # 1 or a 2 center on many teams. The Flames would like to keep him, but with already 43 mil tied up with 13 players it might come down to Daymond 'wanting' to return, by giving a bit of a home town discount. Likely contract: 4 years 15 million. Possible destinations: Calgary, Canucks,

  • Brian Rolston: Wild. Age 35. 59 points in 81 games. Made 2.43 million. Brian has been the leader of the Wild for the past three seasons. As such we hear the team is working hard to try to re-sign him. The Michigan native has scored 30+goals the past 3 years, and has earned every penny the Wild have paid him. Likely contract: 3 years 10 million. Possible destinations: Wild, Rangers, Atlanta

  • Vaclav Prospal: Flyers. Age 33 71 points in 80 games. Made 1.9 million. With his rights exclusively re-acquired by the Lightning from the Flyers it appears likely that Vaclav will be reunited with the other Vinny(Lecavalier), where he has enjoyed his most productive seasons. Now that the hated Fonzie (Tortorella) has been dispatched look for Vaclav to stay in Florida. Likely Contract: 4 years 14 million. Possible destinations: Tampa Bay

  • Brendan Morrison: Canucks. Age 32. 25 points in 39 games. Made 3.2 million. With the Canucks addition of Wellwood, it probably means the team will not try to retain Brendan. Likely contract: 3 year 10 million Possible destinations: Columbus, Vancouver, Atlanta, Minnesota

  • Jason Williams: Blackhawks. Age 27. 36 points in 43 games. Made 1.6 million. Injuries plagued Jason hindering his output. He has scored 20 goals 2 years ago. Likely contract: 2 years 3.8 mil. Likely destination: Chicago, St. Louis,

  • Michael Ryder: Canadiens. Age 28. 31 points in 70 games. Made 2.95 million. Fell out of favour even before his play suffered sealing his fate. Surprising that he wasn't traded at the deadline. We can see a few teams taking a shot that Michael will regain his scoring touch which earned a Calder nomination in 2004. Likely contract: 2 years 6 million. Possible destinations: Pittsburgh, Bruins, Canucks, Dallas

  • Kristian Huselius: Age 29. Flames. 66 points in 81 games. Made 1.4 million. With a lot of other free agents to sign and having very limited cap space, Huselius could be the odd man out in Calgary. His output/cap dollar is among the best. He will assuredly garner considerable interest and a nice salary boost to go with it. Likely contract: 4 years 19 million. Possible destinations: Chicago, Montreal, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Vancouver

  • Teemu Selanne: Ducks. 23 points in 26 games. Made 1.5 million. Will the Finnish flash retire or will he return once again. He didn't take long to get back into the thick of things once he returned to Anaheim. He probably would have scored 60+ points if he had played a full season. Something the offensively starved Ducks needed. It appears that Teemu once again will either retire or return to Anaheim. Hopefully for Burke ad the Ducks he doesn't take 6 months to decide this time around. Will Niedermayer back its more likely we'll see the Flash return as well. Likely contract: 3 million+incentives. Possible destinations: Anaheim/retirement

  • Cory Stillman: Senators. Age 34. 65 points in 79 games. Made 1.75 million. Wasn't spectacular after his trade from Carolina, but Cory rarely is. He merely puts up consistent numbers 65-75 points every year. For his salary he was worth the investment. He is a solid second line forward. If he's placed in a position where he's relied upon to be the go to guy he'd probably disappoint, but could help a team with established stars. Likely contract: 2 years 6 million. Possible destinations: Ottawa, Carolina, Calgary

  • Radim Vrbata: Coyotes. Age 27. 56 points in 76 games. Made 1.25 million. Had a career year in Phoenix. Will Vrbata stay and try to grow with the young and exciting Coyotes, or go for the big pay day and play somewhere else? Likely contract: 4 years 12 million. Possible destinations: Phoenix, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, Anaheim

3) Next-defense.

  • Wade Redden: Senators. Age 31. 38 points in 80 games. Made 6.5 million. He admittedly had a bit of a down year for his standards, but that probably won't prevent teams from throwing big dollars his way this summer. Is probably the marquis UFA defensemen available(with Campbell) he plays well on both ends of the rink. Is he worth his salary? We say no, but we will see quite a few GM's with a different perspective. Likely contract: 5 years 40 million. Possible destinations: Toronto, San Jose, LA

  • Adam Foote: Avalanche. Age 36. 16 points in 75 games. Made 4.6 million. Made a successful return to Colorado following a trade back from Columbus. With four possible unrestricted free agent defensemen, the Avalanche are facing some serious decisions, even if they can get a couple of them re-signed. They would like to retain Adam who played well down the stretch, but they are unlikely to offer more than what he made this past season and at his age can't give a long deal. We hear Foote would like to stay so we don't anticipate movement, but if that changes there will be many possible suitors. Likely contract: 2 years 8 million. Possible destinations: Avalanche, LA, NJ

  • Brooks Oprik: Penguins. Age 27. 11 points in 78 games. Made 1.75 million. We read that he rejected the Pens (last?) offer so he'll likely be available July 1st. Brooks really shined in the playoffs this past year for Pitt, significantly enhancing his value. One scout tells us 'he probably doubled his next contract' with his tough as nails play. Its still possible he will be back with the Pens, but once he goes on the market its less likely he stays put. Likely contract: 5 years 20 million. Possible destinations: Pittsburgh, Rangers, Bluejackets, Washington, San Jose, LA

  • Mark Streit: Canadiens. Age 30. 62 points in 81 games. Made 600K. The Swiss blueliner was a revelation on the Habs blueline. Making folks quickly forget about the departed Sheldon Souray. Putting up very impressive numbers, but in the process making him a tough player for Montreal to re-sign. Likely contract: 5 years 20 million. Possible destinations: Florida, Chicago, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Colorado

  • Brian Campbell: Shark. 62 points in83 games. Made 1.75 million. Many see him as the best offensive defensemen available this UFA season. It appears that the Sharks were unable to get the former Sabre to sign before the free agency period begins. Likely contract 5 years 35 million Possible destinations:New Jersey, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Chicago, Montreal, Carolina

  • Brad Stuart: RedWings. Age 28. 23 points in 72 games. Made 3.5 million. The Wings probably can't afford Stuart if he wants a big raise, but at his previous $3.5 million he might stay put. He has certainly helped his case for staying with his impressive playoff. If he gives a bit of a home town discount he might appear more attractive to the Wings. Likely contract 3 years 10 million. Possible destinations: Detroit, LA, Ottawa, Florida

  • Robert Blake: Kings. Age 38. 31 points in 71 games. Made 6 million. We were never huge Blake fans, even when he was good. Now that he's well past his expiration date we feel that teams looking for the old Blake are better served to pass on him, especially at a high salary. That said, he'll probably get attention from a few teams in need of a veteran defensemen. Likely contract: 2 years 8 million+incentives. Possible destinations: LA, Colorado

  • Ron Hainsey: Blue Jackets. Age 27. 32 points in 78 games. Made 900K. The Bolton, CT native picked a good time to put it all together for Columbus. Putting up good offensive numbers but as important playing more reliably in his own end as well. Would make a good #3 or 4 defensemen. Likely contract: 3 year 9 million. Possible destinations: Islanders, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago

  • John-Michael Liles: Avalanche. Age 28. 32 points in 81 games. Made 1.4 million. Liles hasn't put up big offensive numbers, but is one of those guys you miss more when he's not in the lineup. He has great value for his solid puck movement and playing 'Top 4' minutes in every game. The Avalanche have many choices on who they can/want to resign. We hear the odds are against a return of J-M. Likely contract: 4 years 12 million. Possible destinations: New Jersey, Boston, NY Islanders, Buffalo, Columbus

4) Finally goalies- The depth is paper thin. teams looking to upgrade the most important position are probably better off doing it internally than via UFA-agency:

  • Cristobal Huet: Capitals. Age 32. 32 wins in 52 games. Made 2.75 million. Came out of no where a few years ago to become the Habs # 1 goalie. Has put up good regular season numbers, but has yet to perform up to that level in the post season. Bob Gainey made huge gamble trading him away at the deadline to DC. From there he helped lead the caps into their first post season in many years. The Caps are desperate to sign the St. Martin D'Heres, France native, as they broke ties with long time goalie Olie Kolzig, and their prospects are not yet ready. The window for getting a deal done are closing. If Cris isn't signed before July he's probably not going to stay in Washington. Likely contract: 4 years 22 million. Possible destination: Washington, Ottawa

  • Ray Emery: Senators. Age 25. 12 wins in 31 games. Made 2.75 million. Bought out by Ottawa where he went from the top goalie on a Cup run last year to a bitter/forgotten/distraction/back-up this past year forcing the Sens to buy him out at only 1/3 of the original contract worth. That said, if Ray controls his off-ice antics he is one of the better available goalies this summer. He will have more than a few options. We believe that once Huet decides if he wants to either stay in DC or move to Ottawa (more likely) Emery will likely go to DC or to a western team. Likely contract: 3 years/12 million. Possible destinations: Washington, LA, Edmonton

  • Jose Theodore: Avalanche. Age 31. 28 wins in 53 games. Made 6 million. The former Hart trophy winner is in the top 3 of the rather thin UFA goalie class. Although contract negotiations are stalled, Colorado wants to re-sign him. Jose will ironically make less than before he becomes a UFA as his bloated deal signed in Montreal 5 years ago finally expires(Never sign a goalie to a long term deal!) Likely contract: 3 years 12 million. Possible destination: Colorado, LA, Washington, Ottawa

  • Olaf Kolzig: Capitals. Age 38. 25 wins in 54 games. Made 5.45 million. Its not clear if Olie intends to play, although it sounded like he wanted to compete and perhaps show the Caps that they made a bad choice last year when they discarded him for Huet down the stretch. He had a poor start, but came on (with the rest of the team) in the New year. Its a good year to be a UFA goalie, else we'd say Olie would have trouble finding work. Likely contract: 1 year 1 million+incentives. Possible destinations: Tampa Bay, Washington, Ottawa, LA, Vancouver, Dallas

  • Andrew Raycroft: Maple Leafs. Age 28. 2 wins in 19 games. Made 2 million. The former Calder (rookie of the year) winner-2004, has fallen fast. Heralded 2 years ago as Toronto's #1 goalie, he played sparingly once Taskala took over the #1 mantle and left the team with a decision to buy him out or send him to the AHL (as of today that's uncertain. If he's an UFA we doubt he'll get any huge offers, but as with most UFA goalies with NHL experience, the options are limited for teams so he might at least get a 2-way deal offered. Likely contract: 1 year 6-700K. Possible destinations: LA, Colorado,Vancouver, Boston, Islanders

  • Marc Denis: Lightning: Age 30. 1 win in 10 games. Made too much money for what he produced(almost his whole career he's been overrated in the fauxrumors opinion) This forced the Lightning to buy out the Montreal native. He probably won't get more than a camp invite, a 2-way deal or at most a league minimum offer , or more likely Europe. Likely contract: 1 year 500K(2-way). Possible destinations: Europe, (a desperate NHL team)

  • Ty Conklin: Penguins. 18 wins in 33 games. Made 500K. As we called him back in january Ty was our cinderella-man for his miraculous rags to riches story. The forgotten 3rd goalie in Pitt, carried the team when M-A Fleury went down with an ankle injury in December. He lost the #1 when Fleury returned, but he salvaged his career and will likely find work at least as some teams' back up next season. Likely contract: 2 years 2 million. Possible destinations: Toronto, Calgary, Detroit, Islanders, Buffalo

  • David Aebischer Age 30. No record in 2007-08. Even in a very thin class we wouldn't sign David to be anything more than a backup. Likely contract: 1 year 600K. Possible destinations: Dallas, LA, Islanders

1 comment:

luv2paintball said...

I love what the new owners are doing down here. We got Malone and Roberts to beef up our forwards. I think we have 2 solid scoring lines when we get Prospal back. Now I read that we may get Rolston too? Add that to Stamkos and I think we could be the turn around team of next season! I want the season to start now.

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