It's go time people. We'll be updating this post as much as possible this week so keep coming back. We won't be judging the value of the the deals (go here or here for that) we're here to take a shot at predicting the changes in fantasy value. And away we go...
Saku Koivu signed a one year, $3.25 million deal with the Ducks
Koivu leaves the Habs for the first time in his career as he joins fellow Finn Teemu Selanne in Anaheim. Koivu gets overrated in a lot of fantasy circles. He doesn't score or shoot much and has only 56 and 50 points the last two years (although last year was shortened due to injury). Koivu will fit in very nicely on the Duck's second line with Selane. As in real life, he'll make a good second line center on your team but you'll be in trouble if he's your top pivot.
FANTASY FORECAST: He's not the number one center anymore but he should still hit the 50-60 point range...NO CHANGE
Francois Beauchemin signed a three year, $11.4 million contract with the Leafs
Being stuck behind Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer his whole career hasn't allowed us to get a good handle on what Beauuchemin can really do. He's got some offensive upside (he picked up 34 points in 61 games in 2005-06) and brings some toughness to the blueline as well (which makes Burke happy). We're assuming Tomas Kaberle is on the move, which mean Ron Wilson would be handing over the keys for the power play to Beauchemin. Kaberle is a better d-man than Beauchemin and he picked up 31 points in 57 games (which would be 44 points over 82 games) last season.
FANTASY FORECAST: Beauchemin will definitely improve his totals but don't forget he's on the Leafs, 35-40 points is what we're predicting..UPTICK
Alex Kovalev signed a two year, $10 million contract with the Senators
A nice pickup by the Sens as Kovalev has the potential to be a point a game player. Potential is the big word with Kovalev. In his four seasons in Montreal his points per game look like this: 0.94, 0.64, 1.02 and 0.83 last year. So if you like patterns you'll be expecting a big season from Kovalev. We, however, would rather look at who his potential linemates will be rather than some random pattern. He'll end up with at least one of Jason Spezza and/or Daniel Alfredsson on his line and which is more talent than he played with in Montreal.
FANTASY FORECAST: He has everything he needs to be one of the best wingers in the league, now he just has to get himself motivated...UPTICK
More more FHS Free Agent Fallout follow the jump...
Rick Nash signed a eight year, $62.4 million contract extension to stay with the Blue Jackets
After two so-so (for him) years Nash put together his best NHL season last year...40 goals and a point-per game 79 points. He's one of the best wingers in the league and he'll cost you a first or second round pick...but if he can duplicate last year's totals he'll be worth it. The big problem with Nash sticking with the Blue Jackets is that they have always struggled finding Nash talented linemates (particularly a centerman). Last year he played with Manny Malhotra who is a UFA but we think Antoine Vermette (who is a great sleeper pick) will get the plum assignment next year.
FANTASY FORECAST: If Nash had some good linemates we think he could hit 90 points...NO CHANGE
Ryan Smyth to the Kings
Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing to the Avalanche
In 2006-07, Ryan Smyth was almost a point a game player for the Oilers and Islanders. After signing his mega contract with the Avs the production went south (37 points in 55 games and then 59 in 77 last year). It's looking like he'll be on the second line with Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams but should see lots of time on the top PP unit.
FANTASY FORECAST: We have a hunch that a new city might get Smyth going and he'll top 60 points this year...SLIGHT UPTICK
One of the biggest breakouts of last year was Kyle Quincey. He was claimed off of waivers by the Kings and went on to become their power play QB and pick up 38 points. He will most likely be splitting the QB duties with John-Michael Liles. Quincey seemed like he was playing over his head for much of last year so we're expecting him to come back down to earth a bit. The Avalanche were also the lowest scoring team in the NHL last year with the sixth worst power play. Now with Smyth gone and potentially no Joe Sakic this team will really struggle to score...making it a lot tougher for Quincey to pick up those PP points.
FANTASY FORECAST: Lots of potential for a dropoff here, make sure you don't overpay...DOWNTICK
Ryane Clowe signed a four year, $14 million deal to stay with the Sharks
There's are going to be many situations better than San Jose for Clowe to find himself in. He's been part of one of the better second lines in the NHL along with FHS favourite Joe Pavelski and Milan Michalek. He scored a tidy 52 points in 71 games last year but we think he could crack 60. There is always the possibility that San Jose could break-up their lines and Clowe could find himself alongside Joe Thornton.
FANTASY FOCUS: Clowe is only 26 years old so we expect him to grow and develop...UPTICK
Mikael Samuelsson signed a three year, $7.5 million deal with the Canucks
Last year in Detroit, Samuelsson was a third line winger who got lots of power play time (50% of his 40 points were on the PP last year). In Vancouver he'll probably fill the same role as he's behind Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler at right wing. An injury to any of the top six (remember that top six included the brittle Pavol Demitra) would mean a bit promotion for Samuelsson.
FANTASY FORECAST: Vancouver's system is nowhere as good as Detroit's and Samuelsson was a perfect fit in Detroit's...SLIGHT DOWNTICK
Ville Leino and/or Jiri Hudler should be getting a nice promotion thanks to the departure for Samuelsson. Assuming the Wing's don't sign a free agent forward, an injury to Tomas Holmstrom is all that stands in the way from one of these two getting a full time gig on a scoring line. Leino picked up nine points in 13 games last year playing mostly on the fourth line...so he offers a lot of upside. Hudler on the other hand has a bit more experience and picked up a handy 57 points last year.
FANTASY FORECAST: Either one would be a great late round pick in bigger leagues...UPTICK
Adrian Aucion signed a one year deal with the Coyotes...terms were not disclosed.
Aucion has produced two decent seasons the last two years...35 and 34 points. He'll attempt to solidify the 'Yotes feable power play (3rd worst in the league) which is a big ask for Aucoin who turns 36 on July 3rd. If everything goes perfectly he might top 30 points...but we see the potential for a major dropoff here (like his ugly 16 point, -22 season with Chicago three years ago)
FANTASY FORECAST: The talent around him drops off considerably, so will the points....BIG DOWNTICK
Nik Antropov signed a four year, $16 million deal with the Thrashers
After his late season surge with the Rangers (13 points in 18 games) Antropov just missed breaking 60 points for the first time in his career as he finished with 28+31=59. We're not sure if he'll be playing on Kovalchuk's line but it looks like a strong possibility as Kovalchuk played with Antropov in Russia during the lockout. Even if he only plays with Kovy on the PP it should still mean big things for the 6-foot-6 Antropov.
FANTASY FORECAST: He's increased his point total each of the last four years, this year he cracks 60...UPTICK
Mark Reechi signed a one year, $1 million deal to stay with the Bruins
Anytime you get a forward who scored 60 points for $1 million bucks you're doing well...even if that forward is 41 years old. Reechi showed he can still get it done as he picked up 61 points from his time with the Lightning and Bruins. On the Bruins he was particularly productive as he picked up 10 goals and six assists in 18 games. We're not sure what line he'll end up on but he'll have one of Bergeron, Savard or Krejci as his pivot...not too shabby.
FANTASY FORCAST: Expect him to get banged up and have some rough streaks but if you can do what the Bruins did (get him cheap) you'll be laughing...UPTICK
Mikhail Grabovski signed a three year, $8.7 million deal to stay with the Leafs
Grabs was one of the few bright spots in the Leafs miserable season. In his first year as a full time player he picked up 20+28=48 in 78 games. He's expected to line up next to Nikolai Kulemin and Alexei Ponikarovsky on one of the worst first lines in hockey. Don't let the fact that Grabovski doesn't have much talent around him scare you away. He'll get plenty of ice time particular on the PP and somebody has to score in those 3-2 games the Leafs are going to lose. We expect all three guys on his line to improve slighty as they have another year of experience under their belts.
FANTASY FORECAST: The Leafs are one of the few teams that he would be a go-to guy on...UPTICK
Daniel and Henrik Sedin both signed five year, $30.5 million deals to stay with the Canucks
After both of them scored 82 points last year the twins get to come back to anchor the Canuck's offense. Daniel is the guy to own of the pair as he scores more (31 vs. 22) and has winger eligibility. With improving talent around them (like Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler) the twins can only get better in Vancouver. They are still only 28 even though they have played in the league for eight years
FANTASY FORECAST: Four years in a row with around 80 points sounds pretty good to us...SLIGHT UPTICK
Dwayne Roloson signed a two year, $5 million deal with the Islanders.
Rolly what are you doing? After being the number one guy on a playoff calibre team for three years...you sign on to be a backup on a last place club. Only the Leafs allowed more shots than the Islanders did last year so we hope D-Rol has a rubber fetish. If that wasn't enough to get you to shy away from drafting Roloson...he'll be the backup if Rick Dipietro ever comes back healthy (granted, a big if).
FANTASY FORECAST: He's now the second best goalie on the worst team in the league, that's a.....BIG DOWNTICK
Ty Conklin signed a two year, $2.6 million deal with the Blues
Conks moves from one good backup situation to another. He was the best goalie on the Red Wings last season and was even better the year before in Pittsburgh. Now he'll wait for Chris Mason to falter or get injured. Mason had a decent season last year but he's by no means a lock for the Blues.
FANTASY FORECAST: We would rather have him backing up on Detroit, where he picked up 25 wins in only 37 starts...SLIGHT DOWNTICK
David Booth signed a six year, $25.5 million deal to stay with the Panthers
One of FHS' favourite players this past season was David Booth. His breakout 60 point season surprised many fantasy owners but we expect the 25 year old to continue to grow. Once some of Florida's other young players start to develop (like Michael Frolik) Booth should take another big jump forward.
FANTASY FORECAST: We wish he had some talent around him in Florida but we see another 30+ goal season and a slight increase in point for Boothy...SLIGHT UPTICK
Jaroslav Spacek signed a three year, $11.5 million deal with the Canadiens
Spacek picked up 45 points for the second time in his career last year (the first was with Columbus in 2002-03). He's behind Andrei Markov on the depth charts so it's going be tough for him to pick up 22 PPP again this year.
FANTASY FORECAST: From PP QB to second on the ladder can't be good for his fantasy future...DOWNTICK
Nikolai Khabibulin signed a four year $15 million deal with the Oilers
Nikolai Khabibulin is a number one goalie again. Right away you know this is going to be a uptick. He signed with Chicago four years ago and after a horrible first year (3.35 gaa and .886 sv%) his numbers have been getting better every year. The Oilers obviously aren't as strong as the Hawks so don't count on the crazy win-loss split again (25-8-7) but assuming his health stands up he should be getting around 65 starts.
FANTASY FOCUS: No more Huet means no more dramas for owners...UPTICK
Cristobal Huet is one of the biggest winners today...and he didn't even change teams. Huet, one of the big free agent signings last year, ended up being a bit of a bust. The Hawks lost faith in their expensive new netminder and handed the keys to The Bulin Wall down the stretch and into the playoffs. Huet's season (20 wins, 2.53 gaa & .909 sv%) wasn't as bad as many think. He's is now the clear #1 on one of the best teams in the league.
FANTASY FOCUS: If he can get his confidence back (the Hawks obviously think he can) 30 wins are a lock...BIG UPTICK
Erik Cole signed a two year deal, $5.8 million deal to stay with the Hurricanes
Cole must have really liked playing in Carolina. After making $4 million last year he'll take a paycut to play for the 'Canes this year and next. Cole was shipped to Carolina at the trade deadline and picked up 15 points in 17 games. We would normally be worried about a player with a three year point trend of 61, 51 and 41 but Cole has shown great chemistry with Eric Staal. We expect him to be lining up next to Staal all year and he should rack up between 50 and 60 points.
FANTASY FORECAST: A whole year of Staal looks like it will fit Cole pretty nicely...UPTICK
Scott Clemmensen signed a three year, $3.6 million deal with the Panthers
Thanks a Marty Brodeur injury, the Clem Dawg ended up being one of the biggest fantasy surprises of the year. He played great and parlayed his performance into a three (really?) year deal. With Craig Anderson gone to Colorado, Clemmensen will be the main backup to Tomas Vokoun. Coach Peter DeBoer showed last year that he has no problem running with the hot hand so with a little more luck he could pick himself up quite a few starts this year.
FANTASY FORECAST: When you're a backup goalie anywhere is better than New Jersey...UPTICK
Michael Cammalleri signed a five year, $30 million deal with the Canadiens
The Habs really went all out this year. With all their signings it looks like the Alex's (Kovalev and Tanguay) are gone-ski. Cammalleri picked up 82 points last year which put him 13th in the league. We don't know who is going to be on The Camel's line but we know one thing for sure...they won't be anywhere near as good as Jarome Iginla. He's still only 27 years old so the Habs get him for most of his peak years but it's going to be hard to replicate last year's numbers without Iginla.
FANTASY FORECAST: We like the signing and we think he'll be a good pick by fantasy owners but we like him more next to Iggy...NO CHANGE
Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton to Thrashers
Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart to Leafs
Pavel Kubina's career high in points (40) came in his last two seasons...both with terrible Leaf teams. Maybe the worse his team, the better he plays? If so, he's in luck because he's a Thrasher now. Even though Zach Bogosian, Tobias Enstrom and Ron Hainsey are around, Kubina should still get plenty of minutes as the PP QB. A good spot to be in when Ilya Kovalchuk is on your team.
FANTASY FORECAST: Our brain tells us that he should be getting better but our heart tells us he's in for a drop off so we'll call it even...NO CHANGE
Steve Sullivan signed a two year, $7.5 million deal to stay with the Predators.
After not playing a single game in 2007-08, Sullivan made a remarkable comeback and finished with 11+21=32 in 41 games...a 64 point pace over a whole season. As great as his comeback story is don't let it get you all misty eyed on draft day. He doesn't score much, he's coming off major back surgery and he's 34. All big no-no's in the fantasy world.
FANTASY FORECAST: He's a big risk and the payoff that isn't very high...DOWNTICK
Brian Gionta signed a five year, $25 million deal with the Canadiens
In 2005-06, Gionta has his best (by far) season in the NHL. He came out of nowhere to score 48 goals and 89 points. Since then he's produced 43, 53, and 60 points. It looks like he's settled in as a 20 goal, 60 point guy...but there is hope. Guess who his center was in that 2005-06 season? Scott Gomez. Gomez and Gionta played one more season together but Gionta was injured for a good chunk of it. Will they be able to recapture the magic in Montreal? Who knows? But a change of scenery can only do Gionta some good.
FANTASY FORECAST: Gionta won't match his 2005-06 totals but he'll top 30 goals...UPTICK
Martin Havlat signed a six year, $30 million deal with the Wild
The Wild needed a replacement for Gaborik...their oft-injured superstar Czech winger. So they gave Martin Havlat, the oft-injured superstar Czech winger a call. If it's even possible, Havlat is even more injury prone than Gaborik. Over the last four seasons he's played 18, 56, 35 and 81 games. Which one of those doesn't belong? Even if he manages to stay healthy, Havlat's fantasy value will take a good knock this coming season. No longer will he be part of the high octane Chicago offense (4th in the league) but instead he'll be plugging along on the 22nd ranked squad in the league.
FANTASY FORECAST: No Kane, No Toews, No Campbell. No thanks....DOWNTICK
Marian Gaborik signed a five year, $37.5 million deal with the Rangers
At first, this looks like a pretty brutal signing. Why would you sign a guy for five years when he's played more than 65 games only once the past five years? But when you consider that Gomez was owed $33.5 million over the next five years...it doesn't sound so bad. We guess Sather's earlier incompetence is saving him from looking too bad in the present. As for Gaborik's fantasy value, the Rangers are one of the few teams that won't offer Gabby anymore than what he had in Minny. The linemates should be worse (Chris Drury is his center?) and the Rangers were one of the few teams that scored less than the Wild did last year...and the Wild did that with their best player out all season.
FANTASY FORECAST: Don't use a high pick on this guy. You'll regret it...SLIGHT DOWNTICK
Mattias Ohlund signed a seven year, $24.5 million deal with the Lightning
Ohlund, who will be 33 by the time the season starts will be 40 when the deal is done. So the Lightning have an old dman who picked up a paltry 25 points last year for the next seven years. Ouch. It's not often an aging blueliner has an increase in points and we don't expect much from Ohlund this coming year. Still, if you can get him cheap he has potential at 35 points and should get you close to 90 PIM's. Vancouver had a much higher scoring team than Tampa so Ohlund has a lot of work to do to improve on his 25 points.
FANTASY FORECAST: He'll get drafted higher than he deserves...SLIGHT DOWNTICK
Marian Hossa signed a twelve year, $62 million deal with the Blackhawks
We didn't hear any rumblings of Hoss signing on with the Hawks but it looks like a nice fit. The cap hit will be around $5 million per season so it's not a bad deal...although long term deals like this usually end up being a problem (just ask the Islanders about Rick DiPietro) as Hossa will be 42 when the deal finally ends. Having said that how much he gets paid isn't going to affect his fantasy value. His linemates should be of a similar quality to what they were in Detroit but after a 100 point season in 2006-07, Hossa has slumped to 66 and 71 points the last two years.
FANTASY FORECAST: We're expecting 80 points but we're not sure he's worth a second round pick anymore after two mediocre seasons...NO CHANGE
Mike Knuble signed a two year $5.6 million deal with the Capitals
Knuble's career year was in 2005-06 when he picked up a 34+31=65 line. The last few years he has consistently put up 25-30 goals and also kicked in 50-70 PIM's. The big question here is who is Knuble going to be playing with? If he sees Alex Ovechkin on his line then a big increase could be expected. At the very least we see Knuble being the body in front of the net on the Capitals PP which would mean lots of power play points.
FANTASY FORECAST: Should take on a larger role with the Caps, numbers close to his career year wouldn't surprise us...watch out for injuries though, Knuble is 36 years old...UPTICK
Scott Niedermayer resigned a one year deal for $6 million to stay with the Ducks
We all knew this deal was coming so no surprises here. Nieds will be doing the same thing he's been doing the last few years in Anaheim. No Chris Pronger around means the Ducks are going to be counting on the rearguard even more. Expect him to be playing over 25 minutes per game and continuing to rack up the power play points (32 PPP out of 59 total points last year).
FANTASY FORECAST: With most players we would be worried about a decline at age 36 but Niedermayer is a special breed...NO CHANGE
Brian Boucher signed a two year, $1.85 million deal with Flyers
Boucher posted stellar numbers the last two years in limited duty in San Jose (1.76 & 2.18 gaa) but has been pretty ordinary the rest of his career...other than his rookie season in 1999-00. He'll be coming into a very good situation as the unpredictable Ray Emery's backup so Boucher could steal quite a few starts. He's a must own if you're drafting Emery.
FANTASY FORECAST: Don't sell the farm to get him but Boucher a great buy low candidate...he's only one Ray Emery implosion from a #1 job...BIG UPTICK
Jay Bouwmeester signed a five year, $33 million deal with Flames
J-Bo has played 82 games the last four years and scored 46, 42, 37, and 42 points. His 42 points last year were 25th best in the league by a d-man. He'll have some more talented guys around him so this could be the year Bouwmeester cracks 50 points and starts to live up to his vast potential.
FANTASY FORECAST: He may be worth $6.6 in the real world but don't overpay in your draft...SLIGHT UPTICK
Scott Gomez, Mike Busto & Tom Pyatt to Canadiens
Christopher Higgins, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko to Rangers
Scott Gomez scored 80 points three years ago...he couldn't even hit 60 last year. New York was the third lowest scoring team in the league so Gomez should get a few more points with the 13th ranked Habs. Being a center on the center starved Habs (especially if Koivu doesn't resign) Gomez should get a chance to have a talented wingers...like Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri?
FANTASY FORECAST: He's needs some talent around him to succeed...SLIGHT UPTICK
Chris Higgins has 30 goals somewhere in those hands of his but we don't think he's going to find them on the Rangers. Right now, the Blueshirts are a talent wasteland (Gaborik's excepted) so Higgins won't be getting much help. As we mentioned above, the Rangers are the third lowest scoring team in the NHL and now they lose Gomez, and it's rumoured that both Nik Zherdev and Nik Antropov won't be coming back. GM Glen Sather is going to hit the FA market hard but he hasn't had the best track record lately (Gomez, Drury, and especially Redden).
FANTASY FORECAST: He'll get a chance to shine but he'll end up looking about the same...