HEADS UP: I updated our Winners & Losers from July 1st (sorry for the tardiness yesterday)... now with more Losers!
Day Two of Free Agency was a little less loco but there were more high-profile players involved...
The big fish, Brad Richards, signed with the Rangers... as pretty much everyone had assumed he would for the last six months or so. I like Richards but am not a huge fan of Tortorella as a coach for fantasy purposes as his teams are usually just mediocre offensively. Everyone talks about how Richards flourished playing for Torts in Tampa but remember that he only topped 80 points once with the Lightning and that was during the 2005/06 season when scoring was way up. I assume he'll do well in New York and should be a nice fit with a healthy Gaborik but I wouldn't expect much of an increase in the numbers that he put up the past two years in Dallas.
Marian Gaborik stands to benefit from the Richards signing, as a sniper and a playmaker would seem to be a perfect fit and he'll get a chance to play with a true #1 center that he hasn't had in a while. But things tend not to go as planned for Gaborik and I'd be worried about his groin acting up before using an early pick on him.
Loui Eriksson is the big loser in Richards departure from Dallas as he's averaged 72 points over the past two seasons playing with BRich but will now be asked to do more of the heavy lifting himself. Jamie Benn is expected to take over as the #1C but that still leaves a big hole to fill on the left-side.
Tim Connolly was looking to feast on the scraps of a desperate team that missed out on Richards and he landed himself a nice deal with the Leafs. I like Connolly as he's typically a productive player when healthy but he's not just your typically injury risk, he's a risk to miss like a half or full season, especially since he's had a number of concussions in the past. He'll get a chance to play the #1C role and should be a good fit with Kessel but he'll likely be overvalued heading into this season and I'd only take a risk on him if he falls to the middle/late rounds.
The Wings signed Ian White to a two-year deal. People (including our very own Jay) seem to really like this signing as they see him replacing Rafalski but I don't see him as much more than a complementary dman and I think that theory is supported by the fact that he's been passed around like a joint over the past two years (the Wings will be his fifth team in the past 18 months). With all the talent the Wings have, I don't see them giving much PP time to White. This signing combined with re-signing Lidstrom & Ericsson and adding Commodore would seem to kill any hope that either Jakub Kindl or Brendan Smith are going to take on major roles for Detroit this year.
Simon Gagne signed a two-year deal with the Kings... I see his value going up simply because he can't get any worse than last year, can he? He started the season with just 3+4=7 over his first 25 games before coming on at the end of the season. He'll get the chance to line up with either Kopitar or M.Richards in LA so this should be a good situation for him if can avoid injuries (unlikely).
In a bit of a surprise move, the Caps signed Tomas Vokoun to a cheap one-year deal. He won't be handed the #1 job but I'd bet on him taking it and assuming his rate stats are as solid as always (he hasn't had a sv% under .919 since the lockout) then he should see a big boost in his win total (had just 22 wins last season) as the Caps became a pretty stingy defensive team last year (4th in gaa)... I really like this move for Vokoun and Washington but this obviously throws cold water on Michal Neuvirth's owners, he'll likely take a step back after appearing in 48 games this season, and Braden Holtby, who will be back in the AHL.
Matt Gilroy signed a one-year deal with Tampa, that could be a good fit for his style but he'll be in tough to earn ice-time as he's not better than 7th or 8th on the depth chart currently.
The Hurricanes signed Anthony Stewart to a two-year deal... I'd avoid him as there's really not much to like here. He surprised with a hat-trick in game #4 last season but finished off the year with no goals (and just seven assists) in his last 24 games.
The Oilers signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to an ELC... like you didn't think that would happen. I think he'll have a hard time making the team this year but I tend to think that about most 18-year-olds but a lot of the top ones are able to pull it off.