We were starting to write a boring old article on some of the best and worst signings of the summer but thought it might be more fun, since you guys are the fantasy hockey GMs, to let you decide who were the astute signings and which ones were just plain asinine...
Here's how we play: We'll give you the anonymous profiles of a few comparable players who signed contracts recently and you have to guess who's the astute signing and who's the asinine one. Click on the Astute or Asinine link to see who it was. Alright, lets start...
Choice #1: Two UFA centers in their 30s, both signed 1 year deals, who'd you rather have:
Astute: I'm a 32 year old who was injured last year but typically very healthy, never had a pts/g lower than .61 (works out to at least 50 points over 82 games) in my career, I'll be the 2nd line center and I signed for $2.75M next season.
Asinine: I'm a 38 year old who missed an average of 13 games per year due to injuries over the past 3 years, my point totals the last 3 years are 44, 42 & 41, I'll probably play on the 3rd line and I signed for $4M next season.
Choice #2: Two UFA defensive dmen in their 30s, neither is a scorer, both signed for between $2.6M and $2.9M per season, who'd you rather have:
Astute: I'm 34, been a captain of the last 2 teams I've played with, been to the final four 2 of the past 3 years, was 26th in the league in hits and 3rd in the league in blocked shots last year... I signed for 2 years at $2.6M per season.
Asinine: I'm 32, played most of the year with one of the weaker defensive teams in the league, missed an average of 24 games due to injury over the last 3 seasons, was 98th in the league in hits and 69th in the league in blocked shots last year... I signed for 4 years at $2.9M per season.
Choice #3: Lucky you!... you're Atlanta GM Don Waddell and guess what DW?... you need a #1C, so what do you do:
Astute: There's a 27 year old UFA center available, he had 58 points 3 seasons ago and was on pace for 69 points last year until he got hurt. He's available for 1 year at $2.2M.
Asinine: There's also a 37 year old UFA center available, his point totals the last 3 years, playing under your nose in Atlanta, were 33, 29, 34. He's got an offer from another team for 1 year at $2.5M. So what do you do Donnie baby? You buy him a bus ticket, that's what you do. We've heard of the "hometown discount" but I think this guy got the "hometown premium" cause I don't think he could have got this much anywhere else.
Choice #4: Two young RFA dmen re-signed this past year, who'd you rather have:
Astute: I'm 23, over 100 career games, over 35 points last year, +17, team went to the final four, signed 2 year extension at $1.3M per season.
Asinine: I'm 25, less than 100 career games, less than 35 points last year, -6, team missed the playoffs, re-signed this offseason for 6 years at $4M per season.
Choice #5: You're the GM of a young NHL team in the market for a UFA goalie this summer, what do you do:
Astute: You sign the 28 year old goalie who supplanted your starter last year and led your team to the playoffs (his first year as a starter), he led the league in SV% in both the regular season and playoffs and he comes cheap at 2 years for $1.75M per season.
Asinine: You sign a 32 year old goalie who lost his starting job and was traded, never played more than 52 games in a season, only has 13 games of playoff experience and comes at a price of $5.6M per season for 4 years... Oh and you've already got a goalie signed for this year at $6.75M.
Choice #6: Two 28 year old UFA dmen signed contracts this summer between $3.5M to $3.75M per season, who'd you rather have:
Astute: High draft pick, played over 500 career games, broke 30 points 3 times, over 20 points last year and has a stanley cup ring.
Asinine: 8th round pick, less than 100 career games, less than 20 points last season and was scratched in the playoffs.
Choice #7: Two UFA defensive dmen in their late 20s, both signed long term deals this summer for $3.75M per season, who'd you rather have:
Astute: Was a 1st round pick and still with the team that drafted me, my team was in the top third of the league in gaa last year, I was plus 11, 2nd in the league in hits and 32nd in blocked shots.
Asinine: This will be my 8th year and I'm on my 6th team, the two teams I played on last year were both in the bottom third of the league in gaa, I was minus 7, 24th in the league in hits and 81st in blocked shots.
Choice #8: You're the GM of a young NHL team and you're deciding between two players, what do you do:
Astute: You've got a young 23 year old RFA forward who scored over 25 goals and 50 points last year and you resign him to a 3 year, $3.25M per season deal.
Asinine: You've got a slow 28 year old UFA forward who slumped to less that 15 goals and around 30 points last year. You make the smart move, cut him loose, and he signs with a divisional rival for 3 years at $4M per season, thats what we call a win-win situation.
Choice #9: Two offensive dmen in their early 20s, both re-signed this past year for 4 more years, who'd you rather have:
Astute: I was a 1st round pick, played over 250 career games, broke through last season with over 40 points and signed an extension for $3.55M per season.
Asinine: I was a 1st round pick, played less than 175 career games, broke through last year with over 55 points and re-signed for $5.25M per season.
Choice #10: Two wingers in their late 20s, both scored over 25 goals last year, signed contracts this summer for $3.0M per season, who'd you rather have:
Astute: Over 55 points last year, .54 career pts/g, played on a low scoring, non-playoff team, 246 shots last year.
Asinine: Under 45 points last year, .34 career pts/g, played on a high scoring playoff team (only 3 pts in 18 playoff games) previous career high in goals was 17.
Other Astute Signings:
Valtteri Filppula, Detroit - 24 year old RFA resigned for 5 years at $3M per season, only had 36 points last season but should have expanded role in next few years and will be a bargain for the last few years of this deal.
Joe Pavelski, San Jose - 24 year old RFA resigned for 2 years at $1.6M per season after putting up 40 points in his 1st full season and contributing another 9 points in 13 playoff games.
Erik Ersberg, LA - 26 year old UFA resigned for 1 year at 700k after being the only LA goalie to put up decent numbers last year, he should have a legitimate chance to win the #1 job this year.
Ty Conklin, Detroit - 32 year old UFA signed for 1 year at 750k after being the catalyst that ignited Pittsburgh last year, he's in a great position in Detroit cause he'll play a lot behind Osgood.
Other Asinine Signings:
Wade Redden, NYR - 31 year old UFA signed for 6 years at $6.5M per season... this was the biggest WTF? signing of the summer. His play slipped the last few years and his goal total last year tied for his lowest ever. One of his biggest assets was he always had a big +/- but that probably won't happen with the low scoring blueshirts.
Ron Hainsey, Atlanta - 27 year old UFA signed for 5 years at $4.5M per season... all we can say is, it ain't a glowing recommendation if Columbus is cutting you loose cause they'd rather have Mike Commodore.
Kristian Huselius, Columbus - 29 year old UFA signed for 4 years at $4.75M per season. Probably got the contract that they wanted Ryan Malone to sign... Huselius might get more points but is hugely lacking in the heart/desire/grit departments.
Owen Nolan, Minnesota - 36 year old UFA signed for 2 years at $2.75M per season. Combine this signing with the Mark Parrish buyout and that's a lot of cake & cap space for a guy who won't break 20 goals.
Antti Miettinen, Minnesota - 27 year old UFA signed for 3 years at $2.33M per season. Another weird one for Minny, on a guy who has never cracked the 34 point barrier.
Brian Campbell, Chicago - 29 year old UFA signed for 8 years at $7.1M per season. Good player but overpriced, we can think of 10 dmen we'd rather have on our team.
Mark Streit, NYI - 30 year old UFA signed for 5 years at $4.1M per season. This is the classic case of asking a 2nd tier guy on a good team to be the man on a bad team, rarely works out well.
Jim Vandermeer, Calgary - 28 year old UFA signed for 3 years at $2.3M per season. Not outrageous but a little much for a guy who's been passed around the league (he was traded twice last year) and should play on their 3rd pairing.
Jeff Carter, Philadelphia - 23 year old RFA signed for 3 years at $5M per season. Should be a great player but what leverage did he have to get $5M per season? Was Philly afraid someone was going to sign him to a Dustin Penner-like offer sheet? They should have invited a $4.25M per season offer sheet, would have saved valuable cap space.
Dustin Byfuglien, Chicago - 23 year old RFA had 36 points in his first full season, a decent year but is that good enough to demand and receive $3M per season?