Monday, January 07, 2008

Weak UFA Class - Summer 2008


I'll start with a list and finish it up with some commentary.

NOTEWORTHY PENDING UFAs

ANA:
Doug Weight

ATL:

Marian Hossa
Bobby Holik
Steve Rucchin
Pascal Dupuis
Mark Recchi
Steve McCarthy
Johan Hedberg

BOS:

Glen Metropolit
Aaron Ward

BUF:

Dmitri Kalinin
Brian Campbell
Nolan Pratt
Jocelyn Thibault

CAR:
Cory Stillman
Trevor Letowski
Bret Hedican
Glen Wesley
Mike Commodore

CGY:

Craig Conroy
Daymond Langkow
Kristian Huselius
Owen Nolan
Stephane Yelle
Mark Smith

CHI:

Martin Lapointe
Sergei Samsonov
Jason Williams
Yanic Perreault
Brent Sopel
Andrei Zyuzin

CLB:

Sergei Federov
David Vyborny
Michael Peca
Jason Chimera
Jody Shelley
Adam Foote
Jan Hedja
Ron Hainsey

COL:

Joe Sakic
Andrew Brunette
John-Michael Liles
Kurt Sauer
Jose Theodore

DAL:
Mike Ribeiro
Stu Barnes
Antti Miettinen
Niklas Hagman
Mattias Norstrom

DET:
Daniel Cleary
Dallas Drake
Aaron Downey
Chris Chelios
Andreas Lilja
Chris Osgood

EDM:
Geoff Sanderson
Marty Reasoner
Dick Tarnstrom

FLA:

Branislav Mezei
Steve Montador

LAK:
Ladislav Nagy
Scott Thornton
Brad Stuart
Brian Willsie
Rob Blake
Jaroslav Modry
Jon Klemm
Kevin Dallman
Jean-Sebastien Aubin

MIN:

Pavol Demitra
Brian Rolston
Dominic Moore
Branko Radivojevic
Todd Fedoruk
Keith Carney
Nick Schultz
Petteri Nummelin
Sean Hill

MTL:
Michael Ryder
Brian Smolinski
Patrice Brisebois
Cristobal Huet

NAS:

Martin Gelinas
Jean-Pierre Dumont
Dan Ellis

NJD:
Jay Pandolfo
Arron Asham
Karel Rachunek
Sheldon Brookbank

NYI:

Miroslav Satan
Mike Comrie
Ruslan Fedotenko
Trent Hunter
Josef Vasicek
Chris Simon
Bryan Berard
Wade Dubielewicz

NYR:
Brendan Shanahan
Martin Straka
Sean Avery
Paul Mara
Marek Malik
Michal Rozsival
Stephen Valiquette

OTT:

Chris Kelly
Shean Donovan
Randy Robitaille
Wade Redden
Luke Richardson

PHI:
Jason Smith
Jim Vandermeer

PHX:
Radim Vrbata
Mike York
Ilya Bryzgalov

PIT:
Gary Roberts
Ryan Malone
Georges Laraque
Jarkko Ruutu
Adam Hall
Mark Eaton
Brooks Orpik
Ty Conklin

SJS:
Curtis Brown
Patrick Rissmiller
Jeremy Roenick
Alexei Semenov
Sandis Ozolinsh

STL:
Martin Rucinsky
Ryan Johnson
Mike Johnson
Barrett Jackman
Bryce Salvador
Matt Walker

TBAY:

Vaclav Prospal
Chris Gratton
Jan Hlavac
Andre Roy
Dan Boyle
Johan Holmqvist

TOR:
Matts Sundin
Wade Belak

VAN:

Markus Naslund
Brendan Morrison
Matt Cooke
Trevor Linden
Byron Ritchie
Brad Isbister
Aaron Miller
Curtis Sanford

WASH:

Donald Brashear
Matt Bradley
Olaf Kolzig


NOTES


LACK OF ELITE PLAYERS
Perhaps with the lack of elite players, it's an indication that teams have began to lock up their star players early.

*The only elite players I see from the list are Sakic, Hossa, and Sundin. I can't see Sakic or Sundin playing anywhere else, giving Hossa a "pure monopoly" status.

*FORWARDS THAT WILL GARNER THE MOST INTEREST: Daymond Langkow, Kristian Huselius, Jason Williams, Mike Ribeiro, Andrew Brunette, Pavol Demitra, Cory Stillman, Brian Rolston, Jean-Pierre Dumont, Miroslav Satan, Sean Avery, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka, Radim Vrbata, Vaclav Prospal, Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison.

From that list, I expect most of them to be locked up by their teams. From the Oilers standpoint, they can use almost anyone from that list.

Sutter will have a difficult time keeping both Langkow and Huselius, with nearly 40M committed in cap space [more in real dollars with Kiprusoff making $8M for the next 3 years].

DEFENSEMEN THAT WILL GARNER THE MOST ATTENTION:

Aaron Ward, Brian Campbell, Bret Hedican, Mike Commodore, Adam Foote, John-Michael Liles, Mattias Norstrom, Brad Stuart, Rob Blake, Nick Schultz, Paul Mara, Marek Malik, Michal Rozsival, Jason Smith, Mark Eaton, Dan Boyle

Not a tremendous group. A lot of defensive-defensemen in this year's group. Dan Boyle has been injured pretty much the whole season, so it will be interesting on how that plays out. I expect most of the players to be retained by their club.

Lowe could certainly use names from that group, using Tarnstrom's money.

GOALTENDERS THAT WILL GARNER THE MOST ATTENTION:
Jose Theodore, Chris Osgood, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Dan Ellis, Wade Dubielewicz, Ty Conklin, Stephen Valiquette, Johan Holmqvist, Ilya Bryzgalov, Olaf Kolzig

A load of backups in the group. Osgood is having a tremendous year with a .932SV%. I expect he could be getting a large raise. Likewise, Dan Ellis is set for a massive raise on his $500,000 salary. Ilya Bryzgalov will also cash in. Conklin has at least won himself a one-way contract with his recent performance.

OVERALL

The pending UFA class this year is weak, and when many teams begin locking up their players, it will be further weakened.

From the Oilers standpoint, each team in the division has many key players to sign. CAL (Langkow, Huselius), COL (Sakic, Liles, Brunette), VAN (Naslund, Morrison, Cooke), and Minnesota (Demitra, Rolston, Schultz). At least we can hope...

We may see some RFA offersheets. One thing is clear: RFA's will/are (be) taking a larger share of the pie than they historically took.

PatH from Lowetide posted this Hockey News Article regarding the influence Kevin Lowe has had on the market.

Some noteworthy excerpts:
Kevin Lowe is the Newsmaker of the Year because nobody influenced the game the way Lowe did in 2007. In short, his offer sheets to restricted free agents Thomas Vanek and Dustin Penner have changed hockey's financial landscape.


"Every GM I talk to talks about Kevin Lowe," said one NHL agent. "Every single one."


The implications have been huge. With two strokes of the pen, Lowe has essentially created a situation where elite players coming off entry-level deals have moved into the elite wage earners in the league. It has certainly moved young RFAs into the same status as elite unrestricted free agents, both in terms of their attractiveness to other teams and in salary.


Did Kevin Lowe singlehandedly change the market?

You decide.

4 comments:

jon said...

hmmm

On a budget...let's guess
J.Williams and bring back Gator

Penner Horc Hemsky
Torres Gagner Pisani
J.Williams Stoll Cogliano
Moreau Reasoner Brodziak

smith pitts
gilbert Souray
Staios Greene
Smid

Trade Nillson and Grebs to move up in the draft


Eh...who knows K.Lowe has been throwing changeups since sping 06 but I can't see him straying too far from the youth movement even if it costs two years.

jon

YKOil said...

Heya PJO,

NOTE: Best guy to pick up this year (pre-deadline), by a country mile imo, is Modry - check his Desjardins #'s and then his salary.

As for next year...

DEFENSEMEN

Brian Campbell and Nick Schultz are the class of the field here. Schultz is the guy I want because he will be a LOT cheaper. Look at his Desjardins #'s - he is everything people wish Stuart was.

Minny would be stupid NOT to sign him BUT if they want to keep Demitra and the budget is smaller than the Cap he could come available.

FORWARDS

I am a huge fan of Trent Hunter. Nolan is playing him against the best and so his counting numbers are taking a beating but playing 2nd line behind Hemsky would probably put him in a better situation.

I expect Snow to sign him but mark my words - he would be a SWEET signing on a long-term deal around 2.5 a year or so.

I noticed Hunter wasn't on your list of attention getters so I figured I would pipe up :-)

PunjabiOil said...

Jon: When you tell Jason Smith that he's not in your plans, I just can't see him coming back here.

I'd prefer to move Smid before the world finds out he's a tweener.

YKOil: Always nice to read your opinion. What happened to your blog? Busy?

You know about the hard numbers much more than me.

I think it will entirely depend on how much Gilbert and Pitkanen end up making, before the Oilers jump in the UFA market.

YKOil said...

Yeah. Busy is a pretty good word for it. A little bit of writer's block hasn't been helping either. I have a whack of half-drafts but nothing worth finishing or posting until I get my stupid 'rookie-camp' summary finished.

grrrr

First - to note your original point regarding RFA's, UFA's and Lowe impact - you are correct. Lowe changed everything. BECAUSE of Lowe Philly will be letting two of Smith, Vandermeer or Hatcher go this summer and that would not have happened pre-Vanek.

Second - agreed on moving Smid and while I also wish Smith was coming back I can see where he won't.

Third - agreed that Pitkanen and Gilbert will get the money first. I had a daydream once... where Lowe traded Pitkanen and a couple of middlin' prospects for Bouwmeester... sigh

Anyways, you have had some great posts lately so please - keep it going

:-)