Sunday, March 11, 2018

NHL 2017/18 Week 23 Fantasy Hockey Report


Welcome to my Fantasy Hockey Report Playoff Edition. It is week 2 of the Yahoo standard league fantasy playoffs, head to head categories leagues, so this will focus on players who play 4 games from March 12th to 18th. Here are my top 10 players to add for next week specifically that are between 20% and 60% ownership in Yahoo leagues.


Players for Yahoo Standard League Playoffs (week 2):

1) Paul Stastny, Wpg, (37% Yahoo ownership): He’s been a point per game player since arriving in Winnipeg, playing with Ehlers and Laine (who is red hot). The Jets play 4 games next week and Stastny is available in a lot of leagues. He is not available in my standard league because I added him yesterday.

2) Matt Duchene, Ott, (45% Yahoo ownership): Duchene started slow in Ottawa but got much better once his team dropped out of the playoff race. In the absence of pressure, he’s been very good, scoring 12 PTS in his last 14 GP.

3) Dion Phaneuf, LA, (40% Yahoo ownership): Since arriving in LA, Phanoof has been putting up PTS and Shots. He hasn’t been taking many penalties, but as a guy who does fight, he’s got that added dimension in a standard league. In his last 14 GP he’s got 7 PTS and 29 Shots and the Kings have a good schedule.

4) Philipp Grubauer, Wsh, (19% Yahoo ownership): Washington has the best schedule this week and Holtby has been struggling. In his last 5 games, Grubauer has a 1.20 GAA and .956 SV%. He’s been getting a greater share of the starts over his hot streak. There is a lack of strong goaltending options between 20% and 60% ownership on the teams who play 4 games this week.

5) Tom Wilson, Wsh, (40% Yahoo ownership): He might win you a category, with some chance of not hurting you in others. Washington has the best schedule this week, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities. He does get by far the most PTS and ice time of all the top PIMs guys.

6) Travis Konecny, Phi, (46% Yahoo ownership): The kid has been great in the second half and has scored 10 PTS in his last 14 GP. His ice time has dropped over his last 2 games, but Philly does play 4 games next week, so he’ll get you some points.

7) Teuvo Teravainen, Car, (51% Yahoo ownership): The talented Fin has scored 11 PTS in his last 14 GP. It’s unlikely that the Ron Francis departure from the GM chair will immediately affect the on-ice product, not that it could get any worse. Despite the team losing, Teuvo is still producing.

8) Brendan Gallagher, Mtl, (51% Yahoo ownership): Gallagher is in the top 15 in NHL Shots this season and shows no signs of slowing down (he’s taken 52 Shots in his last 14 GP, scoring 10 PTS).

9) Anthony Mantha, Det, (39% Yahoo ownership): Mantha has been very streaky this season, with a few extended slumps. But the kid can shoot, taking 40 Shots with 7 Goals over his last 16 GP. It’s not an easy schedule for Detroit next week, but they do play 4 games.

10) Matt Niskanen, Wsh, (37% Yahoo ownership): If you need a D and want somebody with a great schedule next week, here’s a guy. The Caps get the Islanders goaltending fiasco twice next week, and Niskanen has 8 PTS in his last 15 GP.

Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:

1) Thomas Chabot, Ott, (4% Yahoo ownership): The kid has put up a nice little sample late in the season, scoring 7 PTS in his last 15 GP. A strong sleeper for next season, who can help you this week in deep leagues.

2) Andreas Athanasiou, Det, (4% Yahoo ownership): The Red Wings play 4 games next week and the speedster has 9 PTS in his last 15 GP. He takes a ton of shots too.

3) Carl Soderberg, Col, (2% Yahoo ownership): Soderberg might have more PTS in the last 2 months than he scored all last season. He’s been playing well and his team is fighting for a playoff spot. They won’t be resting him.

4) Mike Cammalleri, Edm, (2% Yahoo ownership): The Squid hasn’t been scoring goals, but he has 9 assists in his last 13 GP. Strong candidate in deep leagues if you want to improve that category.

5) Justin Abdelkader, Det, (7% Yahoo ownership): Over his last 16 games, Abdelkader has 9 PTS, 15 PIMs, 2 PPPs, 23 Shots, 31 Hits. If those categories mean something to you, he can help.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

NHL 2017/18 Week 22 Fantasy Hockey Report


Welcome to my Fantasy Hockey Report Playoff Edition. It is week 1 of the Yahoo standard league fantasy playoffs, so this will focus on players with the best schedules from March 5th to 11th. Here are my top 10 players to add for next week specifically that are between 30% and 65% ownership in Yahoo leagues. Be warned that Toronto, Carolina, LA, San Jose, and St.Louis only play 2 games this week.


Players for Yahoo Standard League Playoffs (week 1):

1) Daniel Sedin, Van, (35% Yahoo ownership): Maybe don’t pick him up as a long-term play in dynasty leagues, but with the Canucks season circling the toilet drain, he’s scored 6 Goals in his last 6 GP. The Canucks have a great schedule this week, and Mr. Sedin is worth a shot.

2) Mikael Backlund, Cgy, (24% Yahoo ownership): He may not be the best player on this list, but his team certainly has the best schedule. Scoring 6 PTS in his last 7 GP is good, and feels even better when you look at the goalies Backlund will be facing this week.

3) Jake Guentzel, Pit, (63% Yahoo ownership): He has already been added to my standard league roster for the playoffs. The Penguins do drop down to 2 games next week, but certainly for week 1 of the playoffs, if you can add Guentzel, he’s going to help you.

4) Ryan O’Reilly, Buf, (58% Yahoo ownership): O’Reilly has returned to form in the 2nd half and has been putting up PTS on a consistent basis. He will also help you in Shots and Power Play PTS. If your league counts Face-off wins, then O’Reilly is already owned.

5) Bo Horvat, Van, (34% Yahoo ownership): He’s got a great schedule this week and in his last 14 GP has scored 11 PTS, with 4 PP PTS and 40 Shots. Horvat is a strong add for week 1 of the fantasy playoffs and he’s widely available.

6) Antti Raanta, Pho, (49% Yahoo ownership): If you need another goalie who has been playing well and often with a strong schedule next week who is probably available in your league, here’s the guy.

7) Sam Reinhart, Buf, (35% Yahoo ownership): Terrible first half, good second half. In his last 14 GP he has scored 13 PTS with a +4, 8 PIMs, 2 PPP, and 43 Shots. He can help you in multiple categories and has a favourable schedule next week.

8) Alex Edler, Van, (25% Yahoo ownership): He’s not the player he used to be, but he’s certainly the #1 guy in Vancouver right now. A good bet for power play points and an easy schedule make him a strong target for week 1 of the playoffs.

9) Zdeno Chara, Bos, (42% Yahoo ownership): If you’d like to add a player with a predisposition to taking penalties who won’t hurt you too bad in the other categories, Chara is a strong option this week. The Bruins play 4 games, facing the Blackhawks goaltending nightmare twice.

10) Jakob Markstrom, Van, (33% Yahoo ownership): Markstrom is by no means a great goalie, but the Canucks have a juicy schedule next week and he’s the #1 guy.

Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:

1) Jon Gillies, Cgy, (8% Yahoo ownership): The Flames have 4 games next week and Mike Smith is at least a week away from returning. Gillies appears to be the better of the two goalies battling for playing time on a team desperate to make the playoffs.

2) Jake DeBrusk, Bos, (4% Yahoo ownership): This kid should be owned in more than 4% of fantasy leagues this week. The Bruins play 4 games and DeBrusk has scored 5 PTS in his last 5 GP (on pace for 47 PTS on the season).

3) Nick Holden, Bos, (4% Yahoo ownership): A sleeper pick on defense for week 1 of your fantasy playoffs, though probably not at standard league level. Since arriving in Boston via trade, Holden has played 2 games averaging over 20 minutes of ice time, scoring 2 PTS and taking 10 Shots on Goal.

4) Sam Bennett, Cgy, (5% Yahoo ownership): The Flames have the best schedule this week, so if you’re in a league with 14 or more teams, Bennett can help you. 5 PTS in his last 12 GP isn’t exactly a hot streak, but 3 of his 4 games are against the Islanders, Sabres, and Senators, who have given up a ton of goals collectively.

5) Vinnie Hinostroza, Chi, (2% Yahoo ownership): The Blackhawks have a 4-game week and Vinnie has scored 6 PTS in his last 8 GP. He’s worth at last a short-term play in really deep leagues if you need to squeeze some extra games into your roster.

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 Best/Worst NHL Contracts Given To Unproven Goalies (2005-2017)

Sometimes NHL teams are willing to roll the dice on giving a big contract to a relatively unproven back-up goalie. Sometimes it goes good, other times it goes bad, here are some examples. Not all of these occurred on the free agent market, some were acquired by trade and then given an extension.

BEST

1- Martin Jones, San Jose July 1 2015, 3 years $9M: They took a gamble on a guy who had mostly just been a really good back-up goalie and instead got a legit #1 who took them to a Stanley Cup final. Not bad.

2- Cam Talbot, Edmonton Jan 17 2016, 3 years $12.5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. Talbot played a key role getting the Oilers to a playoff spot and past the 1st round. His play has taken a step backwards in 2017/18 as the team has struggled. He's still young and should bounce back.

3- Ben Bishop, Tampa Apr 15,2013, 2 years $4.6M: Signed by Steve Yzerman. In his first full-time starting job in the NHL, Bishop played well with a 2.23 GAA and .924 SV%. Helped the Lightning make a deep playoff run in year two.

4- Simeon Varlamov, Colorado July 2 2011, 3 years $8.5M: Signed by Greg Sherman. He was nominated for the Vezina trophy in year three and was rewarded with a monster contract.

5- Cory Schneider, Vancouver June 28 2012, 3 years $12M: Signed by Mike Gillis. Serving mostly as a back-up to Luongo before signing this contract, Schneider was traded to New Jersey after one season and played great for the final two years.


WORST


1- Vesa Toskala, Toronto July 4 2007, 2 years $8M: Signed by John Ferguson jr, traded away by Brian Burke with another bad contract for another bad contract (JS Giguere). Toskala was awful after signing this contract. In his last season in Toronto before being traded he had a 3.66 GAA and .874 SvPct in 26 GP. The last spot was between Toskala and Bernier, and I gave it to Vesa who put up the worse numbers.

2- Scott Darling, Carolina May 5 2017, 4 years $16.6M: Signed by Ron Francis. There is still time remaining on this deal for his play to improve, but thus far year one has been a disaster. The Hurricanes have had to rely on back-up Cam Ward to re-take the starting job. We'll see if he can dig his way out

3- Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton July 5 2012, 2 years $7M: Signed by Steve Tambellini. This was the contract that got Dubnyk chased out of Edmonton, where he put together an awful 3.43 GAA and .891 SV% in year two. He would eventually redeem himself in Minnesota.

4- Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Feb 20 2013, 2 years $5.8M: Signed by Bob Murray. Fasth had done well in a 25 game audition the previous season, but it got bad fast on the new deal. Anaheim dumped the contract on Edmonton, and by year two he posted a 3.41 GAA and .888 SV%.

5- Andrew Hammond, Ottawa May 20 2015, 3 years $4M: He signed this extension after his remarkable "Hamburgler" run where he posted a 1.79 GAA and .941 SV% in 24 GP to get Ottawa into the playoffs. By year two this contract got really bad (4.08 GAA and .837 SV%).

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

10 NHL Draft Day Pick Trades That Backfired (2006-2016)


Sometimes at the NHL Draft, teams will trade two or more lower picks to move up and get their guy.  Other times, teams are simply looking to trade down to add more picks. Here are the 12 worst examples of draft pick trades that happened on Draft day (2006-2016). These are only trades that were draft picks for draft picks (two or more lower picks for a higher pick), no player for pick transactions. Some of these trades included picks from future drafts, so not all of them were drafted on the day they were traded. 

1) 2008 Nashville: Trades #15 (Erik Karlsson) to Ottawa for #18 (Chet Pickard) and #70 (Taylor Beck). David Poile probably thought he was getting great value adding a 3rd round pick to move down 3 spots in the first round. If he had to do it over again, he probably would have drafted the future Norris winner instead of Chet Pickard.


2) 2008 Phoenix: Trades #38 (Roman Josi) to Nashville for #46 (Colby Roback) #76 (Matt Brodeur). The day after trading down from the Erik Karlsson pick, the Preds turned around and traded two picks to move up in the 2nd round to take Roman Josi, who has developed into a great defenseman himself. It's a bit remarkable that these two extremes of good and bad draft day trades involved the same team at the same draft.

3) 2006 Islanders: Trades #71 (Brad Marchand) to Boston for #98 (James Delroy) and #126 (Shane Sims). In most years draft pick value really starts to level out somewhere in the 3rd round depending on the depth of that year's draft class. Acquiring a 4th and a 5th for a 3rd is not a bad gamble, unless the other team hits a home run in that slot. 


4) 2007 St. Louis: Trades #9 (Logan Couture) to San Jose for #13 (Lars Eller), #44 (Aaron Palushaj) and #87 (Ian Schultz). Lars Eller would go on to be a decent 3rd line NHLer with 213 career PTS and counting. But Couture has 424 and that gap isn't going to get any smaller going forward.


5) 2011 Toronto: Trades #30 (Rickard Rakell) and #39 (John Gibson) to Anaheim for #22 (Tyler Biggs). The fact that Biggs was a big strikeout and the Ducks hit a pair of home runs does make this trade look worse now than people probably thought on draft day. The difference in Expected Value between the 22nd pick and the 30th is much smaller than the EV of the 39th, so the Ducks should have been expected to come out ahead, just not to this degree.


6) 2008 LA: Trades #12 (Tyler Myers) to Buffalo for #13 (Colten Teubert) and #74 (Ryan House). Perhaps the worst part of this trade is that both teams passed on Erik Karlsson. The Kings would go on to win 2 Stanley Cups without Tyler Myers, but I'm sure if they could do it over again, they'd rather him than Teubert, who was a complete bust.


7) 2009 Islanders: Trade #16 (Nick Leddy), #77 (Matt Hackett), and #181 (Erik Haula) to Minnesota for #12 (Calvin De Haan). The Islanders got a future NHL player in this trade, but certainly a level or two below Leddy. The fact that Minnesota hit a home run on the 7th round pick does make this trade look worse than it would on draft day. But still, I would generally not recommend trading a 3rd and a 7th to move up 4 spots.


8) 2013 San Jose: Trades #20 (Anthony Mantha) and #58 (Tyler Bertuzzi) to Detroit for #18 (Mirco Mueller). The Sharks did get a player who is currently playing in the NHL, but not at the level where trading a 2nd round pick to move up 2 spots makes sense. Keep the 2nd round pick, draft at 20. Holland did great in this trade, getting two players who are currently in his line-up.


9) 2010 Chicago: Trades #30 (Brock Nelson) to the Islanders for #35 (Ludvig Rensfeldt) and #58 (Kent Simpson). The difference between the 30th and 35th picks is generally less than the value of the 58th pick. That was not the case here, with the Islanders hitting a home run at the 30th slot. 


10) 2014 Minnesota: Trades #79 (Brayden Point) to Tampa for #80 (Louis Belpido) and #204 (Jack Sadek). This trade is only bad because Tampa hit a home run on the 3rd round pick, otherwise it was a reasonable exchange of value. I have to assume this trade took place moments before the pick with Tampa specifically targeting Point. Otherwise why trade up one slot in the 3rd round? Did anyone at the Wild draft table say "hey why don't we draft Brayden Point?"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NHL Trade Deadline Rental For Draft Pick Success Rate

When NHL teams rent players with expiring contracts at the trade deadline for draft picks, how far can we expect them to advance in the playoffs based on the round of the pick they traded? The sample will only include roster players who are becoming UFAs in the salary cap era, excluding hockey trades where a permanent asset is coming back with the rental. These do need to be players of some significance, not minor leaguers. There were 131 trades since 2006 that met my parameters. Over half the teams to win the Stanley Cup since the salary cap did not make any significant deadline rental. Some of those teams had made rentals earlier in the season, not waiting until close to the deadline.

In the chart below, you can see the pick distribution by round.


First round picks are the rarest commodity to be traded in the 48 hours leading up to the NHL trade deadline. We saw an increase in 2018, though most of those were for players with term remaining on their contracts, not pure rentals. We will see in the following graph that teams trading 1st round picks in the rental market do fare better in the playoffs, but note that it has a substantially smaller sample size than the other categories. Not all the premium players acquired for first round picks made a significant contribution to the team's success, but some did. Dwayne Roloson played a major role getting Edmonton to the Cup final in 2006, whereas Jaromir Jagr finished 7th in playoff scoring for the 2013 Bruins.

I might have expected more 6th and 7th round picks, but applying the parameter "player of some significance" to the sample did exclude some less significant transactions.

The chart below shows how far teams who trade certain picks will advance in the playoffs, from 2006 to 2017.



Those teams trading 1st do tend to finish higher in the standings than teams who trade 2nd rounders, ergo they were probably a better team to begin with, and that's why they are willing to part with a 1st. While 40% of teams who traded a 1st advanced to the conference finals, 0% won the Stanley Cup. Most eventual champions are trading 2nd, 3rd, or 4th rounders, if anything at all. This could just be a coincidence, or perhaps teams who are desperate enough to trade a precious 1st rounder have flawed rosters. 80% of the 1st rounders traded for rentals occurred prior to 2009, so teams were more willing to trade them earlier in the cap era. It has become less trendy over time.

The quality of the pick traded depends on the quality of the rental coming back. There is some evidence to suggest that trading a 1st rounder for a deadline rental does help a team win a round or two, but does not significantly boost their chances of winning a Stanley Cup. The sample size of the 1st round rentals is 10, which is too small to say definitively that there is a cause and effect relationship between 1st round rentals and playoff success. There is at least "evidence to suggest", and I may need to expand the parameters to include hockey trades in order to obtain a sufficient sample size for trading 1st rounders. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

NHL 2017/18 Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Report

Personally I compete in 2 leagues, a very competitive 18 team keeper league and a 12 team standard league (both Yahoo head to head categories). With a month left in the season, I'm in first place in both. A wise man once said "if you ain't first, you're last". I try to focus my fantasy reports on players you can find on the waiver wire.

Players to watch, all formats:

1) Derick Brassard, Pit, (38% Yahoo ownership): I’m not sure how much ice time he’ll get with Crosby or Malkin, but he’ll get a boost by osmosis, just being part of a more dynamic offense. He won’t be asked to trap in the same manner and volume that he was in Ottawa.

2) Evgeni Dadonov, Fla, (27% Yahoo ownership): Dadonov was over 50% ownership in November, but fell due to injury. He has scored 12 PTS in his last 12 GP, putting him at 41 PTS in 51 GP on the season. That works out to 66 PTS over 82 GP, and is worth more than just 27% ownership.

3) Jake Guentzel, Pit, (62% Yahoo ownership): The arrival of Brassard could result in Guentzel getting more ice time in better situations. They play different roles and shouldn’t eat each other’s lunch. We’ll have to see if there’s any effect, in the meantime the kid has 8 PTS in his last 6 GP.

4) Bo Horvat, Van, (34% Yahoo ownership): He’s the #1 center by far in Vancouver, scoring 31 PTS in 41 GP this season, which translates to 60 PTS over a full 82 GP. Bo has 6 PTS in his last 6 GP. At age 22, his best hockey should still be ahead of him.

5) Oscar Klefbom, Edm, (43% Yahoo ownership): He has been a huge disappointment this season, but his ownership has fallen to where he might be a good sleeper for the fantasy playoffs. 4 PTS in his last 7 GP and he takes a ton of shots. It’s a lost season in Edmonton, so there won’t be as much pressure over the last month.

Going Deep: players owned in 10% of leagues or less:

1) Nick Bjugstad, Fla, (4% Yahoo ownership): The big guy is on pace for 220 Shots on Goal and has already doubled his point total from last season. With 6 PTS in his last 7 GP, he can help you in 14+ team leagues.

2) Sam Bennett, Cgy, (5% Yahoo ownership): Bennett has recovered from his terrible start to the season, and has been more the player you drafted him to be, 5 PTS in his last 8 GP. He’s still just 21 years old and has his best hockey yet ahead of him.

3) Carl Hagelin, Pit, (4% Yahoo ownership): It’s unclear whether Brassard’s arrival will hurt or help Hagelin, but either way he’s got 9 PTS in his last 12 GP. There’s a good chance Hagelin will get a boost as a winger with the team adding a 3rd talented center.

4) Antti Niemi, Mtl, (8% Yahoo ownership): With Price out, Niemi is next in line for regular duty. Be warned though, there’s a really good chance he’ll suck and a kid will leapfrog him. In the meantime, if you’re desperate for starts in a deep league, there it is. If you owned Price in a deep league, you should have already owned Niemi.

5) Anthony Beauvillier, NYI, (9% Yahoo ownership): The kid has been getting plenty of ice time in Brooklyn, scoring 6 PTS in his last 7 GP. He’s a youngster with upside who could be a sleeper pick next season.


The 1%: Top 3 Players to Add that are 1% Owned or Less

1) Mike Cammalleri, Edm: The veteran has 10 PTS in his last 11 GP, and could be a playoff sleeper in deeper leagues. And when I say “playoff sleeper”, I do mean fantasy playoffs. Obviously “the Squid” won’t be playing NHL playoff games this spring.

2) Ryan Callahan, TB: He was invisible for most of the first half of the season, but has seen an increase in ice time over the last few weeks and has responded with 6 PTS in his last 8 GP. With all the talent they’ve got on that roster, a forward playing over 15 minutes per night is going to get time on ice with really good players.

3) Brian Dumoulin, Pit: He’s worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues with 16 more teams, scoring 6 PTS in his last 10 GP. With Cole being shipped out of town, there is one less mouth to feed on the Penguins defense.

Be concerned (safe to drop in standard leagues):

1) TJ Oshie, Wsh, (80% Yahoo ownership): Oshie is 31 years old in the first season of an 8 year, $46M contract. Guess what, his production has already declined. Last season he scored 33 Goals in 68 GP, a year later he’s got 12 Goals in 56 GP. That’s a bad omen for the Capitals. If you own Oshie in a keeper league, it might be time to move on. He has 3 PTS in his last 12 GP and isn’t getting any younger.

2) Ryan Kesler, Ana, (45% Yahoo ownership): Unless you play in a league that counts Face-off wins, Kesler probably shouldn’t be on your roster. Since returning from injury he has not been producing much offense, with 2 PTS in his last 12 GP. He should not be owned in standard leagues.

3) Craig Anderson, Ott, (63% Yahoo ownership): I’m a bit confused how Mr Anderson is still 63% owned with a 3.27 GAA and .901 SV% on the season. There are better options on the waiver wire in standard leagues. Maybe all the Anderson owners are so far out of their fantasy playoff races that most have quit and aren’t updating their rosters anymore.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

5 Best Bargain NHL Contracts Given to Players After Winning Stanley Cup (2006-2016)

What have been the 5 best bargain contracts given to NHL players who just won the Stanley Cup since the salary cap? Hint most these were Restricted Free Agents, so the team had leverage to squeeze them into a lighter contract. This was a somewhat limited sample, due to the limited number of players with expiring contracts in Stanley Cup winning seasons. Some had also signed extensions prior to actually hoisting the trophy, but not the players on the list below. All these guys had to schedule their day with the Cup while also negotiating their next contract.

1- Brad Marchand, Boston Sep 14 2011, 2 years $5M: Signed by Peter Chiarelli. 121 GP 91 PTS. He was a 20-goal scorer coming off a Stanley Cup win. I’m not sure how they got him this cheap. The deal didn't get done until mid September, so obviously there was some disagreement on the number but Marchand didn't want to miss training camp.

2- Jonathan Quick, LA Jun 28 2012, 10 years $58M: That’s a pretty good price for a goalie who had just won the playoff MVP. They won another Stanley Cup on this contract too. It's worth noting that this is a back-diving contract that would be illegal in the latest CBA.  Even if his skills start to erode in the back half of the contract and he starts to wear down, they have already received good value for their money.

3- Eric Staal, Carolina July 1 2006, 3 years $13.5M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. Adjusting for cap inflation that AAV is closer to $7.5M, but still, 227 PTS in 246 GP is elite level production. This was Staal's 2nd contract, and he would double is salary on his 3rd.

4- Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh, June 19 2009, 3 years $5.5M: Signed by Ray Shero. Goligoski only played 2 playoff games in the Penguins 2009 Cup run. Since he was not a major piece in the Cup run and an RFA, he signed a reasonably priced bridge deal. He broke out as an offensive player the following season.


5- Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh, July 13 2016, 1 year $1.4M: Signed by Jim Rutherford. Schultz did not do much in the playoffs the season he arrived in Pittsburgh. He was an unrestricted free agent that summer but opted to return to the Pens for a cheaper price. He sure earned this contract, with 51 PTS in the regular season and 13 more in the playoffs.