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2017 Free Agent Preview (MTL to NYR)

As the 2016-17 NHL concludes and NHL fans prepare for the NHL draft and the opening of free agency Money Puck Systems wants to take the opportunity to review the most important free agents for each franchise and give fans our best guess as to what these players are worth and what they will actually get (obviously not the same thing all the time!).

Montreal Canadiens

Of all the teams we’ve looked at thus far Montreal definitely has the most Russian group of free agents coming due July 1st. Included in the group are Andrei Markov, Alexander Radulov and Nikita Nesterov. Of them all though the 38 year old Andrei Markov proves to be the most valuable. At the moment we view him as worth about $5.5M/season and suspect he’ll get it from someone on a 1 year deal or maybe even a little more. Radulov has also proved to be a pretty valuable piece with us assigning a value of $5.3M/season on him and the RFA, Nikita Nesterov, clocks in at $2.9M/year at this point in his young career. While we expect Markov and Radulov to come in close to their actual value our guess is Nesterov’s RFA status means he has to take a little less than he’s worth.

Outside of Montreal’s Russian free agents they’ve also got Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu left to sign. Galchenyuk seems to be a polarizing player in Montreal but nonetheless we’ve got a value of $5.3 million for him and while he probably won’t get full value we suspect he’ll get at least the mid $4 millions. Nathan Beaulieu, also an RFA, is coming of a $1M/season contract and his 28 points last year should mean a raise. His value to us ends up at $3.5M/season but of course he’ll end up taking less.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Andrei Markov $5.5M $5.7M 1 year
Alexander Radulov $5.3M $5.5M 2 years
Alex Galchenyuk $5.3M $4.7M 4 years
Nathan Beaulieu $3.5M $2.5M 2 years
Nikita Nesterov $2.9M $2.2M 3 years

Nashville Predators

After a big run to the Stanley Cup finals this year the Nashville Predators are unlucky to have a number of free agents to sign (market values don’t tend to go down after a run like that!) this offseason. At the top of the list for a new contract is Ryan Johansen. The 24 year old centerman is definitely going to get a raise from the $4M/year he earned on his last deal and we have his value pegged at $6.5M and are assuming his next deal will be for 6 years. His stock has to have gone up this year though and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an overpay here. In a similar category is Viktor Arvidsson. The 61 points he put up this year mean he’s worth $5.6M/year in our forecast but given his RFA status we can see Nashville trying hard to keep that number lower.

For Nashville’s slightly more experienced players, Mike Fisher and PA Parenteau, I don’t imagine they’ll get quite the same attention this offseason but nonetheless they have a lot of value. With respect to Fisher we have the 37 year old as worth $4.3M on a 1 year deal and for Parenteau we see the 34 year old as worth $3.3M. I don’t expect either player will actually get this however as Fisher’s personal life would appear to limit his options and Parenteau has been underpaid before.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Ryan Johansen $6.5M $6.7M 6 years
Viktor Arvidsson $5.6M $5.0M 4 years
Mike Fisher $4.3M $3.0M 1 year
P.A. Parenteau $3.3M $1.3M 2 years

New Jersey Devils

After a very disappointing 2016-17 season I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt to have more turnover this offseason but there are actually very few expiring contracts for the New Jersey Devils. The biggest of that rather small group though is Damon Severson. Severson is coming off a pretty good season (31 points in 80 games) in New Jersey and we have his value at $3.8M/season. Expect New Jersey to correctly make this a longer term deal. Outside of Severson the most interesting free agent is probably Beau Bennett. The former Penguin put up 31 points this year in a depth role and his TOI and scoring rates make him worth about $2.2M/year. Given his RFA status however he’ll probably come up a little short of that number.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Damon Severson $3.8M $3.8M 5 years
Beau Bennett $2.2M $1.8M 3 years

New York Islanders

A few interesting names are due for contracts July 1st on the Island including a couple sought after defencemen, Calvin de Haan and Adam Pelech. For Calvin de Haan we have his value at $3.7M/year and expect a longer term contract and despite the small sample size on Pelech’s data we have a value of $3.0M/year. For de Haan we expect he might actually get overpaid while for Pelech the fact that he’s an RFA and has only played 53 NHL games means he’s going to take a lot less than what he might be worth. Lastly, for the Islanders we have Stephen Gionta. The 33 year old is coming off a contract of $575,000 last year and while we think he contributed about $2.2M in value he will likely only get a marginal raise come July.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Calvin de Haan $3.7M $4.0M 5 years
Adam Pelech $3.0M $1.5M 2 years
Stephen Gionta $2.2M $0.9M 2 years

New York Rangers

Unlike their counterparts across the state the New York Rangers have a number of free agents to sign come July 1st. The most valuable of those free agents is Mika Zibanejad. The 24 year old Swede put up 37 points in only 56 games and that results in a value for him of $4.9M/year. Given his RFA status though we imagine he’ll take slightly less and sign a mid length deal. Jesper Fast is also an RFA on July 1st after scoring 21 points in 68 games last season meaning he’s due for a raise to $3.5M/year. Brendan Smith logged a few minutes for the Rangers last season and is probably due a small raise to $3.2M/year but will probably stay closer to $3M while Adam Clendening should also be worth around $3.0M/year but probably falls a little short of that as an RFA. The last RFA we’ll talk about is the 26 year old, Brandon Pirri, who is now worth about $2.8M/year but again will probably take a little less as an RFA.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Mika Zibanejad $4.9M $4.5M 4 years
Jesper Fast $3.5M $3.0M 3 years
Brendan Smith $3.2M $3.0M 3 years
Adam Clendening $3.1M $2.5M 4 years
Brandon Pirri $2.8M $2.5M 3 years
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2017 Free Agent Preview (MTL to NYR)

3 thoughts on “2017 Free Agent Preview (MTL to NYR)

  • June 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Your crazy if you think the Rangers are paying Fast anywhere near $3.5M/YR. You’re even crazier if you think anyone pays Clendening over $1.25M/YR or Pirri over $1.5M/YR.

    • July 3, 2017 at 1:31 am

      Yeah we probably rushed those NYR forecasts. I still think Fast has a chance to get close to $3M/year but obviously the others are rich. Generally, our tool would allocate more dollars to depth players than the actual market requires and doesn’t allocate as much as the market does to stars. I tried to adjust for that with my ‘Expected’ versus ‘MPS Value’ but I obviously didn’t look close enough at Clendening and Pirri to see how small the sample size was on these players or else I would have taken them down further.

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