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2017 Free Agent Preview

As the 2016-17 NHL season concludes and NHL fans prepare for 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!).

Anaheim Ducks

After a reasonably strong season the Anaheim Ducks won’t have all that much work to do this offseason. The only two (non-goalie) free agents to talk about are Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson. Eaves is coming off a 1 year deal that paid only $1 million and while he’s worth much more than that (we have him worth $3.8 million) we are expecting him to once again be a bargain for someone in the $3.0 million range (update: actually signed for $3.15 million). For Thompson he’s coming of a 4 year deal that he originally signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning and that saw him paid an AAV of $1.6 million/season. His performance would suggest as small raise on this number (to $2 million/season) but we’ll be placing our bets on $1.8 million/season a two year deal.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Patrick Eaves $3.8M $3.0M 2 years
Nate Thompson $2.0M $1.8M 2 years

Arizona Coyotes

Despite a tough year the Coyotes should have a pretty interesting offseason as Vrbata, Doan and Burmistrov all become free agents. At the top of the list we see Radim Vrbata as a pretty valuable piece. Assuming he only gets a 1 year deal we’d have him worth $4.7M/year. Based on the market though we wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign for a bargain somewhere in the $3.7M range. For Shane Doan (assuming he signs with someone else) we have his value pegged at $2.7M/year on a 1 year deal. Our guess is that’s too far a drop for the newly minted free agent though and somebody will likely give him something like $3.5M just because. For Burmistrov he’s shown flashes in the past but we’ve really only got him being worth $2.3M/year at this point and would expect a contract offer to be in that range.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Radim Vrbata $4.7M $3.7M 1 year
Shane Doan $2.7M $3.5M 1 year
Alex Burmistrov $2.3M $2.0M 2 years

Boston Bruins

Should be an interesting offseason for the Bruins with a number of high profile RFA deals to get done. The most important of these must be the Pastrnak contract however as his 70 points last season had him second on the team! It’s also given him a tremendous value in our salary calculator. So much so that on a 4 year deal (assuming he can repeat last year) he’d be worth $6.7M/year. Obviously because of the small sample size however and the fact that he’s an RFA we don’t expect him to get that but whatever he does sign for will ultimately be very interesting!
Outside of Pastrnak we value Drew Stafford at $3.8M/year on a 3 year deal and expect he’ll get something like that, we see Ryan Spooner being worth $3.7M/year on a 4 year deal but expect he’ll get a little less than that and we have John-Michael Liles worth $2.9M/year but expect he’ll get around the $2M/year he got this year.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
David Pastrnak $6.7M $6.0M 4 years
Drew Stafford $3.8M $3.8M 3 years
Ryan Spooner $3.7M $3.3M 4 years
John-Michael Liles $2.9M $2.0M 1 year

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres this offseason have an interesting mix of RFAs and veteran UFAs expiring and given their record they’re an interesting team to look at. Speaking of interesting, the first player we’re going to talk about is Cody Franson. He of course signed this current 2 year deal very late in the summer of 2015 and took a lot less than many observers had expected. How has his value changed since then? Not much in our opinion. We see him as a $4.1M/season player if signed to a 4 year deal. That’s obviously a raise from his last deal but talk of $5M or $6M for Franson is probably never coming back. We expect he’ll get close to $4M this time around though.
After Franson, the Sabres also have a 38 year old Brian Gionta entering unrestricted free agency. I don’t imagine anyone will give him more than a 2 year deal at this point but if he keeps playing like he did last year that should still be worth around $3.6M/season. Based on his age though we suspect he’ll get a little less than he’s worth. Not quite as old but still a UFA, Dmitry Kulikov should command some attention this summer. We’ve got him worth $3.1M/season on a 4 year deal but expect he’ll get overpaid and get something like $4M. The most valuable RFA on Buffalo’s list should be Girgensons. The #14 overall pick in 2012 hasn’t exactly piled up the points in the last couple years but we still have him worth $2.9M/year (giving a little credit to ’14-15). He probably won’t get that though and expect something closer to $2M.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Cody Franson $4.1M $4.0M 3 years
Brian Gionta $3.6M $3.3M 1 year
Dmitry Kulikov $3.1M $4.0M 4 years
Zegmus Girgensons $2.9M $2.0M 2 years

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are looking at a relatively low event offseason this year with the only UFA of consequence being Jay McClement and a couple decent RFAs in Teravainen and McGinn coming due. On McClement we’ve got him worth $2.4M/season at this point (it’s the penalty killing that helps) but don’t expect he’ll get it. On Teravainen we’ve got him worth $3.6M/year on a 4 year deal and expect his RFA status to hold him back slightly from that number. For McGinn he’s back and forth with the AHL will keep him sub $1M although if he could find a way to stick and keep killing penalties we could see him being worth $2M/year.

Player MPS Value Expected Value Expected Term
Teuvo Teravainen $3.6M $3.4M 4 years
Jay McClement $2.4M $1.2M 1 year
Brock McGinn $2.0M $0.8M 2 years
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2017 Free Agent Preview

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