Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another look at RFAs

I love the fact your keeping an updated list of who's available on the unrestricted free agent front, but could you do a list of restricted free agents to see who'd be eligible for an offer sheet. I know some players like Bouwmeester are going to arbitration and will most likely sign a one-year deal with the team, but they are still mentioned in trade rumours. But there are still some interesting cases like San Jose's Ryan Clowe. He's a great player and would be valuable to any team, so why hasn't he got an offer sheet. Has he just not signed one, or does he really want to stay in San Jose.
— Paul Z.
Even if it's unlikely we see any more offer sheets this summer, it's not a bad idea to take another look at the restricted free agents still available. The UFA well has certainly run dry.

There isn't a lot available, but here they be (not including the 15 who opted for arbitration, several of whom have already re-signed):

Player Tm Pos 07-08 $ Pts Arbit.
1 O'Sullivan, Pat LA C $650,000 53 Ineligible
2 Stoll, Jarret LA C $2,200,000 36
3 Paille, Daniel BUF LW $585,200 35
4 Dawes, Nigel NYR LW $475,000 29 Ineligible
5 Carcillo, Dan PHO LW $525,000 24 Ineligible
6 Sjostrom, Freddy NYR RW $800,000 21
7 Perrault, Joel PHO C $495,000 17 Ineligible
8 Macarthur, Clarke BUF LW $625,000 15 Ineligible
9 Shannon, Ryan VAN C $550,000 13 Ineligible
10 Stortini, Zach EDM RW $475,000 12 Ineligible
11 Moulson, Matt LA LW $490,000 9 Ineligible
12 Clowe, Ryane SJ RW $600,000 8
13 Lindstrom, Joakim ANA C $525,000 7 Ineligible
14 Peverley, Rich NAS C $490,000 7 Ineligible
15 Miller, Drew ANA LW $677,500 5 Ineligible
16 Richardson, Brad LA RW $600,000 5 Ineligible
17 McCormick, Cody COL C $475,000 4
18 Tambellini, Jeff NYI LW $882,720 4
19 Sterling, Brett ATL LW $585,000 3 Ineligible
20 Nielsen, Frans NYI C $560,000 3 Ineligible
21 Rypien, Rick VAN C $475,000 3
22 Nolan, Brandon CAR C $475,000 1 Ineligible
23 Larman, Drew FLA C $485,000 1 Ineligible
24 Walter, Ben NYI C $575,000 1 Ineligible
25 Stone, Ryan PIT C $675,000 1 Ineligible
26 Brown, Mike VAN RW $500,000 1 Ineligible

Player Tm Pos 07-08 $ Pts Arbit.
1 Meszaros, Andrej OTT D $984,200 36 Ineligible
2 Gervais, Bruno NYI D $475,000 13 Ineligible
3 Woywitka, Jeff STL D $689,700 8
4 O'Byrne, Ryan MON D $590,000 7 Ineligible
5 Harrold, Peter LA D $500,000 5 Ineligible
6 Rome, Aaron CLB D $495,000 2
7 Klein, Kevin NAS D $500,000 2
8 Ericsson, Jonathan DET D $475,000 1 Ineligible
9 Baranka, Ivan NYR D $475,000 1 Ineligible
10 Richmond, Danny CHI D $550,000 0
11 Quincey, Kyle DET D $535,000 0 Ineligible
12 Belle, Shawn MON D $942,400 0 Ineligible

Player Tm Pos 07-08 $ Wins Arbit.
1 Leclaire, Pascal CLB G $1,400,000 24
2 Lehtonen, Kari ATL G $2,200,000 17
3 Crawford, Corey CHI G $700,000 1 Ineligible
4 Howard, James DET G $850,000 0 Ineligible
5 Montoya, Al PHO G $984,200 0 Ineligible

Noteworthy RFAs going to arbitration that have yet to re-sign: Dennis Wideman, Marek Svatos, Valtteri Filppula, Jay Bouwmeester, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Antoine Vermette, Shaone Morrisonn

Who are the most attractive options if a desperate team wants to add a young piece and is willing to burn draft picks?

I'd go after O'Sullivan first, before looking at the likes of Nigel Dawes, Ryane Clowe and Andrej Meszaros. There are some longshot possibilities as well: Clarke Macarthur, Ryan O'Byrne and Jonathan Ericsson all have potential that some teams may project to be higher than their current clubs.

The problem with offer sheets is that (a) the player's team will generally match any contract under $2.6-million and (b) any deal worth more than that results in first-round pick compensation, a price considered too steep by many GMs.

Even without offer sheets, there could be movement among this group, however. A few of the RFAs without contracts and headed arbitration are likely already being shopped, as we've heard the names of Bouwmeester, Bouchard and Vermette in trade rumours for months now.

It's also often the case that, after a contentious arbitration hearing, players are dealt. Mike Cammalleri, formerly of the Kings, had a tough case last summer that resulted in a below-market two-year deal, played one year in Los Angeles and was dealt for a song to Calgary at the draft.

In general, arbitration's a sign of a contentious negotiation — especially in an era when young players can become UFAs at such a young age. If there's a general agreement between player and team on a contract, it generally gets done before that point as both sides look to avoid the hearing.

If the case goes to arbitration, it's going to be either a one- or two-year deal, which does little in terms of eliminating the threat of impending unrestricted free agency.

Dealing with RFAs has gotten a whole lot trickier given some of the mammoth deals players are getting after entry-level contracts. If Mike Green is worth $5.25-million a season, for instance, where does Bouwmeester fit in? If Jeff Carter gets a $5-million a year deal after a 53-point campaign, what does O'Sullivan sign for given his?

It's a good time to be a restricted free agent.

UPDATE Lindstrom's been dealt to the Ducks.

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At 3:38 a.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger Steve said...

You'll be wanting to correct Stoll's team.

At 5:24 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Rick Deckard said...

Stefan Ruzicka signed with Spartak Moscow of the KHL.

At 9:46 a.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

You'll be wanting to correct Stoll's team.

He stole this from NHLScap.com/Hockeybuzz's list, which for some reason hasn't made any trades for the RFA's. Much more minor than Stoll is Shawn Belle, who was traded to Montreal late last week for Corey Locke. Belle didn't play in the NHL at all last year, so it's kind of puzzling why he's on this list anyways.

Toivonen hasn't signed in Europe yet? I assumed he had, given there's no spot for him in St. Louis with Mason and Legace in the NHL and Bishop and Schwarz in the AHL.

At 10:01 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more trade/offer sheet talk for Jimmy Howard. He was slated to be the backup in Detroit this season until they signed Conklin, and now it looks like if he stays with the Wings he'll spend yet another season in Grand Rapids.

Comon Shero, do something about this.

At 10:04 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Marl said...

saskhab: Yes, Toivonen has signed in Finland.

At 10:35 a.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more trade/offer sheet talk for Jimmy Howard. He was slated to be the backup in Detroit this season until they signed Conklin, and now it looks like if he stays with the Wings he'll spend yet another season in Grand Rapids.

Howard's just not that highly thought of around the NHL, even in Detroit's management. If Howard loses the backup job to Conklin in camp, he only has a year or less in the Detroit orgnaization anyways.

If you really want Howard, just wait for him to be put on waivers in late Septmeber/early October. Detroit likes Daniel Larsson a lot, who will be joining their AHL affiliate this fall.

At 10:42 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

has Howard even been resigned by Detroit yet?

At 10:44 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Kobra said...

I'm more amazed that a team (especially LA) has not made an offer sheet to either Leclaire OR Lehtinen. Both are great up and coming goalies, and both are RFA's? With both their cap problems and lack of good goaltending, I would be offering them a nice large contract.

At 11:25 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Paul Z.:

David Pollack of the San Jose Mercury has been keeping tabs on the Ryane Clowe's situation in his blog through his management mandated off-time.

Whether or not this would impact an offer sheet or not, Clowe went on record back in late June that he doesn't want to be anywhere but San Jose.

He has an offer on the table from the Sharks and has been given the choice to determine the years on it. Why he still hasn't signed has become a source of mystery and minor annoyance.

At 11:47 a.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

I've read articles about how Howard was never expected to by "the guy" but instead just a stop-gap solution. Clearly someone doesn't have a lot of faith since Conklin was signed.

At 11:56 a.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If LA gives Lehtonen an offer sheet that Atlanta won't match it has to be type 6yrs/36M and then they have a problem with Bernier who's damn good prospect.

Leclaire is not worth offer sheets.

Colorado signed Cody M.

At 12:15 p.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Colorado signed Cody McLeod, not McCormick, who remains unsigned.

Has anyone seen a link for Toivonen signing in Finland? Couldn't find one.

I've added the few other changes mentioned above.

At 12:50 p.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger Joe said...

I thought the consensus was that Detroit was just waiting for Ryan Miller to become available? Howard hasn't exactly lit up the AHL so I don't see why he'd be a major RFA target. IMHO the guy to go after was Jaroslav Halak, a talented young goalie who will never get a real chance in Montreal but would easily be the starter for a half dozen teams.

At 1:23 p.m., July 15, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

As per comparing O'Sullivan's situation to Carter's, you should also note that Andrei Kostitsyn got $3.25m per on a 3 year deal for similar point production to both those two. Carter gets more because he's been putting up those points for 3 years, not just 1.

At 1:53 p.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Howard have a disappointing season? His GAA and save percentage were great, and he was named to the AHL all-star team. If you're talking about the losing record, that's more of a result of being on a not-so-hot Grand Rapids Team

At 3:55 p.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was just on Eurohockey.net checking on another player and went looking for Hannu Toivonen when I saw your comment.

The recent transfers for Finnish players is showing he signed with Ilves Tampere on May 28th.

At 7:47 p.m., July 15, 2008, Anonymous MikeP said...

Something I've been wondering - did *any* teams take any RFAs to arbitration? I've never seen any news about that, just player-elected arb.

It's funny, after all the speculation about how Stoll was bound to get an offer sheet when he was an Oiler, that just never happened. Still, I'm surprised that Lombardi hasn't signed him yet.

At 6:28 p.m., July 16, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan O'Byrne has signed a three-year contract worth $2.825 million. He will make $700,000 this season, $725,000 in 2009-'10 and $1.4 million in the final season of the deal.

Great job by Bob Gainey on RFAs contract this summer.

At 8:54 a.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Detroit's Ericsson is the steal of the whole bunch. This guy is an NHL future-stud stuck in Detroits defense depth.
A GM could nab him without losing a draft choice. Detroits running out of cap space and will send Ericsson back to Grand Rapids. He's 6'-5" tall and weighs 220. He can skate and has great hands. He's Detroit No 1 rated prospect, but they don't need him.


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