The Stanley Cup Playoffs will end within the next three weeks or so. It sounds hard to believe but this is actually true. At some point those playoff fantasy box pools are going to end. There will be awards, a draft, and free agency. So there is that. After mid-July, oh what are we going to do then?
Quickly I am going to try and outline some of the fantasy plans. Do remember that we have Fantasy Hockey X on every Monday Night at 10pm ET. The show is on The Program radio network. Michael Clifford and myself span the world of fantasy hockey but in a more “no holds barred” type of style. Please remember the sport is a year-round one and every week we will start the preparation for next season. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Yet it is 100 percent true.
With all of the craziness that is the frenzy that is the real fantasy meat in the offseason, at least until guides and previews come in for the new season. The goal is to have you covered in different ways. It is not enough to just sit there and say “Player X” will do this or that. However, what we can do is provide the reader with the tools and know-how to spot players and much much more.
The 2014 NHL Draft
Yes, we will have a recap of the draft from a fantasy hockey perspective after the festivities end in Philadelphia. The fun part is we will talk about players from a daily and dynasty perspective. After all, it may appear like double dipping but some play for the daily glory and some play for the season long dollars. After all, between Mr. Clifford and myself, we do put our money where our mouths are. Think of the possibilities as far as draft picks. Who could be this year’s Nathan MacKinnon for example? Could there be several fantasy hockey impacts right away? Anything is possible . For the record, it appears that a quality first round (particularly early) is very likely but after that, the pickings could be slim.
Free Agent Frenzy
Though the crop of free agents may not be that impressive this summer, there should at least be a little intrigue. The numbers keep changing but the cap number is expected to be somewhere between 69 and 70 million dollars. First, the goal will be to guess maybe where some of the top free agents land. Then, we will take a look at some quick fantasy hockey impacts from again, a daily and season-long approach.
People will have lots of questions on how their new acquisitions will affect the apple cart so to speak. There will be the inevitable players to keep an eye on. For example, here are three for the road.
Three For The UFA Road
Thomas Vanek (Montreal) — It is unlikely that Vanek stays in Montreal. So where could Thomas Vanek end up? The most pertinent location would probably be Minnesota. However, stranger things have occurred. Vanek has offensive powerhouse potential but is more and more limited by defensive lapses. That being said, if he is reunited with Jason Pominville then maybe a point total in the 70’s is not far off next season.
Marian Gaborik (Los Angeles) — The postseason and the obvious chemistry with Anze Kopitar makes it less and less likely that Gaborik tests the market and signs back in Los Angeles. However, the double-digit goals this postseason shoot him up any UFA list. Does he get paid $7.5 million per year? Probably not. However, Los Angeles presents his best chance to produce and, of course, win!
Ryan Miller (St. Louis) — The free agent will still command quite a few offers but he is approaching the dreaded 35+ zone. Ryan Miller’s postseason performance was a bit telling as far as inconsistency. His overall save percentage in St. Louis was right around .905 which is not all that good. It was over .920 in Buffalo so which Miller does a free agent target get? That is the big money question. Stay tuned!
Just because the playoffs end, it does not mean the action stops. If anything the intrigue rises in early July. Thanks for reading.