Hey Jason, Anson – Getting Lonely?

In one of my keeper leagues, I have the pleasure of owning Jason Allison, of no fixed address. Those poolies that also own him know one thing: it’s a waste of time trying to trade him. The same goes for owners of Anson Carter, Mike Leclerc, Oleg Kvasha, J.P. Dumont, Valeri Bure, Radek Dvorak, Peter Bondra, Yanic Perreault, and Brian Leetch. These guys were not the dregs of the unrestricted free agent lot (heck, Dumont wasn’t even a free agent three weeks ago!), but they are the best of what’s left.

Things have slowed to the point where the remaining UFA’s are getting plucked off the market every two weeks, as opposed to July where the frequency was more akin to one every two hours. Why are these ‘neglected nine’ not getting signed up? That’s exactly what hockey pool owners are thinking, and it’s why they immediately tune you out before you can say all three syllables of Allison’s name. The delay gives the impression that teams are ‘settling’ when they finally do sign one of these guys. Right now, I couldn’t get a bucket of pucks for Allison. A draft pick. Maybe. As long as it is not a high one.

The best thing to do is to wait until they land on a team. The latest rumor has Allison going to Carolina. They are down a body, albeit a winger, but the rumor has 31-year-old pivot joining the ‘Canes. Carter or Dumont would be a better fit, or even Kvasha, Bure, or Dvorak.

The Bure in Vancouver rumors have died off a little, but the Dumont to Montreal or Detroit rumors are reaching new heights. Rumor has it that Dumont will drop his price significantly if it will mean donning the rouge, blanc, et bleu. Any one of these guys will have to land in the perfect situation to immediately regain the fantasy value that they had as recently as a month ago. Otherwise, you are looking at waiting until the season begins and they can show their wares.

Allison was nearly a point-per-game player last season, but people point to his minus-18 rating. He was actually just minus-9 after October, so I’ll excuse him for having a weak month after two years of virtually no exercise. Carter is coming off a big year, but his monetary demands are high. Had he shopped himself around for two million, he would have found a team within two days. Bure missed all of last season, which scares off potential suitors. Bondra, Leetch, and Perreault have all considered retirement, but are all reportedly not going to do that just yet. Leetch is looking for the right situation, whereas Perreault is just looking for…anything.

Meanwhile…

Nik Zherdev owners, don’t worry. The supposed ‘deadline’ of a week from now will come and go, and Zherdev will not be signed. September will come and go and he will not be signed. October 3rd, the articles will run rampant preaching doom and gloom, and predicting Zherdev will remain in Russia. The evening of October 5th, he’ll be signed, and will be playing for the Blue Jackets by their first game against Chicago October 7th. I’ve seen this drama a million times., and so have you…

Rick DiPietro owners, don’t worry. He’ll be signed too. GM Garth Snow will never make a first impression of not signing his protégé from last year…

Regarding my article last week on Malkin. Um…forget it…

The following players of minor fantasy importance have signed in Europe over the last few days: Rem Murray, Petr Schastlivy, Dick Tarnstrom, Radoslav Suchy, Martin Cibak, Maxim Kondratiev (signing in Russia still unconfirmed as I write this), and Tomas Surovy.

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