UFA's – Hidden Gems II

Written by Darryl Dobbsfrom www.dobberhockey.com

Here is the second installment of players that could make a huge splash on a new team…but not so much in the headlines…

Jamie Langenbrunner, New Jersey – He has cleared the 50-point mark three times, and you pretty much have him pegged as a 50- to 55-point player. A year ago, you had Brian Rolston pegged as a 60-point player. On the right team, with the right opportunity – Langenbrunner can shoot up 20 points, too.

Petr Sykora, NY Rangers – There are a lot of guys on the Rangers who are unrestricted. Straka and Rucinsky will likely be re-signed. Sykora is a 75-point player in the guise of a 50-point player. Watch where he lands. If the conditions are favorable, grab him.

Brian Pothier, Ottawa – All the paper will go to Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara, but watch Pothier. The Sens will have a tough time signing the two big D-men, not to mention their restricted free agents like Peter Schaeffer, Martin Havlat, Ray Emery, Jason Spezza, Antoine Vermette, etc. Pothier will never match the plus/minus he had this year, but on a new team as a No. 2 guy, he could beat his 35 points.

Oleg Kvasha, Phoenix – He has always been a dark horse. Will he ever pull through? I think there’s a fit for him in Phoenix – he had 10 points in 12 games for them prior to getting injured. Before the lockout he had over 50 points. He’s capable of 65.

Eric Boguniecki, Pittsburgh – Just kidding. He’ll get an invite to camp somewhere, but likely won’t be signed. I put this name down to see if you’re paying attention.

Alyn McCauley, San Jose – An offensive specialist his entire junior career, and a defensive specialist in the NHL. If McCauley can stay healthy for even 75 games on the right team, a 50-point year is not out of the question.

Pavel Kubina, Tampa Bay – He will be expensive, and Tampa already has money tied up in their big three. His numbers have improved practically every year. A 50+ point season is in the cards, just put him on the right team.

Jason Allison, Toronto – Eric Lindros is too injury-prone. Bryan McCabe just had his career year, he won’t be any better. Allison, however, made a nice return after a near three-year layoff. Even his plus/minus was okay, if you take away a dismal October (we’ll give him a mulligan because it was his first month back in a long while). He could get back to 90 points in the right situation.

That’s it. Part I and II. Everyone other UFA is either a superstar that will make headlines, or a player who I feel will do worse on a new team.

Just a quick note on Anson Carter, since I have had some emails asking about him – he will perform well on one team: Vancouver. If he moves to another team, his numbers will drop. That includes Toronto (I’ve had a lot of Leaf fans claim that he can somehow be the savior). Carter needs chemistry with his linemates to put up good numbers in the NHL. He had it with Weight and Guerin in Edmonton. He had it with the Sedin twins in Vancouver. I sincerely doubt he can find that chemistry anywhere else. If he signs somewhere else – Toronto, or otherwise – I would not even draft him with the last draft pick of a hockey pool.

More fantasy hockey tips from Dobber at www.dobberhockey.com

78 Responses to UFA's – Hidden Gems II

  1. burnz30 says:

    I thought that Allison might get traded to the Flames at the deadline. They seriously needed help offensively. I think that He could do well in that system.

  2. DJTOKid says:

    Whats wrong with jeff oneil? If Allison is so great he should be able to do something with oneil. And how many brett hulss are there? he’s one of a kind.

  3. DJTOKid says:

    For all the Allison lovers out there, tell me how many points do you think he would get with Mark Recchi on one side and Goeff Sanderson on the other? Does anyone think anything of these two? These guys are still putting up 25-30 goals a year. It wouldn’t hurt the Leafs bankroll to sign these two guys. I can’t imagine either of them drawing more than 2mil a year. I would take them.

  4. Doctor says:

    i agree with you leafy. he will play for close to nothing, but he may get an offer as high as 1 mill- maybe. getting lindros for say 700,000 is a low risk-high reward deal for any team because even if he does put up the proposed 40 points in 50 games that someone mentioned on this post, then he is worth his cash. i happen to like lindros, so when i say that i think he will make it to 70 games this year know that i’ve said it since ’95, along with a lot of others. as a rookie he tricked us all, but imagine if he brought us a solid season?

  5. Doctor says:

    no i don’t agree. allison would not be a good fit on the flames for a few reasons.

    a. his foot speed, which one could argue should be a liability to any team, but this is especially so for the flames. since he is a first or second line center, i can’t see him playing w/ iginla or amonte or even huselius because they would leave him in the dust.

    b. he is a defensive liability and calgary is a disciplined team.

    the best way to describe this is that allison and iginla are basically opposites and iginla represents what the flames are all about. therefore…

  6. Doctor says:

    i see allison on a gung ho team like the blackhawks next season, where he can go cowabunga on no television sets.

  7. Doctor says:

    i agree. i think it would take some alfie magic to bring simon back to his old washington capital hey day. actually, i will go as far as to say that the senators would have not only hands down won the cup this year if simon was on the team, but they would have swept every team except buffalo, where they would have lost one game, only because simon had the flu and couldn’t play. yes. this is an excellent idea. no, not really though. simon belongs on the blackhawks.

  8. Doctor says:

    you are a racist. protects them? just kidding. but really i think the sedin twins protect carter. have you heard that his helmet is twice the size of bertuzzis? it’s crazy. they found a mouse in his hair.

  9. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Wow! 10 years ago he put up 83pts and 6 years ago he put up 95! Now the guy is the slowest guy on skates in the league and is 1 hit away from eating through a straw for the rest of his life. It doesn’t matter what he did a decade ago when he was still healthy, I still stick by my original comment.

    P.S. Cory Cross can get u a hell of alot more than Kariya. I was thinking:

    Cross for Malkin, Crosby and a player to be named later.

  10. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Ha ha. that one was funny. U mentioned jason allison busting his hand by punching somebody in the head and then u said “star player” in the same sentence. I hope u weren’t talking about jason.

  11. wingerxxx says:

    40 points in about 50 games is his absolute top end IF he is played in a top line role, and is given a good load of minutes. If you stick him on the 4th line, that won’t happen. There is no 4th line center in the league who can score like that, especially not with Chad Kilger as your left wing. That isn’t even considering how his wrist is going to hold up next year. Lindros is not a necessity, and necessities are what the Leafs should be thinking about this offseason.

  12. wingerxxx says:

    A. Allison’s game is not built on speed. His game is timing, anticipation and puck possession down low. He is still nearly unmovable down low on the power play, and especially when he has time to set up. Combine that with Iginla’s ability to find holes, and that is a scary tandem for any team to handle.

    B. He is not that bad defensively. He is getting a lot of crap for this because of his plus/minus, which is a stupid reflection of offensive/defensive play. He is not great defensively, but is definitely not terrible. He can be thrown out on the PK, and Toronto did just that, last year.

    Opposites can be great linemates. Allison is a playmaker. Iginla is a goal scorer. And they are both extremely hard to handle down low. Allison is not the best center in the league, but is definitely an upgrade offensively over any center that Calgary iced last year. Like it or not, they need some offensive jump down the middle, if they are going to go anywhere in the playoffs next year.

  13. my_sphincter says:

    Does he ever even come back to his own zone?

  14. the_word says:

    Its funny that the Rangers named him team MVP the year he played 80 games. Or that he was perhaps the Leafs best player when Sundin was out this year. Can you name me a better 700 000 player on the market this year or one with a bigger upside at that price?

  15. wingerxxx says:

    He did not play 80 games in the 2001-2002, he played a little over 70. That was his lone quality season with the Rangers.

    I had no idea that he was the Rangers team MVP his second year. Because that season was a total abomination. Don’t get me wrong, he was always popular in the Rangers locker room, and that is probably why he got the award. But…I challenge you to find a single Rangers fan or news source that will say that Lindros’ 2002-2003 season was a success.

    I’m a Rangers fan, and I enjoyed his play…when he was healthy, and when he stopped playing like a perimeter player. In which case, he reverts back to “disaster-waiting-to-happen” status, which has proven true in his last two seasons of hockey.

    The year he DID play 82 games, he has a disastrous year, and the Garden was booing him every time he touched the puck.

    And look what happens when he is given the chance to replace someone on the top two lines. Injury.

    There is not much upside to a breaking-down power forward who is coming off a serious wrist injury. I will reiterate, he has not had a good hockey season in 5 years!! NO, this year does not count as a good season. For crying out loud. Concentrate on making your team’s wing depth better. Center ice is not a problem for Toronto even without Lindros. There are much better ways to spend this $700, even IF he decides to stay put and not chase another contract elsewhere.

    Honestly, if I were him, I’d look to the Western Conference. There are always going to be teams desperate for center ice depth, and the Leafs have big needs in other categories. It makes no sense, even for the “small” amount that you are talking about, contract wise.

  16. nova_scotia123 says:

    Allison is a very talented player and is constantly putting up point per game average. However, he has been often injuried. His skating is not the best but is a terrific offensive player. I would include him as a second line center and second line powerplay on my team any day.

  17. thegoalie1976 says:

    What about Giguere for alfreddson.

    anaheim needs to move him, and Ottawa really needs a #1.

    This trade could work for both teams.

  18. rooney says:

    there is a rumor goin around about sykora going back to jersey when elias resigns

  19. Sands says:

    Sykora should come back… BUTTTT In doing that.. let Ruchinsky go and bring in Elias.. Sykora and Elias back together with Imminon in the middle and Jarg running the 1st line…. that’s some 1 2 punch and at the very least a 2nd round appearance. Ruchhin and Ruchinsky let go… Bring back Straka, Sykora, the get Elias… thats a team to watch





  20. wheresthesoda says:

    “you’ll get about 20 games of hardcore power hockey “…i like that.

    yea i liked lindros as a ranger, his first year he was amazing, until he got injured in san jose. That was the beginning of the end of his good Ranger days. But when he played tough he can be tough. I remember when he broke Thortons face with one punch, that was one of my favorite Lindros in a rangers jersey memories.

  21. wheresthesoda says:

    hey dobber, i like your writing, and your speculation, but u bring up sykora, why not nylander or straka…not sure if nylander is an ufa, but straka could be a big help to a team(not the leafs).

  22. wheresthesoda says:

    swap prucha and ward…prucha gets power play time….thats where he’ll put up his points

  23. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Only as long as the player to be named later is Dion Phaneuf!

    Allison is one hit away from eating through a straw? Name one player who isn’t.

    Have you heard of a guy named Saku Koivu? Was playing like the wind until one errant opposing players stick found his eye. Now the rest of his career is in doubt. How about Bryan Berard? Same deal.

    Stick with your comments, if you want. You’re entitled to your opinion (even as a Habs fan), it’s just not my fault that you’re persistently wrong.

  24. wingerxxx says:

    Prucha is going to need some top line time next year though, if he is going to keep developing. Even the most talented of NHL forwards get the majority of their points at even strength, rather than the power play. That’s not going to happen in a checking role.

  25. wingerxxx says:

    If Nylander is a UFA, the Rangers could ditch him, and go after Arnott potentially. I’d take that tradeoff any day.

  26. rooney says:

    lou isnt gonna let elias leave especially to go to the rnangers

  27. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    White Supremacy……. Jk to all black people just kidding. but yeah he takes alot of brusies and the new nhl helps to. but with carters hair im not surprised about the mouse.

  28. wheresthesoda says:

    sykora had a few game winning shootout goals.

    what disapointed me most of him was his inability to finish in the playoffs.he had a lot of chances, but it looked like he just wasnt getting the bounces

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