UFA's – Hidden Gems

Written by Darryl Dobbsfrom www.dobberhockey.com

It has been well do*****ented that Patrick Elias will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The same can be said about the dynamic duo in Ottawa, Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara.

That is where the big news lies – in the newsmakers. But what of the lesser known UFA’s? The unsung heroes? What is out there that can help your team? Which players are deep on your fantasy roster right now, but a move to a new NHL squad could suddenly make their numbers ‘pop’?

Most of the big name UFA’s are going nowhere. Is Edmonton going to let Dwayne Roloson walk NOW? Can you see Joe Sakic in another uniform? No. It’s the mid-level guys that will switch jerseys. So who will be the next Brian Rolston? That is to say – who will increase their output by 50%, simply be signing with a new team?

Here are my candidates:

Mike Leclerc, Calgary – If the 29-year-old can maintain good health for the better part of an 82 game season, he could flourish in the right situation. A rebuilding team, such as St. Louis, would see bigger numbers out of Leclerc because he would be one of their go-to guys.

Manny Malhotra, Columbus – still just 25, Malhotra is not putting up the numbers expected of him when he was drafted seventh overall by the Rangers in 1998. Sometimes, players that jump into the NHL as 18-year-olds see their offensive development stalled. See Jason Weimer for details. That being said, Malhotra had a run of 15 points in 22 games before being derailed by injuries. His career high is 31 points. The right situation on the right team could see him garner as much as 50.

Johan Hedberg, Dallas – If he lands in the right situation as a backup goaltender, he could start as many as 40 games. Is Atlanta a good fit? All it would take is another injury-filled season by Kari Lehtonen, and suddenly Hedberg has legitimate fantasy value.

Radek Dvorak, Edmonton – With a great playoff run like this one, I can’t see the Oilers letting Sergei Samsonov go. Dvorak, however, is free to walk. If the 29-year-old walks onto the right team with the right linemates, he has 60-point ability.

Valeri Bure, Los Angeles – Remember him? After missing one season from the lockout, and another one from back surgery, he should be healthy again in the Fall. He is six years removed from a career-high 75 points. If he truly is healthy, he is cheap pickup for most teams to stick on their first or second lines. A fantasy dark horse for next year.

Kyle Wanvig, Minnesota – This 25-year-old has questions about his maturity and/or discipline. That said, he could third-line points and big time penalty minutes. Once again, he needs the right coach and the right team.

Jan Bulis, Montreal – At one point, the 28-year-old had a run going in which he garnered 17 points in 13 games. His average ice-time this year was just over 15 minutes. Eleven players had more time on the power play than Bulis did in Montreal. What if he had top-five PP ice time?

Next week: Part 2 of 2.

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

77 Responses to UFA's – Hidden Gems

  1. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    …………….. ok your cool there buddy.

  2. imbonitz says:

    Oilers will run into a brick wall in the finals whomever they play. The cup definitely belongs in the USA !

  3. AfroCon says:

    Bulis could be useful if he played center and was flanked by hard working wingers.

  4. the_word says:

    do yourself a favor and remove “jaborni” from your vocabulary, go leafs go

  5. the_word says:

    They are having a hard enough time paying to get Malkin out of Russia, this team won’t be signing anyone this year. It’ll be nice to see Crosby waste his career with this organization.

  6. Palpatine79 says:

    “do*****ented “

    What’s with the asterisks?

  7. LeafsLegacy says:

    I actually think Toronto has a good chance to get Elias. After a disappointing season, we can see different things happen

  8. 92-93 says:

    i think toronto could be among the top 5 teams in the running for his services. However, its unlikely that the leafs will get him.

    i say go after him … but its more realistic that the leafs could end up with Langdenbrunner or Carter … and i’d be fine with them too.

  9. JannettyTheRocker says:

    American’s in general don’t even respect the Stanley Cup. They’re too worried about war, NFL, and guns. The Stanley Cup belongs in Canada (Edmonton specifically), and it’s destined to come north of the border this year. So keep dreaming.


  10. JannettyTheRocker says:

    I think the Leafs should try and trade for Martin St. Louis to play wing with Mats Sundin. They’d be a deadly duo. And Sundin needs a true goal scorer to play along side……….If not St. Louis, then maybe they should try and pickup Marian Gaborik. That would be huge.

  11. 92-93 says:

    i’d would love to see either player in a leafs uniform no doubt about it.

    but i dont see Feaster trading St. Louis because he has already stated that Vinny, St. Louis, and Richards are the three ‘untouchables.’ he’ll trade his slow-footed D-guys first. but you never know.

    as for Gaborik, i personally dont think he is worth Richards’ kind of money (look up his stats and you’ll see why), but the only way i see the Leafs obtaining a guy like him is if they resign a guy like McCabe WITHOUT a no-trade clause and trade him to the Wild or trade some of their young guys, prospects, etc.

    the leafs dont have much to trade outside of their young guys.

    but i think even some non-leaf fans are getting sick and tired watching Sundin’s talents go to waste with no wingers beside him. he elevates Antropov’s game immensely, imagine what he could do for Gaborik?!

  12. kicksave856 says:

    you responding to me with that? what’s got your panties all in a bunch? that was a lighthearted jab at the people who responded as if he seriously meand no one knew lidstrom. and why am i explaininng this to you if you’re really twisted about it? nevermind.

  13. kicksave856 says:

    Even if he was upset by those things, unless John Leclair has totally changed, I don’t think he would have verbalized it. He certainly never came off bad in Philly and he had opportunities when everyone was talking crap on him when he wasn’t any good for them for the last couple of years. But he could have changed, who knows? I just doubt it.

  14. Senatorsfan78 says:

    Do you know who everyone is for getting about Chris Simon and I think the Ottawa Senators should try to sign Chris Simon.

  15. Dobber says:

    censored…for some reason, the letter C followed by the letter U followed by the letter M cannot be posted due to strict settings.

  16. Dobber says:

    censored…for some reason, the letter C followed by the letter U followed by the letter M cannot be posted due to strict settings.

  17. Dobber says:

    censored…for some reason, the letter C followed by the letter U followed by the letter M cannot be posted due to strict settings.

  18. Dobber says:

    censored…for some reason, the letter C followed by the letter U followed by the letter M cannot be posted due to strict settings.

  19. Aetherial says:

    I think a good fit is there to be had on a more disciplined Calgary team.

  20. Aetherial says:

    Heh, I don’t usually use that word but it made me laugh when I remembered it 🙂

  21. Aetherial says:

    St. Louis has a no trade clause. I think he will be in Tampa next year.

    I also don’t want him and his contract in Toronto. It is exactly what I DON’T want as a rebuilding team, any large contracts that may be a burden.

  22. Palpatine79 says:

    That is ridiculous -_-

  23. SJ_Sharks_Fan_19 says:

    everyone has a price.

  24. kamullia says:

    Actually…no NHL team pays for ANY player that comes from other leagues to the NHL. Malkin will not cost the Pens any money at all in transfer fees.

    The league as a collection pays for these transfer fees, whatever price is decided. All 30 teams contribute to this fund. So whatever Malkin ends up costing, ALL 30 teams will be paying the price tag, so to speak. And all teams are solid behind this, like their CBA intentions. They want the Russians to sign, or no deal.

    But the fact is that the Penguins, nor any other team will NOT pay anything other than whatever is agreed to under a transfer agreement, just so not to establish a precedent for the future.

    In other words, paying a non-established amount for a transfer of one player will just open the door for EVERY team in the world to ask for more/ignore the amount on an agreement. And the league, not just the Penguins but all 30 teams, could not afford to do that in the future. So we just have to sit and wait for a transfer agreement with the Russians for now, otherwise Malkin won’t come over this year.

    At worst, the Pens wait one more year when Malkin’s contract expires and he comes to the Pens for free, but later than they wished.

    Just wanted to clarify people’s misconceptions on these subjects of the Russians.

      And by the way one more point on the subject, I have been told from credible sources that any Russian player who can not be signed by the respective NHL team who holds his rights, will still have their rights unchanged. So say Malkin’s contract was for 4 years with Magnitogorsk, the Pens would still own his rights throughout and after, and not expire like players who are drafted in Junior leagues. Which makes sense being that NHL teams would never have the chance to sign those Russians players during those times.
  25. daman316 says:

    I’m kinda getting tired of the whole “everyone wants to go to Toronto”, that was the semi-case a few years ago, but they’re a franchise on the decline and shouldn’t be spending large amounts of money on only a couple of players.

  26. paul_dc10 says:

    ok, NO CHANCE if he leaves vancouver, 20 goals at most, i cant see him leaving, even if there are higher offers, id stay with the seidns

  27. the_word says:

    Well put, you have sources?

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