Tag Archive | Detroit

2014 NHL Free Agency Preview

By Brett Malamud

Forwards

Thomas Vanek- 30 Years Old- LW (2013-14: 27 G, 41 A, 68 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Wild

Vanek has narrowed his list to “4 or 5 teams” and I’d be shocked if the final decision wasn’t Minnesota.

 

Jarome Iginla- 36 Years Old- RW (2013-14: 30 G, 31 A, 61 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Bruins, Wild, Canucks, Red Wings, Lightning

Unless Iginla decides that he’ll take a pay cut to return to Boston, I’m not quite sure how the Bruins will find salary cap space to sign him. This should be an exciting bidding war.

 

Paul Stastny- 28 Years Old- C (2013-14: 25 G, 35 A, 60 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Blues, Predators, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Avalanche

Speaking of bidding wars, the most pursued free agent out there is none other than Paul Stastny. Stastny grew up in St. Louis and so the Blues are certainly intriguing. I think that they’ll make a good offer. Colorado would like to keep him but could very well be outbid by a team that’ll overpay for him.

Paul Stastny will be reeling in the offers when free agency opens (Via Getty)

Paul Stastny will be reeling in the offers when free agency opens (Via Getty)

 

Matt Moulson- 30 Years Old- LW (2013-14: 23 G, 28 A, 51 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Sabres, Senators, Stars, Predators

Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t doubt a Moulson return to Long Island. The 30 year old still remains close with one of his best friends John Tavares. Moulson loved being an Islander. Isles GM Garth Snow made his mistake when he dealt Moulson to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek, who told the team a few months later that he wouldn’t re-sign. I’m sure Tavares will be chirping in Snow’s ear.

 

Mike Ribeiro- 34 Years Old- C (2013-14: 16 G, 31 A, 52 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Flames, Blackhawks, Predators

The Coyotes bought out Ribeiro for his behavior off the ice. Should be interesting to see who will take a chance on him.

 

Daniel Alfredsson- 41 Years Old- RW (2013-14: 18 G, 31 A, 49 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Red Wings

Alfredsson has indicated that his two options are the Detroit Red Wings and retirement.

 

Defensemen

Matt Niskanen- 27 Years Old- (2013-14: 10 G, 36 A, 46 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Wild, Islanders, Capitals, Lightning,

Niskanen is the top all around defenseman on the market in my opinion. The Lightning cleared a ton of cap space and I think signing Niskanen is the reason why they did.

 

Dan Boyle- 37 Years Old- (2013-14: 12 G, 24 A, 36 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Lightning, Rangers, Canadiens, Red Wings, Maple Leafs

Boyle’s rights were traded to the Islanders, but they couldn’t nail down a deal so he’ll hit the FA market. His age will effect his contract so don’t expect anyone to break the bank on Boyle.

 

Christian Ehrhoff- 31 Years Old- (2013-14: 6 G, 27 A, 33 Pts.)
Possible Destinations: Islanders, Lightning, Red Wings

Ehrhoff was bought out of his remaining seven years of his 10-year deal with Buffalo. Detroit showed a lot of interest at the trade deadline, so keep an eye on them.

 

Michael Del Zotto- 24 Years Old- (2013-14: 3 G, 13 A, 16 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Maple Leafs

Del Zotto was not given a qualifying offer by the Nashville Predators, making him an unrestricted free agent. The question with Del Zotto is: can this be a good value pickup? He won’t get paid as much as the others, so a low spending team like the Islanders may take a good look at him.

 

Brooks Orpik- 33 Years Old- (2013-14: 2 G, 1 A, 13 Pts.)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Capitals, Blues, Sabres

If you notice, the Islanders were listed on each of the defensemen’s free agents possible destinations. Yes, they need a defenseman and so they’ll look at each one. I believe that they should sign Orpik but don’t think they will. He has a blistering shot and is a force on defense. A hard hitter, Orpik will be a good fit wherever he goes.

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller- 32 Years Old- (2013-14: 29-13, 5 SO, 2.48 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Lightning, Jets, Canucks

This is a rough spot for Hiller here, sharing the market with Brodeur, Miller and Nabokov. But he could go to a team such as the Lightning and Jets who have a shaky situation when it comes to a plan B in net.

 

Martin Brodeur- 42 Years Old- (2013-14: 19-14, 3 SO, 2.51 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Maple Leafs, Devils, Lightning, Bruins, Blackhawks, Penguins

Instead of retiring, Brodeur will explore his options outside of New Jersey. I don’t expect him to be signed on the first day of free agency.

 

Ryan Miller- 33 Years Old- (2013-14: 15-22, 3 SO, 2.72 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Canucks, Sharks

Miller already met with Vancouver officials and my belief is that he’ll be signed by them.

 

Evgeni Nabokov- 38 Years Old- (2013-14: 15-14, 4 SO, 2.74 GAA)

Possible Destinations: Islanders, Capitals, Flyers

Another interesting signing will be Nabokov. He wasn’t close on a deal with the Isles and so he’ll go out to free agency. The Capitals need a backup for Braden Holtby. Philly is over the cap and so I think Nabokov will end up with the Caps.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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Curtis Granderson to the Mets: The Pros

By Ben Ozur

With the recent news that Curtis Granderson is meeting with the Mets, we weigh the pros and the cons in this two-part series. To see the cons, click here.

Could it be, the Mets are making a big splash in the free agent market? In almost any other season in recent history, this would be a laughable statement. Not this year. With the big contracts of Jason Bay and Johan Santana, among others, expiring, the Mets have a decent amount of money to spend. They must be cautious to not put themselves in a similar situation to the one they just escaped from. They gave big contracts to Bay and Santana when they had the money to spend, and they didn’t really pan out. This offseason, the Mets are making it clear that they would like to be more aggressive on the free agent market. Top free agents, including Cano and Ellsbury, have been nearly ruled out. They could go after other top-of-the market guys, like Shin-Soo Choo or Stephen Drew. But what about Curtis Granderson?

This is a guy who is not far removed from superstar status. Beginning his career with the Tigers, Granderson was seen as an excellent catalyst for Detroit for many years. He hit for a high average, played elite centerfield defense, and had excellent speed. After being traded to the Yankees in a three-way trade with the Tigers and Diamondbacks in the 2009-10 offseason, some of this changed. His average fell a bit, defensive metrics didn’t favor him as much (though they are very difficult to measure), and he wasn’t quite racking up as many stolen bases (though it was still well above league-average). But what he was doing was hitting bombs, and plenty of them. 24 in 2010 (in an injury-plagued season), followed by back-to-back 40-homer seasons. In 2011, he finished in 4th in the AL MVP race but won the Players Choice Award for the Most Outstanding Player in the AL. Talk about a superstar.

Could this be the future for the Mets? Of course, number 14 is retired by the Mets for Gil Hodges, so Granderson would have to change his number (Via MLB)

Could this be the future for the Mets? Of course, number 14 is retired by the Mets for Gil Hodges, so Granderson would have to change his number (Via MLB)

2013 is the season that everyone will make people question his abilities going forward. It was an injury-plagued season in which he only played in 61 games – such a small sample size that the numbers aren’t too significant. But let’s keep in mind: these were freak injuries; he got hit by two pitches in the arm. Not easy injuries to recover from and still play at full strength. As long as these weren’t nagging injuries, like a hamstring or concussion, I’m not too concerned going forward.

Now, what does this all mean for his free agent stock? He just turned down a qualifying offer from the Yankees to remain with them for at least one season at a salary of $14.1M. (Whether or not he should’ve accepted the qualifying offer is up for a different debate.) He did this in order to obtain a multi-year contract. He’s still just 32, which isn’t too old, so a three or four year deal isn’t unreasonable. I don’t know if he’ll be a centerfielder wherever he goes, but he showed last year that he could handle all three outfield positions pretty well. With a career OPS of .828, being an excellent defender in the outfield, and averaging 17 SBs a season, there aren’t too many things not to like about Granderson. I’d expect somewhere around a three year/$50M contract for Granderson.

Now, going back to the original question: would the Mets be willing to get a top free agent like Granderson? If the Mets really want to get a guy who has shown that he can handle both sides of the ball very well, why not? He won’t command the dollars that other top free agents are asking for, and he fills a HUGE void for the Mets in the outfield. He’s been on playoff teams, so he has the experience and the veteran leadership that the Mets are seeking. Should the Mets make it to the postseason in a few years – which they seem to be set up for – I think Granderson can be a key piece in making a run

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Ben Ozur is an absolute baseball guru. He is a huge Mets, Jets, Knicks and Islanders fan whose life revolves around fantasy sports.