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Old 09-22-2019, 08:01 AM   #1
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Houston Renegades (Now in NHL20-o-Vision!)

Finally time to start a new NHL 20 franchise: I shelved my last 19 game because it was hard to get excited about it with the new one coming out. So time to start over... new rosters, new bells and whistles (hello Trade Finder, you sexay thing, you), but the same basic format of my other franchises. I know the Young People have all moved on to their YouTube videos and Twitch streams, but I'm all about being long-winded in the written word.

For my first franchise, I'll be just doing default rosters, and setting my sights on Houston: the thinking man's destination for people who think moving Arizona to the Central is too weird. Major rules: I don't bother with owner finances or morale meetings -- those things don't add much for me -- but I do keep fog of war on, and in general I try not to meta-game too much with what I know about real hockey. For example, if my scouts were to somehow get things wrong and say Kaapo Kaako is a Bottom 6 forward, I'd try as much as possible to accept that as the reality of this game world and not meta-game. (Though if it's a close decision based on game metrics, knowing something about a guy in real life might be a tiebreaker.)

Traditionally I do a monthly format -- sim most of the games (play one or two just to keep an eye on things and collect screenshots), and then do a summary post for my team and an "around the league" post that sums up the rest of the league action. I also throw in a few "studio show" interludes that serve as a back-door way of talking about key decisions at greater length -- the studio team serves as a bit of a Greek chorus, explaining what I was thinking about major decisions (trades, draft picks, etc.). Those tend to show up at the trade deadline (midpoint summary, and discussing potential deadline moves) and in the early off-season (post mortem of previous year, looking ahead to next season) sometimes showing up at other times as well.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:06 AM   #2
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Re: Houston Renegades (Now in NHL20-o-Vision!)

SEASON CAPSULES

2019-2020
Regular Season:
Playoffs:
Key Off-Season Additions: none - first season
Key Off-Season Departures: none- first season
In-Season Moves:
Stats Leaders:
Summary:
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Houston Renegades (Now in NHL20-o-Vision!)

(reserved for unis, as soon as I offload the images)
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:28 AM   #4
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Re: Houston Renegades (Now in NHL20-o-Vision!)

Build-a-Bear(ly Functioning Roster) Workshop: The 2019 Expansion Draft

First, taking a quick eyeball of the talent pool, it’s still heavy on defense, but not as bad as it was last year – there’s at least some tolerable forwards to be had in the pool this year. It does seem like the game’s understanding of bad/expiring contracts has improved and there’s some talented-but-expensive guys like Ondrej Palat ($5.9M) available that weren’t there last year.

If there's a “problem”, it's that the expiring contract guys are better than they’ve typically been. Matt Duchene, Gustav Nyquist, Derick Brassard, Marcus Johansson… there’s some actual real players. But do you want to roll the dice on one of those guys and then have them decide to test the market? Or, is having an exclusive window to negotiate with them worth passing on someone else from that team?

So let's roll up the sleeves and get into it.

GOALIES
I decide to start with goalies because it should only be three guys and it’s the position where I have the clearest strategy going in. Basically I want one solid veteran to start day one, and then 2 or 3 young guys with potential. I’ll start with three guys total, with a possibility I could snag a 4th goalie at the tail end of the process.

First, I’m eliminating Robin Lehner from consideration – it doesn’t feel right that he’s available. Besides, I had him in one of my ’19 franchises so there’s a little bit of “been there, done that”.

The best choices for that veteran starter are Seymon Varlamov (COL) and Cory Schneider (NJ) but they have opposite problems – Schneider is locked up for 4 more years at $6M per, while Varlamov is a free agent and could walk. The next best choice is Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom – 85 OVR and under contract. (And Vancouver doesn’t have much else worth taking anyway.) Looks like he’s my starter.

Looking at the young guys for those other two slots, Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry is showing Elite and Winnipeg’s Eric Comrie is showing as a Starer, and neither team’s available list is all that exciting. (Tyler Myers would be good choice if he weren’t a free agent). So to put an initial stake in the ground, Jarry and Comrie will be the guys.

DEFENSE
Next, let’s look a first look at defense. The problem won’t be finding bodies, it’ll be how many to get and what mix of trade bait, current roster, and prospects.

First, we’ve got the expensive top-pair guys. Brent Burns (SJ, 90 OVR), Mike Giordano (CGY, 89 OVR), and Ryan McDonagh (TB, 87 OVR) are all guys who could immediately drop into top-pair, but they also have fairly painful contracts (McDonagh’s is an extension that kicks in if I draft him). Burns in particular is scheduled to get $8M a year until he’s 40. It’s not a problem today – every expansion team I’ve done so far has spent the first few years WELL under the cap -- but out toward the end of the deal, these could get ugly.

There’s a second tier that are a step down in overall rating, but also have more manageable contracts – Adam Larsson (EDM), Alex Martinez (LA), Jared Spurgeon (MIN), Mattias Ekholm (NSH), Jake Muzzin (TOR). Lower dollars, fewer years, or both. These are backbone guys I could really build around, or guys I could possibly sign and trade, depending on how much of a wheeler-dealer I want to be.

Then there’s the more prospecty types. Lots of guys in their early 20s with Top 4 or Elite potential, it’s just a question of mixing-and-matching, and the fact that I ultimately can’t go over 13 defensemen because of other roster minimums. Tony DeAngelo, Julius Honka, Haydn Fleury, Caleb Jones are names that stick out on first pass, but I could probably find 13 guys with SOME sort of “prospect” shine if I really wanted to go full youth movement.

FORWARDS
Forwards are going to be a bit of a grab-bag. There’s a few demi-prospects, a few tweeners like Conor Sheary who are too old to be prospects but still might be useful, a few expensive guys being dangled (Adam Henrique, Valeri Namestnikov, Ondrej Palat). It’ll be better than NHL 19 insofar as I’ll be able to field four credible lines at the end of the expansion draft, but it’s still not the cornucopia the defensemen are.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
First pass will just be “easy choices” – teams where either there’s one guy that stands out, either because the talent just isn’t there, or the contracts funnel the decision toward that one guy. Those adds will be:
  • BOS – D Brandon Carlo (22, 80 OVR, Elite). Zach Senyshyn COULD get a look if numbers get dicey later, but for now, Carlo stands above the rest.
  • CAR – D Haydn Fleury (22, 78, Top 4). Most of the other players are old guys or expiring contracts.
  • DET – LW Givani Smith (21, 63, Elite). Gotta snatch up Elite forward prospects. Wish the OVR was higher, though.
  • MIN – D Jared Spurgeon (29, 84, Top 4). Best of a bad bunch. He’s expensive (5.19M) but only has 2 years on his contract, so it’s not a long commitment.
  • MTL – LW Artturi Lehkonen (23, 83, Top 6). This is more “the rest of Montreal’s choices just suck” than being sold on Lehkonen.
  • NSH – D Mattias Ekholm (29, 85, Top 4). Good solid cornerstone pick. 4 years @ $3.75 is in that range where I could keep him OR he’d still hold trade value.
  • PHI – RW Ryan Hartman (23, 80, Top 6). Most of Philly’s guys are middling bottom-six/third-pair types. Nothing wrong with them, but I’ll take a guy with upside.
  • SJ – D Brent Burns (34, 90, Elite). $8M a year is painful but almost everyone on SJ’s list is a) an expiring free agent, b) not that good, or c) both. As a first draft, Burns is in the obvious choice bucket.
  • STL – C Jordan Kyrou (21, 72, Elite). The Blues have some decent young defensemen, but they’re showing Top 4, and it’s tough to find legit forward prospects, so Kyrou it is.
That puts us at 12 guys – 2 LW, 1 C, 1 RW, 5 D, 3 G. Now we gotta start making some tougher decisions.

TEAM-BY-TEAM
First, I’m going to put Anaheim and Toronto at the end of the line because they each have 4 or 5 good choices, including both defense and forwards. Since they’re the easiest fit, I’ll save them toward the end.
  • ARI – RW Conor Garland isn’t showing as a GREAT prospect (Top 6 Med), but he’s sorta prospecty. (And in real life, he scored a goal with his face. Gotta respect that.)
  • BUF – LW Conor Sheary seems like the most compelling pick, though as a Pens’ fan, I always felt like playing with Crosby propped up his stats.
  • CGY – Calgary has some decent choices, but looking at C Sam Bennett. Top 6 potential, 79 OVR at age 23, 89 speed, and also gets rave reviews for his leadership.
  • CHI – It’s either going to be C John Hayden or D Gustav Forsling. Neither is an elite prospect, but both are young enough that they’ve got room to grow. For the moment, go with Hayden because forwards are tougher to find.
  • COL – Not great choices here because of free agency. For the moment, I’ll pencil in DFD Nikita Zadorov (24, 79, Top 4), but I’m not totally sold on him, and he could get thrown back if we get into a numbers crunch on D later.
  • CBJ – This is one of the big decisions. Matt Duchene is on the list, but he’s a free agent. Next best choices would be Gabriel Carlsson, a 22-year-old defenseman who’s showing Elite potential. Do I pass on Carlsson for a CHANCE to sign a #1 center? Or do I take Carlsson and hope Duchene tests the market anyway? I think I’ll take the risk on Duchene – maybe I can overwhelm him with money during the exclusive re-sign.
  • DAL – Interesting three-way decision here. Scouts claim RW Valeri Nichushkin has Elite potential, but RW Denis Gurianov is showing Top 6, but basically at the same OVR and is 2 years younger. (Gurianov is also projected as a better scheme fit, for what it’s worth.) And there’s also D Julius Honka as a Top 4 defense prospect. I think we’ll go with Gurianov.
  • EDM – Here it’s basically a two-man race at the blue-line: 26-year-old Adam Larsson for the established guy, or 22-year-old Caleb Jones for more of a prospect look. Since there are other mid-career guys yet to come, I think I’ll go with the kid this time and give Jones the slot.
  • FLA – Uninspiring choices here. Gonna take D Ian McCoshen for the moment, but if defense gets crowded, he’d be another one that could be out the door early.
  • LA – Going to punt for now. There’s a sorta prospecty defenseman (Chaz Reddekop), or I could go with more of a day-one credibility pick like D Alex Martinez or RW Tyler Toffoli.
  • NJ – Ew. The “best” choices are Top 9 forwards. I guess I’ll take LW John Quenneville because he’s fairly young, but not feeling it.
  • NYI – If I think Brock Nelson would be worth 6 years at $6M each, I could take him; otherwise it gets dicey fast. For now, we’ll go with young defenseman Parker Wotherspoon.
  • NYR – It’s really a choice between Valeri Namestnikov or Tony DeAngelo. Namestnikov could be a top six forward, but Tony D. is one of my sentimental favorites, so let’s grab him.
  • OTT – It’s either a DFD (Andreas Englund) or a LW (Morgan Klimchuk). I guess I’ll go with the forward for now, though neither is really getting me all that excited.
  • TB – Officially, Anthony Cirelli isn’t that exciting because he’s showing Bottom 6 potential. But he’s already 79 OVR at age 21, so not sure there’s anything wrong with a guy who’s “just” a really good third-liner.
  • WSH – This one’s going to be a little bit of a reach pick – RW Andre Burakovsky. I only have 3 RWs so far, and Burakovsky has at least some pedigree as a goal scorer. He is a free agent, so he could just walk, but I’ll take the chance.

OK, taking stock at this point, I have 27 players with Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Toronto left to pick.

From LA, I decide to take Alex Martinez. Right now that gives me a top-four of Burns, Martinez, Ekholm, and Spurgeon, with kids filling out the bottom pair (DeAngelo, Fleury, Caleb Jones). If the young guys look better than expected, I could move one of the veterans to open a slot.

From Toronto, it’ll be Kasperi Kapanen. Theoretically Pierre Engvall is showing Elite, but he’s not fully scouted whereas Kapanen is fully scouted as a Top 9 High.

That just leaves Anaheim. They’ve got FOUR Elite youngsters – Jacob Larsson, Brandon Guhle, Max Jones, and Jack Kopacka – and if you want to go a little older and more NHL-ready, there’s Ondrej Kase and Daniel Sprong. I’d be happy with any of these guys, but I keep coming back to Max Jones, so I guess he’s the pick.

So, let’s take one look before finalizing:
  • GOALIES (3): Eric Comrie, Tristan Jarry, Jacob Markstrom
  • DEFENSEMEN (11): Brent Burns, Brandon Carlo, Tony DeAngelo, Mattias Ekholm, Haydn Fleury, Caleb Jones, Alex Martinez, Ian McCoshen, Jared Spurgeon, Parker Wotherspoon, Nikita Zadorov.
  • LEFT WING (6): Max Jones, Morgan Klimchuk, Artturi Lehkonen, John Quenneville, Conor Sheary, Givani Smith.
  • CENTER (5): Sam Bennett, Anthony Cirelli, Matt Duchene, John Hayden, Jordan Kyrou
  • RIGHT WING (5): Andre Burakovsky, Conor Garland, Denis Gurianov, Ryan Hartman, Kasperi Kapanen.
And just to get symmetry, I decide to go back to Ottawa and replace Klimchuk with Andreas Englund. That’ll make it 5 at each forward position and 12 defensemen going into the draft and free agency.

Last edited by PFellah; 09-22-2019 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Houston Renegades (Now in NHL20-o-Vision!)

2019 Amateur Draft

IN-DRAFT TRADES
D Alex Martinez to Boston for their first-round pick (#31 overall) and their 2nd-round pick in 2020.

Basically, I was initially content to stand pat, but then my first round pick ended up being a defenseman (Bowen Byram) who is projecting as NHL-ready, so at that point it made sense to shop one of those existing Top 4 guys for additional picks. Boston (#31) and Nashville (#25) both offered similar packages -- their first and a 2020 kicker. Since my scouting this year is shaky, I figured I'd take the better pick in 2020 (a 2nd rounder for Boston; a 3rd from Nashville).

2019 DRAFT PICKS
  • 1-5-5 - D Bowen Byram. Supposed to be NHL ready. I guess we'll see.
  • 1-31-31 (from BOS) - LW Brayden Tracy. Half-scouted as a medium Elite Sniper, but the comparison is Marian Gaborik, for what it's worth.
  • 2-3-35 - C Henri Nikkanen. 6'2" playmaking center. This time I went lower ceiling (Top 9) but better scouting. The closest Elite would've been something like 10 slots lower.
  • 3-3-67 - D Hugo Has. Poorly scouted Elite, but already 6'4" at age 18 is intriguing.
  • 4-3-99 - G Dustin Wolf. Nothing special, just the best talent in the immediate vicinity.
  • 5-3-131 - D Anttoni Honka. Flipping things around and going with lower-ceiling/better scouting. I'll admit that part of it was also that I've heard of him. It may have even been subliminal compensation for not taking Julius in the expansion draft.
  • 6-3-163 - LW Antti Saarela. All lottery tickets at this point. Just spreading the positions around a little.
  • 7-3-195 - C Andy Teubert - another lottery ticket, and a shrimpy one at that (5'8").

Next up... FREE AGENCY.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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2019 Free Agency

Our general situation at the start of re-sign is that we have TONS of money to spend (a hair under $47M) and mostly easy decisions. Only one true UFA, a dozen RFAs, and we probably need to factor in an ELC and a roster spot for Bowen Byram -- he's completely unscouted, but our pre-draft intel had him ready for the NHL.

RE-SIGN PHASE


UFAs (1)
  • C Matt Duchene (previous: 6M, asking: 7 years @ $7.875)
Only one UFA, but it's a big one. The good news is Duchene is at least willing to talk extension. His demands are the high end of reasonable, on both years and dollars. When I think $8M per, Matt Duchene isn't the name that leaps to mind but I'm not sure I'd lowball him, and 7 years would take him out to age 35. I think I'll give him $8M, but drop the years to 5, at least as an opening offer.

RFAs (12)
  • D Brandon Carlo (790k, 5 @ 3.725M)
  • RW Kasperi Kapanen (865k, 4 @ 3.425M)
  • D Haydn Fleury (865k, 2 @ 2.925M)
  • D Nikita Zadorov (2.15M, 2 @ 2.825)
  • RW Andre Burakovsky (3.0M, 2 @ 2.8M)
  • D Ian McCoshen (925k, 3 @ 2.375M)
  • LW Artturi Lehkonen (840k, 3 @ 1.65M)
  • D Tony DeAngelo (865k, 2 @ 1.625M)
  • RW Ryan Hartman (875k, 2 @ 1.5M)
  • C Sam Bennett (1.95M, 3 @ 1.45M)
  • G Eric Comrie (700k, 1 @ 1.025M)
  • LW John Quenneville (810k, 2 @ 975k)

I'm feeling like Lehkonen/1.5M-ish is the cutoff for "easy" decisions where I'll probably just renew all those guys at what they're asking. Other than Quenneville, they're all asking acceptable money for the role they're likely to play. As far as Quenneville, whatever... below $1M is just organizational depth anyway.

On the "tough" decisions, I'm feeling like the forwards (Kapanen and Burakovsky) are gonna get what they're asking (give or take a few 100k) because we're thin up front anyway, but I might play hardball with a few of the defensemen. It basically comes down to a numbers game -- one or two of those guys might end up on the bottom pair, and maybe you can justify holding one or two guys in the minors for depth, but does my 2nd-pair AHL guy need to be making $2M per? I'd say Zadorov and McCoshen are the odd men out here -- I'll either hardball them, or maybe even investigate a trade.

EXPIRING UNSIGNED ROOKIES (0)
None at this point, but I'm creating a placeholder for consistent formatting in future years.

JUNE 25
First offers go out. As discussed above, Lehkonen and everyone below him get what they're asking. Kapanen, and Burakovsky get close offers -- try to shave a few 100k off, but basically what they're asking. Carlo, Fleury, McCoshen, and Zadorov are just going to get RFA tenders to preserve their rights for now. Think I want to see how the market develops -- also, if someone signs at what they're asking, they're in 2nd-round compensation territory -- Carlo could creep into 1st-and-3rd if a bidding war develops.

UFA offers (1): Duchene
RFA offers (8): Kapanen, Burakovsky, Lehkonen, DeAngelo, Hartman, Bennett, Comrie, Quenneville
RFA Tenders (4): Carlo, Fleury, McCoshen, Zadorov

JUNE 26
Accept: Bennett, Burakovsky, Comrie, DeAngelo, Duchene, Hartman, Lehkonen, Quenneville. The big news here is getting Duchene inked, but satisfying across the board.
Reject - Kapanen didn't appreciate the lowball offer. I move up from $3.25 to 3.3; if he rejects that, I'll probably just go to his ask next.

Cap space drops from almost $47M to about $32.5M.

JUNE 27
Kapanen signs for $3.3M per year. Cap drops to just under $30 mil. That just leaves the four defensemen, but I'm willing to enter free agency and see what the market looks like before making final calls on them. I'll put it this way... if I have money left at the end of free agency, Carlo and Fleury might get what they're asking. Zadorov and McCoshen, I'd be OK with RFA compensation or may even look at trades.

OPEN FREE AGENCY


Let's try to break this down by position.

CENTER (5): Matt Duchene 87, Sam Bennett 79, Anthony Cirelli 79, John Hayden 78, Jordan Kyrou 72.

Kyrou is definitely headed for the AHL. I feel like a #2 behind Duchene wouldn't be a bad thing, even if it pushes Hayden to the minors or depth forward. The market is a little thin, though -- once you set aside RFAs, it's basically Joe Thornton, Derick Brassard, or roll the dice on guys who may not be that much better than Bennett.

LEFT WING (5): Artturi Lehkonen 83, Conor Sheary 81, John Quenneville 75, Max Jones 68, Givani Smith 63

Jones and Smith definitely belong in the minors. Quenneville is bubble. So I could use AT LEAST one guy, and two might be better. Fortunately, the market at LW is pretty healthy -- Marcus Johansson and Anders Lee represent the top end, but there are several choices.

RIGHT WING (5): Kasperi Kapanen 82, Ryan Hartman 80, Denis Gurianov 77, Andre Burakovsky 75, Conor Garland 74

I have bodies, but the talent level is kind of flat -- there's not a lot of difference between #1 and #4, and no real #1 guy. Adding a body wouldn't kill me, but if I upgrade enough elsewhere, I could live with that as a top four. Not sure the market helps here -- it's basically Gustav Nyquist and a bunch of sideways moves. Richard Panik would supposedly be a system fit, but is that enough to banish Gurianov to the minors?

DEFENSE (7+): Brent Burns 90, Mattias Ekholm 85, Jared Spurgeon 83, Tony DeAngelo 80, Brandon Carlo 80 (RFA tender), Ian McCoshen 79 (RFA tender), Nikita Zadorov 79 (RFA tender), Caleb Jones 78, Haydn Fleury 78 (RFA tender), Andreas Englund 73, Parker Wotherspoon 64.

If you add in Bowen Byram, I've got a respectable lineup for the parent club, so it's really just signing for depth. I always like to have a low-ceiling veteran defenseman to be the 7th -- someone whose growth won't be set back by sitting most games. (To level-set, last year it was Kevin Bieksa, so... someone along those lines.)

GOALIES (3): Jacob Markstrom 84, Eric Comrie 80, Tristan Jarry 77.

I'll need a backup for Jarry in the minors, but that's about it.

So to summarize: primary goals are a #2 center, a #1 left wing, a veteran 7th defenseman, and some sort of goalie with some potential to backup Jarry at San Antonio. Secondary goals would be another body at right and left wing. Similar to the veteran defenseman, a versatile veteran forward also wouldn't hurt.

JULY 1
At center, Joe Thornton is only looking for a one-year deal around $5M anyway, so that seems like a win-win. We get a better #2 and a year to bring Bennett or Kyrou along a little more. And we can always trade him at the deadline if we're not competitive. I also spy a 19-year-old with Top 6 potential (Paul Cotter), so he'll be a signing for the minors. I may also take a flyer on Evan Rodrigues -- he's an RFA signing, but his ask is below the compensation threshold.

At left wing, Marcus Johansson seems like the best fit, and he's also showing as a system fit. If he's on a line with Duchene, it's two playmakers, but we'll jump off that cliff when we come to it. I'm also going to put in a more modest bid on Brandon Tanev -- at worst, he's a bottom-six guy with Conor Sheary and pushes Quenneville to the minors. Andrew Mangiapane is another RFA who's under the compensation threshold that I might look at for the minors.

At right wing... unless I really think Gustav Nyquist or Wayne Simmonds is a difference maker, I'll just pick around the edges. Names here include Nikita Scherback, Zach Aston-Reese, Sven Andrighetto.

Defenseman? I think Chris Wideman is my first pass at a veteran 7th, but there are plenty of players who could fit. Ron Hainsey, Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi? Flip a coin really.

For a backup goalie, I'm gonna start with Ville Husso. He's got Starter potential and he's only asking about $800k.

Offers go out: LW Marcus Johansson (5 @ 5.0M), C Joe Thornton (1 @ 5.0M), LW Brandon Tanev (1 @ 1.625M), RW Zach Aston-Reese (2 @ 1.4M), C Evan Rodrigues (1 @ 1.1M - RFA), D Chris Wideman (1 @ 1.075M), LW Andrew Mangiapane (1 @ 925k - RFA), RW Nikita Scherbak (1 @ 925k - RFA), G Vile Husso (1 @ 800k), C Paul Cotter (2 @ 725k)

NOTE: I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice ZAR was a RFA, so the Pens will get my 3rd if I sign him. Not a HUGE deal, but oops.

While waiting for offers to come back, I decide to move Nikita Zadorov. The Kings and Hurricanes come knocking with similar packages -- a pair of 3rds for Buffalo, a 2nd and a 4th for the Kings. I decide to go with the Kings' offer.

TRADE: D Nikira Zadorov to Los Angeles for their 2nd and 4th round picks in 2020.

JULY 4
First responses are in! Well... ONE response, as Paul Cotter signs. Early returns: the biggest bidding war is actually on the goaltender Husso (4 teams interested). Johanssen, Thornton, Tanev, and Wideman are uncontested; the various depth guys have two suitors, though if they're RFA's, the other "suitor" may just be their tender offer.

JULY 5
SIGNED: LW Marcus Johansson, C Joe Thornton, LW Brandon Tanev, D Chris Wideman, RW Zach Aston-Reese (RFA pending), C Evan Rodrigues (RFA pending), LW Andrew Mangiapane (RFA pending)
REJECT, STILL IN PLAY: NONE
REJECT, SIGN ELSEWHERE: RW Nikita Scherbak (resigned with Kings), G Ville Husso (Red Wings)

That actually went really well. I got all my major targets, and only missed on a few depth guys. Now the only "problem" is that I have 16M in cap space and nothing specific to spend it on. I think I'll probably go ahead and sign Brandon Carlo at this point, and Vitek Vanacek (23, Fringe Starter) will get the backup goalie offer.

Offers Out: D Brandon Carlo (4 @ 3.5M), RW Sven Andrighetto (1 @ 950k), G Vitek Vanacek (1 @ 775k)

JULY 6
Mangiapane stays with the Flames, no big deal. But my screw-up with ZAR becomes official, and I'm losing my 3rd rounder next year. Sigh.

JULY 8
Sabres match Evan Rodrigues. Wasn't aggressive enough. Again, not a key component or anything.

JULY 10
The last three outstanding pieces fall into place -- Carlo, Andrighetto, and Vanacek all sign.

At this point, all that's left is either burning some cap on whatever's left just to tie up money, and I also might want to sign a few players for the minor league roster just to keep CPU drones from getting playing time. I think I'll also start taking offers on McCoshen and Fleury -- they both want north of $3M and I can't justify that for guys who are going to sit in the minors.

I do notice that NOBODY is bidding on Gustav Nyquist. Granted he wants 6 years at $5M+, which is a little steep, but if no one's biting, maybe I should grab him It's not like Andre Burakovsky and Zach Aston-Reese are such unstoppable talents that we HAVE to clear roster space for them. I decide to go a little more aggressive on money, but lower on years and offer 2 years at $5.5M. I also offer a bottom-end deal to Juuse Ikonen, a 24-year-old LW with Top 6 talent. Also, C Ryan MacInnis, because he's Al's kid.

JULY 12
Nyquist, Ikonen, and MacInnis accept.

This pretty much leaves my bench/minors defense. I have my starters, but right now, I only have three active bodies in the AHL with McCoshen and Fleury holding out. Do I want to sign those guys and have a $5M defense pair in the minors, or do I want to assume they're not sigining and sign some filler guys? Something to think about. It is true that -- barring other moves -- Spurgeon is a free agent at the end of the year, so at least one spot is opening up next season. And if you want to be pessimistic, there's a chance Bowen Byram isn't ready Day One, so maybe I should sign at least one as insurance.

The other side of the coin is that if I'm gonna spend $5M on defensemen who may or may not play, might as well just go sign Tyler Myers or Jake Gardiner, since they're both still available. Then I'd have a CRAZY Top 4 and my #1 pick would be playing third-pair.

As a stopgap, there's a few young Top 4 guys that will put bodies in the system (they'll both take two-way deals) without changing the equation on Fleury or McCoshen. Markus Niemelainen is a 21-year-old, but he's an Enforcer, so his upside might be limited even as a Top 4. Christian Wolanin is 24 and a two-way guy. Combined they'll be less than $2M, I've got the contracts to play with... so I go ahead and offer on both. While I'm at it, I also go ahead and offer Byram his ELC.

JULY 16
Niemelainen and Wolanin sign.

I think at this point I'm going to wait until the start of camp rolls around, get some better scouting on my guys, see if teams cut anyone interesting to get under the cap.

FINAL SIGNINGS
  • RW Gustav Nyquist - 2 years, $5.5M
  • C Joe Thornton - 1 year, $5.0M
  • LW Marcus Johansson - 5 year, $5.0M
  • D Brandon Carlo - 4 years, $3.5M (RFA re-sign)
  • LW Brandon Tanev - 1 year, $1.625M
  • RW Zach Aston-Reese - 2 years, $1.4M
  • D Chris Wideman - 1 year, $1.075M
  • RW Sven Andrighetto - 1 year, $950k
  • D Christian Wolanin - 1 year, $825k
  • G Vitek Vanacek - 1 year, $775k
  • C Ryan Macinnis - 2 years, $725k
  • C Paul Cotter - 2 years, $725k
  • LW Jusso Ikonen - 1 year, $725k
  • D Markus Niemelainen - 2 years, $700k

Last edited by PFellah; 09-23-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:38 PM   #7
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Free Agency 2019: Around The League

SIGNINGS OVER $1M/YEAR
  • Arizona: RW Justin Williams (82), RW Brett Connolly (80)
  • Buffalo: LW Micheal Ferland (82), D Jake McCabe (81), LW Johan Larsson (79), LW Scott Laughton (78)
  • Calgary: G Brian Elliott (81), G Michal Neuvirth (80), G Chad Johnson (80), G Curtis McElhinney (79), RW Troy Brouwer (77), RW Curtis Lazar (77)
  • Carolina: G Petr Mrazek (83), D Anton Stralman (83), C Thomas Nosek (82), G Jared Coreau (81), D Deryk Engelland (79), C Par Lindholm (74)
  • Chicago: G Mike Smith (82)
  • Colorado: LW Anders Lee (85), LW Ryan Dzingel (83), C Valtteri Filppula (80), C J.T. Compher (78), D Mike Reilly (74)
  • Columbus: C Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (82), D Jordie Benn (80)
  • Dallas: G Keith Kinkaid (82), RW Jason Pominville (80), D Tim Heed (80), G Anton Forsberg (78), D Marc Methot (78)
  • Detroit: C William Karlsson (85), G Calvin Pickard (80)
  • Florida: LW Patrick Maroon (81), G Linus Ullmark (80)
  • Houston: RW Gustav Nyquist (84), C Joe Thornton (84), LW Marcus Johansson (83), LW Brandon Tanev (83), D Brandon Carlo (80), RW Zach Aston-Reese (77)
  • Los Angeles: LW Brendan Leipsic (81), D Carl Gunnarsson (81), D Joakim Ryan (80), D Brad Hunt (80), D Nikita Zadorov (79), C Derek Grant (77)
  • Minnesota: D Jake Gardiner (83), RW Wayne Simmonds (82)
  • Montreal: G Cam Ward (81), G Cam Talbot (81), C Charles Hudon (75)
  • Nashville: D Niklas Kronwall (81), RW Richard Panik (81)
  • New Jersey: G Sergei Bobrovsky (90), D Tyler Myers (83), C Derick Brassard (82), C Noel Acciari (82), G David Rittich (82)
  • New York Islanders: LW Kyle Connor (84), C Nick Shore (79), C Andy Andreoff (75)
  • New York Rangers: G Michael Hutchinson (80)
  • Ottawa: D Patrik Nemeth (80), D Marcus Petterson (80)
  • Philadelphia: RW Garnet Hathaway (75)
  • Pittsburgh: C Mark Letestu (79), D Andy Welinski (78)
  • St. Louis: G Jordan Binnington (86), D Ron Hainsey (81), LW Dmitrij Jaskin (78)
  • Tampa Bay: D Adam McQuaid (82), C Brian Boyle (80), D Dan Girardi (80), D Nathan Beaulieu (79)
  • Vancouver: RW Josh Leivo (80), LW Colin Wilson (80)
  • Winnipeg: LW Jonas Donskoi (81), LW Thomas Vanek (81), LW Nic Kerdiles (81), C Jason Spezza (80), RW Marko Dano (78), D Luca Sbisa (78),D Ben Chiarot (78), C Andrew Copp (77)

NO MAJOR SIGNINGS: Anaheim, Boston, Edmonton, Las Vegas, San Jose, Toronto, Washington

Last edited by PFellah; 09-23-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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