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Fantasy Hockey: Offseason Edition. Part II

Free Agents: David Backes has found a home just as strong as where he left

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ok so this was SUPPOSED to be part II of a two part series on offseason moves but as I dug into the Free Agent moves vs. Trades I felt that both would be deserving of their own piece. So, this is now part II of a trilogy of Offseason Pieces on players who are with new teams. Part one concerned Rookies and can be read here (
The second part will cover players who have signed with new teams. Anyone in italics below the line I am not concerned with as I don't think they merit any consideration in all but the deepest of Fantasy Hockey Leagues.

*I didn't bother to put in any stats for guys who earned fewer than 19 points last year.

Kyle Okposo -€” The biggest offseason deal so far, Kyle signed for a 7 year $42million deal with the Buffalo Sabres. I like the move by the Sabres and I like his potential to score in the high 60's in points thanks largely to some power play points. I think potential for him on the top line with Ryan O'Reilly and Evander Kane could yield big results and I'm overall fond of the Sabres improving this year.

Loui Eriksson -€” I am fond of this move long term but not as much short term. Loui has made a career of thriving a year into a new team as he gets acclimated and adjusted. Given his learning curve and ability to avoid physical play by and large, he should be able to hold a longer career (if he can avoid any more concussions) and ultimately do well. For my money, I'm not a buyer this year as I think he nets about 46-48 points).

Milan Lucic -€” Not withstanding this signing seemed a bit excessive to me, Milan will provide a strong physical body and presence in front of the net for the Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle line. My BEST comparison on this would be Chris Kunitz. Milan hit a high of 61 and 62 points in 2010 and 2011. I thought he would hit a high last year being on a line with Anze Kopitar and I will mirror that notion with this year (contingent he remains on the Connor McDavid line). I see him netting about 64 points next season.

Frans Nielsen -€” I'll preface this with, I'm not fond of this move. I don't think a 32 year old 40 point player should be netting $5 million a year over 6 years. He had his second best year ever in a contract year and cashed in big with the Detroit Red Wings. He will center the second line alongside Justin Abdelkader and Thomas Tatar and I imagine he nets 40 points. He is the type of player who brings intangibles and the Red Wings were looking for that but for me, from a Fantasy Stat perspective -€” nothing to look at here, move along.

Mikkel Boedker -€” I am conditionally big on Mikkel this year barring two things. 1) He finds chemistry with his line mates as he has had to play the lone wolf at times in his career and he will be among the most talented lines he's seen in his career (the Aves had talent but injury concerns kept it from coming together often enough). 2) He stays on a line with a pure goal scorer. Having Joe Thornton and Mikkel alone on a line is like having Drew Brees and Tom Brady out there, they can throw it around as much as they want but who is going to catch it and score? Joe Pavelski will provide that as will Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau and Thomas Hertl. I see mid 50's in points on a goal robust  Shark team

Lee Stempniak -€” What he has going for him -€” playing alongside talented Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner on the second line for Carolina. What he doesn't have going for him: Playing on a goal deficient Carolina team, his age, his ability to exceed 40 points just twice in his 12 year career, the repeated attempt and failure to use him as a complement piece and his lack of goal scoring. 35 point season here, nothing to see, move along.

Andrew Ladd -€” Anyone playing alongside John Tavares can bump up about 5-10 points on their season. He scored 46 last season, despite the Islanders likely taking a step back this year, I think he can score 53-55 points with another year of strong Power Play production. Additionally, Andrew will always get PIMs for leagues that award those.

David Backes -€” This might be my favorite offseason move. I think he is worth every penny the Bruins gave him and playing beside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, a line full of face off strength, grit, agitators, persistence and pure goal scoring capability. David will come back to 60point form on this line.

Teddy Purcell -€” He has yet to come within 10 points of the 65 point year he had in 2011-2012. He will be part of an interesting older second line for the Kings with Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik that will be fun to watch because they could click and play well, I'm leaning more towards it being an average line, but the experience and talent is there. I think he finishes with 44 points just one above last year.

Thomas Vanek -€” I like this move relative to his cost in drafts IF 1) he stays healthy. 2) He finds production past November (rare). 3) He finds himself on a line with gritty energy balls like Andreas Athanasiou and Riley Sheahan who might get a chance to thrive against lesser counter squads. Nothing flashy but he could score 45 points, ice time limitations will hurt him.

P.A. Parenteau -€” Cue the "I'm Coming Home" music. He saw his two highest scoring seasons playing with John Tavares in 2010-2012, much will be the same as he dishes 45 assists and scores 55 points. Additionally, the one year term means he is being asked to prove he can still provide quality play.

Troy Brouwer -€” Talk about the epitome of health. Troy has played in at least 78/82 games in 7 of his 8 years including all 82 games in 4 of his last 5 years. He's had a chance to play alongside Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alexander Ovechkin and Vladimir Tarasenko. Now he gets the honor of being the savvy vet for Jonathan "Hockey" Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. He averages 40ish points here year and I think he eclipses that and scores 45 points this year. He will provide Power Play Goals, PIM's in addition.

Eric Staal -€” Ever since the 100 point season (including some nice hardware) in 2006, Eric has seen his point total regress every two years to the point where he scored 39 points last season. He now finds himself in what very well may be the most fortunate circumstances in about 7-8 years as he centers the top line of a very strong Minnesota Wild team with arguably one of the best Regular Season head coaches in Bruce Boudreau. While I don't think this necessarily revives his 100 point season, I do think it provides a 10 point bump bringing back up to 50 points. I also think this increases Zach Parise's value because Staal is a smart heads up player who can feed the puck well (all Staals have this ability.

Brian Campbell -€” We are talking about 37 year old Brian Campbell. We are also talking about the same Brian Campbell who is now back home on a very strong Blackhawk team who is talented on the Power Play and whose system he thrived in for years. I think he could crack 40 points next year.

Alexander Radulov -€” This is an experiment I'm intrigued by. He has scored 238 points in his last 4 seasons of play with CSKA Moscow in the KHL. That's 238 points over 181 games. Surely he won't have the same production in the NHL (108pts over a full season) but I don't think it's unheard of to see him scoring 60 points on a line with Thomas Plekanec and David Carr.